‘Spotlight on…’ is our way of showcasing a department or faculty to increase engagement, cohesion and an understanding of who does what at Macquarie. This Week, we talk to the team from the Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences (CBMS).
Who are you?
Our team is comprised of 22 technical staff who support teaching and research in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences. Our team has diverse skill sets, varied knowledge areas and collectively vast experience in supporting teaching and research. The team members represent at least a dozen cultures.
What do you do?
We actively support undergraduate/postgraduate teaching across two departments. On average, 8000 students per year go through our laboratories. This translates to about 60 teaching units in 14 labs. The breadth of teaching units we support is quite diverse, with subjects ranging from Microbiology to Vertebrate Evolution.
We are involved in every stage of laboratory teaching from developing experiments, assessing associated risks, and providing a safe environment for all. In addition, our team actively supports research, including terrestrial/marine fieldwork, Plant Growth Facilities and outreach.
When we are not doing all of the above (and which is what makes us tick), we enjoy professional development as a team, social activities and breaking bread together.
Why do you do it?
We asked the same question to our staff and they said:
- I love to be able to work with students, being able to teach them on what I’m passionate about: “Science” (99% staff said this in their response)
- Gaining knowledge and new skills. Friendly workplace and positive work culture
- Flexibility to work independently or within a team. Working with great people that care and are committed to their job.
In a nutshell, we facilitate hands-on learning to inspire the next generation of scientists, entrepreneurs and laboratory managers.
Who do you most frequently work with?
We work mainly with students, academics, tutors, and risk and assurance staff.
But our roles require us to work with all areas across the University, eg. admin, HR, Faculty, IT, Property, Security, Executive groups, Timetabling, Learning and Teaching, external stakeholders and other University technical staff.
What’s a recent achievement you’re proud of?
Our team is proud to have contributed to the following:
- “Kick start your technical skills”- a laboratory bridging course we developed from conception to implementation to help students transition smoothly to university
- Supporting undergraduate teams that won gold medals in the international genetically engineered machine (iGEM) foundation competitions
- Deployment of an online, custom-built fieldwork end-to-end solution
- Our staff members over last two years have either won the VC’s award or have been short-listed in multiple categories.
What’s planned for the future?
We are actively making our working environment a green laboratory space by implementing various methods such as recycling, reusing, rethinking and repurposing.
We have plans to make our laboratories greener and have a positive impact and further support sustainability.
We are planning to have a recycling / upcycling competition in November! Please come and join us.
Where can we learn more?
Get in touch with the team!