Royce and PSI Technical Operations Manager wins Papin Prize

Congratulations go to Cath Davies, Royce and Photon Science Institute (PSI) Technical Operations Manager, on winning a prestigious Papin Prize – the UK’s only award dedicated to celebrating technical excellence in Higher Education and Research.

Cath has been awarded a prize in the Contribution to Infrastructure category, which recognises a member of technical staff who has made a significant contribution to day-to-day infrastructure to support research and/or teaching.

Dr Eliza Gardner, Royce Head of Operations said:

“I am absolutely delighted Cath has been awarded a prestigious Papin Prize. As the technical lead for the Royce Hub Building project, she has gone above and beyond to ensure the requirements of our technical and research staff and students were translated into the building laboratory designs and fit-outs.

“This important prize is recognition of Cath’s huge contribution to ensuring we’re now open for business for all in the materials community. On behalf of everyone at Royce, congratulations to Cath on this fantastic accolade which reflects her technical excellence in the delivery of infrastructure here at Royce and across The University of Manchester.”

Cath Davies added:

“The Higher Education Technician Summit was a fantastic event and gave me an opportunity see what technical teams around UK Higher Education are delivering, and I’m delighted with the recognition this fantastic award brings to my own colleagues and to the many technicians up and down the UK.”

Cath is responsible for two highly complex buildings which house a breadth of state-of-the-art technical facilities, from vibration-controlled spaces, to humidity-controlled rooms, as well as laboratories equipped to support wide-ranging research related to biomaterials through to next-generation fuels. She also manages a large and varied team of expert technical staff who operate a >£100m suite of equipment open to both academia and industry users.

Cath, alongside colleague Dan Tate, Technical Project Manager, and members of the wider facilities team, worked tirelessly to oversee the Royce Hub building fit-out, as well as the transfer of existing equipment and the delivery and commissioning of £45m of new state-of-the-art equipment.

Under Cath’s leadership, the expert technical team continued to progress all of this during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the Royce Hub facilities can operate efficiently and effectively, providing users with a high quality and safe experience.

Hundreds of individuals and teams were nominated for the year’s prestigious awards, with sixty-one technicians shortlisted for an acclaimed Papin Prize across ten categories. The Papin Prizes are named after Denis Papin, a 17th century technician who invented the steam digester and was one of the first technicians to publish in his own name.

Cath received her award earlier this month at the UK Higher Education Technicians Summit 2021.