Royal Society success for Imperial technician


Nana with his Hauksbee Award certificate

Nana Asante Asamoah-Danso was recently awarded the Hauksbee Award, for working to encourage young people to consider careers as technicians.

In his words “I have a prevailing passion to inspire the next generation of technicians.” Nana currently works as Bioengineering Laboratory Support Technician in the Department of Bioengineering, having joined Imperial in 2017 at the National Heart and Lung Institute.  

Nana won as part of the 100+ Gatsby Technicians: We Make the Difference campaign, for which he represents Imperial. The Gatsby Technicians won for their tireless efforts in tackling the critical technical skills shortage and their invaluable contributions to various industries. The Hauksbee Award recognises outstanding achievement in science for those working behind the scenes and is named after Francis Hauksbee, Issac Newton’s laboratory assistant at the Royal Society.  

Who are the Gatsby Technicians? 

Nana volunteered to support The Gatsby Technicians initiative on launch in 2021. The campaign was founded by David Sainsbury in 2021 to increase awareness of understanding and consideration of technician roles – and the technical education pathways that lead to them – among 11–16 year-olds, as well as their parents and teachers.  

Nana selected to support the campaign at the highest “Gold” level of participation and deliver a completely new engagement project from scratch. He took part in a ten-week training course, which equipped Nana with the necessary presentation and content creation skills to deliver a live workshop.  

Inspiring audiences at the Science Museum 

Since 2022 Nana has been delivering monthly live workshop sessions at the Science Museum for school groups and museum audiences, as well as part of the 2023 Great Exhibition Road Festival. “I showcase my technical career and hopefully inspire them to consider becoming technicians as their chosen future careers.”  

Nana begins each session with a quiz, and awards medals as prizes for any audience members who answer correctly. He then follows this with an interactive section – “I particularly enjoy showcasing the extraordinary wonders and versatility of microbiology through the practical activity, and their incredible benefits in improving sustainable bioproduction.” Each audience member follows a simplified laboratory protocol to practice their laboratory streaking techniques on yeast agar plates using PPE, sterile inoculation loops, and assorted food colouring gels (representing biological pigments). Plate streaking is a common laboratory technique frequently performed by some Bioengineering researchers working in the field of microbiology. 

In addition to his regular Science Museum workshops, Nana has also been profiled promoting a career as a technician in the New Scientist and on the Technicians: We Make the Difference website. 


Gordon Short

Gordon Short
Communications Division


Outreach, Engineering-Bioeng
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