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Ben Heaton

Trainee Technician


Providing technical support for practical classes and academic research - Helping students and academics use equipment such as the rotary evaporator, IR, vacuum pump etc., providing ad-hoc support on techniques, when required.

Practical class set up and clean down - Making sure practical classes are prepared for on time and run smoothly throughout. This is done by managing my time and observing the class. I provide help if needed.

Waste management - I monitor and properly dispose of any teaching liquid and solid waste and research solvent waste. I periodically dispose of unwanted lab chemicals and samples.

Lab safety - I make sure the labs are clean and safe to use. I.e. cleaning of bench tops & fume hoods, storing of chemicals in their proper places, monitoring fume hood suction, maintaining tidy work areas, inspection of electrical equipment etc.

Chemical preparation - I make solutions and dispense chemicals into appropriate containers for use in practical classes.

Outreach - I prepare chemicals and equipment for events and experiments for schools and various outside organisations. I also provide technical support.

COSHH forms, technical notes & SOPs - I make sure all of my technical notes and legally required COSHH forms are up-to-date, ready for use by technicians. I create and evaluate standard operating procedures for use by both students and technical staff.

Ordering - I order chemicals and consumables for use in classes.

Training - I try to keep up-to-date with and enrol on relevant training courses associated with my role. E.g. Gas cylinder training.

Project students - I support the 3rd and 4th year students with their projects by maintaining supplies of chemicals and consumables needed for their experiments. I also provide supervision and additional technical support if needed.

Professional experience/ previous jobs:

Trainee Technician (Current)


Catering Assistant

Warehouse Operative

Education/ professional registration/ professional membership:


BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences - Chemistry (In progress)

Access to HE Diploma - Science

Level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene for Catering

MCP (Microsoft Certified Technician)

MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician)

CompTIA A+ Certified Professional IT Technician

Areas of interest

Computers - "I can build them as I have built my own, made/tinkered with computers for friends/family and try keep up-to-date with computer news."

Video Games - "I generally like role-playing games such as Fallout, stealth games like Hitman, survival-horror like Resident Evil and occasionally retro games like Metal Slug."

Outside (Hiking, Camping, Mountains) - "A relatively new hobby. Last year I walked up Mount Snowdon with my brother. I'd like to go up Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. Soon I hope I'll be hiking/camping the Great Glen Way in Scotland."

Food/Cooking - "Food, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to explore new cultures. As such I like to cook for my family and try new recipes."

Travel - "I like to travel and see other countries. My favourite place so far has been Budapest, Hungary. Some places I'd like to go to are Japan, Mexico and Greece."

Warhammer 30K/40K - "I love the Horus Heresy (aka 30K). I used to be really into the table top game, but not so much anymore. I still collect the models, some of the books and still keep up-to-date with the lore and news about the hobby"

Awards/ honours:

Achieving Results Award. "For excellent support in the Chemistry teaching laboratories over a term".

Celebrating Success Award. "For fantastic teamwork and outstanding support with refurbishment of the Chemistry and Food Chemistry teaching laboratories".

Achieving Results Award. "For consistent and substantial performance at a level above and beyond his job requirements and expectations as a trainee technician".

Publications and involvement in projects:

UoR Sustainability LEAF group

"I work with University colleagues in order to minimise the University's environmental impact on the Earth. This involves thinking of ways to minimise waste, use more energy-efficient equipment etc. and how we can implement changes."

Workload Assessment Working Group

"I along with others help to assess the amount of work people do, and how difficult various tasks are. In the end we hope to get an idea of which areas of the University require more assistance and the stresses they are under when preparing practical classes"

Competency Assessment Working Group

"This group is designed to assess the competency of staff in various aspects of a module. Whether it be techniques, how to use equipment, disposal procedures etc. In the end it will help staff progress to become more competent technicians."