Staff Awards 2024 – Winners announced at St George’s Hall

Pictures by Gareth Jones

The historic St George’s Hall played host to this year’s Staff Awards 2024 ceremony, where staff were recognised for their outstanding dedication and achievements.

Around 350 staff attended the event with University of Liverpool alumna, Mairead Smyth (pictured below), senior reporter and presenter for BBC North West Tonight and Politics North West, returning to host the evening’s awards.

Once again, there were a record number of nominations with a total of 752 received from individuals and teams, breaking last year’s record of 527.

Staff were recognised across 20 categories with two new awards this year – ‘Campus Champion of the Year’, which celebrates those who have had a positive impact on buildings or the environment around campus, and the ‘Technicians Award for Excellence’, which recognises the critical contributions our technical community makes across the institution.

Unsung Hero

One of the most popular awards of the evening amongst colleagues is the ‘Unsung Hero’ award, which was awarded to Michael Jones (pictured below) from the School of Physical Sciences.

Since 2009, Michael has played a crucial role in the School of Physical Sciences’ outreach, working to coordinate, facilitate, design, deliver and evaluate an incredible range of outreach to over 100,000 students. The annual ‘Girls in Maths’ event has seen 589 young female students travel to the University to take part in mathematical workshops and a careers carousel, staffed by women outstanding in their fields. Michael delivers events such as the Year 8/9 Maths Masterclass series and the monthly Maths Club.

Colleagues recognised Michael for his effort and passion shown in the engagement of his students, with more than 70 GCSE and A level students attending the Maths Club each month. He is a member of the Liverpool Mathematical Society Council, and a trustee of Mathematical Education on Merseyside, a charity which provides extra-curricular maths provision for local students.

Technicians’ Award for Excellence

The Kalambo Falls Team (pictured below) from the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures were team winners of the first Technicians’ Award for Excellence.

In September 2023 a team led by Professor Larry Barham published a major article in Nature, which has had phenomenal international coverage. It discussed an extraordinary discovery at Kalambo Falls in Zambia of the oldest structural use of wood in the archaeological record, from at least 476,000 years ago. The The outstanding contribution of the team of technicians who worked on the project supported archaeological science, field work and extra-curricular activities for students in photogrammetry as well as IT.

The team’s contribution to the discovery included the use of new techniques for underwater photography, replication experiments for the ancient wood, infrared spectroscopy to assess  chemical composition and videos of exceptional clarity, garnering international media interest and significance.

Campus Champion of the Year

The first individual winner of Campus Champion of the Year Award was John Roberts (pictured above) from Building Management and Cleaning Services. Colleagues nominated John for going above and beyond his role as Building Manager to provide an excellent service to staff, students and external stakeholders at the Eleanor Rathbone Building. Colleagues have mentioned how the Eleanor Rathbone Building simply would not function without John’s caring, supportive and helpful personality.

From across departments, the Eurovision Campus Delivery team (pictured above) won the team award for Campus Champions of the Year. The team pulled together  to create a unique experience on campus for students in the lead-up to Eurovision with a programme of live music and craft events and the renaming of Abercomby to ABBA cromby Square, with media interest. Supporting a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ project, the team made the events a great success, capitalising on new partnerships and connections which can be built on for the future.

Remarkable commitment

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Jones, presented the awards and congratulated all those recognised for their hard work and commitment towards the University: There are countless examples of exceptional work right across the University. Our Staff Awards celebrate   the skills, expertise and innovations that make this University so impactful, delivering the very best of teaching and research.”

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted in this year’s Staff Awards. There are so many notable achievements and every single person nominated should be incredibly proud of themselves.”

The full list and details of all the winners and commended colleagues have been published on the Staff Awards intranet site, which is also accessible from the front page of the staff intranet.

Full photos from the evening are now available here (Staff log-in may be required). (Pictures by Gareth Jones).