Alan Brownlee, the Department of Medicine’s Lab & Facilities Manager, is retiring at the end of June after 36 years’ service. He joined as a laboratory technician in 1980, supporting basic research in endocrinology and later working on the development of specialised diagnostic assays for kidney disease, before moving into the position of senior technician and then Chief Technician, supporting the Department as a whole. Alan was promoted to Laboratory Manager in 2006 and simultaneously took on the important work of Departmental Health and Safety. His role has continued to evolve in an ever-expanding Department into the invaluable Laboratory & Facilities Manager position that he currently holds.
Alan has always been supportive and willing to go that “extra mile” – irrespective of whether he was assisting a senior professor, junior technician or a visiting student. He has given patiently, tirelessly and selflessly to the University, remaining a calm and dependable source of advice and help with an almost unique ability to identify solutions to difficulties before they become serious problems. His prodigious experience, diplomacy, problem-solving skills and ability to bring out the best everyone he deals with have been particularly evident during the highly complex refurbishment of the Department on Level 5.
Without Alan, the Department would have been a much poorer place for all its staff and students. Head of Department Ken Smith said, ‘we will all miss working with him, and in thanking him we wish him a long, active and enjoyable retirement’.