Eastern Arc Technicians’ Network

All four Eastern Arc universities recognise the importance of Technicians and Technical Staff across all areas and the vital part they play in delivering the very best student experience, internationally recognised research and innovation, and support for the community.

Through the national Technician Commitment programme, they have pledged to support the visibility, recognition, career development, sustainability and impact of all technicians. The aim of the Network is to build on this commitment and create a supportive cross-institutional community by technicians for technicians.

In order to take forward the Network, a Steering Group has been formed. Comprising technicians from the four EARC universities, the Group will oversee the implementation of the Technicians’ Network. This includes:

  • Developing strong and robust avenues of communication within each university to ensure that all technicians have the opportunity to be involved in the network;
  • Using the Technician Committee as a framework and the IMPACT initiative as a guide, to consult with technicians as to the challenges they face and the opportunities open to them;
  • Building on this, to create a programme of activities and informal groups that will address the challenges and utilise the opportunities they have;
  • Providing guidance on the delivery of these activities and monitor progress against targets and objectives;
  • Acting as ambassadors for embedding the Technician Commitment across each of the universities departments and realm of wider influence;
  • Ensuring that technicians are fully incorporated into strategic decision-making at each university.

Terms of Reference

The full terms of reference for the Network are available here (docx).


Membership of the Technicians’ Network Steering Group includes colleagues from across the three universities.

Steering Group Members

Iv Bacic is Head of Technical Resources, Facility and Services at UEA for the Faculty of Science. Iv is responsible for the operational management and coordination of the technical service, infrastructure (estate), facilities and core services within the Faculty.  Iv started his career as a technician in Australian universities, where he was an active member of the Health and Exercise Science Technologists Association (HESTA), a constructive and supportive forum similar to EARC promoting the sharing of skills, knowledge and resources, providing an opportunity for technical discussion and the professional development of its members. Iv advocates for technicians as a profession and hopes his background will contribute to the steering group.

Matthew Bennett is Laboratory Coordinator (Teaching) at UEA, and one of the four co-chairs. He began making sustainability improvements locally in his own lab in 2013 before leading University wide projects via secondment to the sustainability team. He has worked with commercial partners to create sustainable products for the laboratory and is an active member of both the Higher Education technician and sustainable labs communities.
Image to follow Rob Fowler is Associate Director of Technical Operations at the University of Sussex. Further details are to follow.
Jenna Hopkins is the Project Manager (Open Essex) at the University of Essex. She has led projects relating to research facilities, the Technician Commitment, and online learning since 2018. After completing a detailed review of research facilities at the University of Essex, Jenna delivered on the report’s recommendations, including changes to research equipment planning, governance processes, and cultural change regarding technical support. She continues to oversee the research equipment planning process and progress against the Technician Commitment action plan.

Daniel Knox is the Head of Embedded IT and Technical Services for Information Services at the University of Kent. In this position he provides strategic direction and operational leadership of the new section of Embedded IT; delivering audio visual technologies, learning spaces across the university estate and personal computing. His section also works closely with local IT teams to support them in delivering specialist services. As Head of Technical Services, Daniel represents technicians at a senior level and is responsible for delivering the university’s technician commitment action plan and work to deliver recognition, sustainability, visibility, and career development of technical staff across the university.

Daniel has worked in a number of Technical Services and administration roles over the years and prior to that researched a PhD in Computer Science.

Outside of work he likes to test out new technologies around the home, electrify different vehicles and enjoys building Lego models.

Image to follow Kurtis Mengham is Technical Supervisor (Medical School) at the University of Sussex, and one of the four co-chairs. Full details to follow.
  Joanna Scamp is the Technical Manager for the Technician Commitment at the University of Kent, and one of the four co-chairs. She has worked at the University since 2011. She coordinates support for technicians across the University, as well as manages a small portfolio of projects. This work has included presenting at the RIS conference on Technician Funding in Research, establishing connections with the Science Museum and establishing a partnership with the Eastern Arc to develop equipment sharing agreements. Joanna is passionate about creating positive impact to not only all technical staff, through the championing of the Technician Commitment, but to the wider University community as well
Christopher Spice is Technical Manager (School of Sport, rehabilitation and Exercise Science) at Essex, and one of the four co-chairs. His responsibilities are focused around managing the laboratory resources for the School including the health and safety, procurement and estates discussions. Chris also sits on the University’s Technician Group which pushes forward the University’s Technical Commitment Agenda.

 Phil Ward is Director of Eastern Arc. He was previously Deputy Director of Research Services at the University of Kent, and has worked for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, responsible for both the English Literature and Language panel, and the most popular of its funding streams, the Research Leave scheme. He writes for a range of outlets, including Research Professional, where he undertook a secondment as an editor between 2017-18.

Take part

As the Network develops, we will advertise events, activities and opportunities on this page. In the meantime, if you want to get involved with shaping the Network, or just want to find out more, please do get in touch: info@easternarc.ac.uk