School technician Kevin Tierney received a long service award from University Principal Professor Peter Mathieson at a ceremony in the Playfair Library in late 2019. Kevin has worked for the University for 25 years, and is currently based within the Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technician Team.
Kevin joined the University of Edinburgh in August 1994 and worked at the Edinburgh Microfabrication Facility (EMF) where he supported and maintained Ion Implanter machinery. He then helped relocate the EMF to the new Scottish Microelectronic Centre (SMC), where he remained until 2011.
Soon after returning to the main School within the Department of Civil Engineering, Kevin took up his current role within the Electronic Workshop in the Fleeming Jenkin building. He has since carried out a diverse role supporting staff and students in areas ranging from general electrical and electronic projects to research labs and teaching labs, and the operation and maintenance of equipment and machinery.
Keen to support the sustainability of support services – and a strong advocate of the great benefits that technicians bring to the University of Edinburgh and other higher education institutions – Kevin has been heavily involved in training our apprentice technicians and assisting newer members of EEE technical staff. In particular, he provided guidance and training to the School’s technician Jamie Graham – who began as an apprentice and received an Apprentice of the Year Award from Edinburgh College – and our current modern apprentice Angus Spray.
Over the last three years, Kevin has also become increasingly active in supporting the School’s student-led projects, and is currently in his third year supporting the University’s Hyperloop student society – HypEd. HypEd’s appreciation for Kevin’s dedicated support was made clear when they decided to include him in their formal team structure as a technical liaison!
The University of Edinburgh's decision to sign the Technician Commitment in summer 2019 was an important moment for Kevin. The Commitment is a nationwide initative which aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.
Reacting to the news, Kevin said “I have great hopes that a new era in technician development is dawning, where technicians are more visually and vocally represented in the running of the School and University as a whole. This would show appreciation for the experience and knowledge we offer to great effect, which should never be underestimated.”
Best part of the job:
“Watching the students grow and head out into the world with the skills I hope I have helped equip them with and, every now and then, when they stay in touch through post cards and Christmas cards, or when they return to the workshop to catch up.”
Worst part of the job:
“Trying to better the students at badminton on a Wednesday night up at King’s Buildings house!”