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University of York technician wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on 12 November 2021

The work of a University of York technician has been recognised with a prestigious national award.

Bob Hide with his awardMr Hide won his award at the Higher Education Technician Summit (HETS) 2021. Photo: Alex Wilkinson Media

Bob Hide, Chief Electronics Technician in the Department of Physics, was awarded the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award at the Higher Education Technician Summit.

Mr Hide was recognised for his 49 years of service at the University, and for his continued excellence and significant achievements across his career. He was one of eight outstanding technicians shortlisted for the award.

The award is part of the Papin Prizes, the UK’s only award ceremony dedicated to celebrating technical excellence and innovation in higher education and research.

The prestigious awards were presented at the biannual Higher Education Technician Summit (HETS) 2021 on 10 November 2021 at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University of Nottingham.


Mr Hide’s primary expertise is in the design, manufacturing and testing of bespoke electronics, particularly as applied to nuclear instrumentation and detector technology.

His work contributes to major international facilities such as CERN in Switzerland and TRIUMF in Canada, where Bob skillfully manages the integration of the instrumentation he produces within such facilities.

In response to receiving the award, Mr Hide said: “I'm very excited to have won this prestigious award and very proud that my department proposed me.

“I see this award as not only recognising my own achievements, but also demonstrating how the culture at York which has encouraged me to develop over the years to achieve this ultimate award, and that is something to be celebrated and continued.”

National visibility

The Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at York, Professor Brian Fulton, said: “Bob is a highly regarded colleague, not just in the Physics Department where he has given many years of excellent support to teaching and research activities, but also across the wider university through his service on many committees and working groups and periods as an elected member on University Council.  

“This award gives superb national visibility and recognition of Bob’s achievements and the work of the wider technician team here at York.

“It has come on the back of significant progress we have made since becoming one of the first signatories of the Technician Commitment in 2017, through which the University is increasing the visibility and recognition of technicians.”

Highly commended

In addition to Bob’s award, the entire technician team at the University of York were highly commended in recognition of their significant role in the national response to COVID-19.

Through the pandemic, the entire technician team at York played a pivotal role in the University’s efforts to support the NHS. Technicians across the University worked tirelessly to produce PPE for frontline workers, organise donations of medical equipment and deliver packed lunches for NHS staff

The Papin Prizes are named after Denis Papin, a 17th century technician who worked with Robert Boyle. Papin invented the steam digester and was one of the first technicians to publish in his own name. Nominations for the 2021 Papin Prizes were made by any member of the higher education community including students, staff, collaborators and alumni. 

Sixty-one technicians were shortlisted nationally for the acclaimed Papin Prize across ten categories.


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