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The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics, and the leading body for practising physicists, in the UK and Ireland. Their Technician Awards recognise and celebrate the skills and experience of technicians and their contribution to physics. Dave McCue is a Senior Beamline Technician on Diamond’s I09 beamline, which is designed for high-resolution studies of atomic and electronic structures of surfaces and interfaces. Dave has won his award in the National Research Facilities category for his excellent support of over 250 user experiments on beamline I09, other contributions throughout Diamond, and his dedication to training the next generation of synchrotron technicians through Diamond’s and STFC’s apprenticeship schemes.
The IOP’s prestigious Technical Skills Awards are unique in the UK and Ireland in recognising the significant contributions that technicians and apprentices make to physics, and in recognising employers that demonstrate their commitment and contribution to scientific and engineering apprenticeship schemes.
On hearing the news, Dave said:
"I am thrilled to receive this award, it’s a fantastic recognition of my work as well as the support I give to the apprentices that train with us on the beamline to develop skills that they can take with them throughout their careers. I have always enjoyed taking things apart and understanding how they work. At Diamond I get to do this with large, technical components, which makes the job incredibly interesting and highly rewarding when I can look at something I’ve assembled, built, tested and installed."
What we do here at Diamond is amazing. As a team we strive to make sure we are providing scientists with the best possible tools for their research. I feel privileged to be able to apply the skills I learned from my Engineering college course and subsequent experience to a world-class facility where the ground-breaking science we enable is making a difference to everyday lives. Receiving this award is acknowledgment of the integral part technicians play in large, physics-based facilities.
Dave McCue, Senior Beamline Technician at Diamond Light Source
Congratulating this year’s Award winners, Institute of Physics President, Professor Sheila Rowan, said: “On behalf of the Institute of Physics, I warmly congratulate all of this year’s Award winners. Each and every one of them has made a significant and positive impact in their profession, whether as a researcher, teacher, industrialist, technician, apprentice or employer.
“Recent events have underlined the absolute necessity to encourage and reward our scientists and those who teach and encourage future generations. We rely on their dedication and innovation to improve many aspects of the lives of individuals and of our wider society."
David Duncan is the Senior Beamline Scientist on I09, he nominated his colleague Dave for the award. He said:
Dave is a dedicated and brilliant technician, his insight into vacuum equipment is key to the development of upgrades to the I09 beamline, and he is regularly contacted by both scientists and technicians around Diamond for advice and help. He is regularly involved in training PhD and placement students and is the first port of call of the I09 staff scientists for every technical change, big or small, proposed on the beamline. Dave is strongly involved in training the next generation of synchrotron technicians and has instructed over 20 apprentices in the last ten years in mechanical assembly. The success of the I09 beamline is in no small part due to the dedication of Dave McCue.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland. It seeks to raise public awareness and understanding of physics, inspire people to develop their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of physics and support the development of a diverse and inclusive physics community. As a charity, it has a mission to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society.
More information about the IOP Technical Skills Awards here
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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