IST Technical Conference 2023

15 September 2023

The Institute for Science and Technology (IST) Technical Conference 2023 celebrated the work, achievements and contributions of all Technicians from across different sectors in partnership with London South Bank University (LSBU) on Wednesday 13th September. Hosted at LSBU’s Southwark campus, the conference was opened by Dr Helen Sharman, Britian’s first astronaut and now the IST President who paid tribute the ‘unsung heroes of many institutions’ in attendance at the LSBU Hub.

In the first keynote speech of the day, Dr Kelly Vere MBE discussed her own experience of being a technician and looked at the history of the profession and how, historically, they’ve been sadly undervalued in the industry and often overlooked. She celebrated the achievement of the Technicians Commitment in 2017, which has made significant progress for profession and now has over 115 universities and national academic organisations as signatories.

The conference then broke out into workshops and discussions, offering learning and development opportunities across topics including AI, green technology and the built environment. Louise Anderson and Alan Power from LSBU led an interactive tour focusing on stage and screen lighting for darker skin tones. And LSBU’s Laura Elsey led a session demonstration of evidence recovery techniques at a crime scene and invited delegates to carry out some of the techniques.

In the second keynote speech of the day, Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University (LSBU), highlighted the role the LSBU Group plays in furthering technical education, “The Group’s aim is to be a university of technology. We want to prioritise professional and technical education and give students the opportunity to find an education route that works for them.”

On how the LSBU Group will improve the Technicians sector, David Phoenix closed his presentation by saying, “The Group Structure prioritises more practical work which will be of tangible benefit to technicians across different industries. We want to readdress the imbalance of practical experience which we currently have in the UK.”

Tony Roberts, Head of Technical Support Services at LSBU, who was responsible for organising the conference said, “This conference represented an important opportunity for the technical community to come together, to learn, disseminate best practise and of course to celebrate our collective achievements. With this year’s event marking 75 years of the IST, it was also particularly rewarding to see LSBU take centre stage in promoting the important contribution that technicians play in teaching, research, and innovation, both at LSBU and right across the UK.”