Joan started her career as a trainee technician at the University of Manchester, with minimal science qualifications. She worked in a number of roles in their bioscience labs whilst gaining additional qualifications in science subjects up to degree level (Open University). Following on from her basic grounding in teaching/research she then spent 10 years as a Lab Superintendent/Manager, during which time she secured approaching £1m in grant income (over several years) to support the development of trainee technician programmes (in collaboration with a local FE College).
In addition she also helped develop and roll-out a bespoke software package designed to handle HE departmental/faculty accounts and research grants – the software ultimately becoming adopted by over 400 departments across the country/HE sector. After some departmental/faculty restructuring she then moved into a Finance/Admin role where she set up a new Faculty finance, purchasing and research administration unit – also completing an MBA (Open University) during this time.
After spending several years consolidating the new integrated Faculty finance/research grants unit, and helping to roll-out the model to other faculties, she decided to take advantage of a University early retirement scheme and ‘jumped ship’ to set up her own consultancy company, which she continues to run today. Her company provides consultancy support for admin systems development and website design/development.
Having joined the Institute of Science & Technology (IST) during her time as Lab Manager she continues to support the work of the Institute as Finance Officer and Deputy Chair.
Within her roles in the IST Joan was part of the team that obtained funding for and facilitated the establishment of HEaTED. She was also heavily involved in the IST team that gained a Science Council Licence for the award of CSci, RSci and RSciTech professional registration. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees and the Registration Authority Committee of the Science Council and is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Technician’s Development Centre.
Joan has a strong commitment to the development of career opportunities for the technical workforce and the enhancement of professionalisation of technicians, and this is exemplified in her support for a variety of initiatives that work towards those aims.
With thanks to Joan Ward for supporting the SDF’s Festival of Learning and Development 2021