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Susan Hilton

Advanced Technician (Teaching)

Advanced Technician (Teaching) in the Department of Physics+44 (0) 191 33 43595


Responsibilities within the department
  • Current Technical Supervisor of the Level 1 Teaching Laboratories
  • Database Records of all Level 1 Students
  • Administration and documentation (including Risk Assessment) for the Laboratory
  • Summer Schools/Outreach Activities
  • Technical Support for Academic Staff presenting demonstrations in lectures
  • Maintaining/servicing of laboratory experiments and all Level 1 laptop computers
  • Liaising with academics in the Level 1 laboratory team and the Teaching Administrator
Personal Statement

After leaving school I immediately commenced employment in the Physics Department on the 1st September 1975 as a trainee technician. This involved working in areas such as electronics, mechanics, and audio visual. Within these areas I gained a wide variety of knowledge and practical skills still used today. I then went on to work for Prof K.E.Turver (Head of Gamma Ray Astronomy research group) for approximately 26 years. This involved construction of telescopes that would later be shipped to Utah Salt Lake City. In the latter years working for the research group I was heavily involved in the building/construction of the largest telescope which had ever been built in Durham, this being the Mk6 Telescope. This was in fact so large we had to build it off site within a unit at Darlington. This was then shipped off to Narrabri Australia.

I then joined the Teaching Laboratory Technical Team in 2001 where I currently oversee the day to day running of Level 1 Laboratories. This involves providing technical support for undergraduates and academic staff for activities such as Skills/Discovery/ Full Experiment Sessions which run in the Michaelmas and Epiphany terms as well as the bridge projects that run in Easter term. I am responsible for sourcing, ordering, maintaining and commissioning laboratory equipment. I liaise with academics in the Level 1 laboratory team to plan the year’s activities. In addition I prepare the laboratories for use in tutorials and group activities. Outside of term I provide technical support to the department, with particular emphasis on summer schools and outreach activities.

Technical Skills
  • Manufacturing of simple mechanical products
  • Repair and testing of laboratory equipment including PAT testing.
  • Administration of all level 1 documentation