Conference History

The History of Technical Managers in Universities
(Engineering & Technology)

TMU is an informal voluntary association of Technical Managers and Supervisors working within Engineering & Technology, to support a wide range of disciplines in Universities throughout the United Kingdom.

How it all started
In 1992 a member of Brighton University put together a proposal to a number of Engineering Technical Managers across the UK for a conference and subsequent network of like-minded people. The idea was met with unilateral enthusiasm and Richard Verrall from Sussex University got the group on their way. Without Richards initial vision and hard work E.M.U would not have been formed. Jim Horsfield of Sheffield University, worked together with others, to host our very first Engineering Managers in Universities Conference.

Founder members –
Brighton, Cambridge, East Anglia, Glasgow, Hull, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, UMIST, York.

The first Annual Engineering Managers in Universities National Conference Host  Group Picture

old emu member



Between 1992 and 2013, we were known as EMU, Engineering Managers in Universities.

EMU logo

In 2009, we became a special interest group of the IST

IST logo

Unfortunately in 2010 and 2011 we were not able to run conferences.

After a lot of work and joining forces with other groups, (IST, SLab, UBMA, TMU & UCLAS)
PTSE was formed to organise conferences. The first in Sheffield in 2012 and then in Liverpool in 2013.

In 2013, at our AGM, it was agreed to rebrand. To try to encompass an ever changing role of Engineering and Technology in H.E. and TMU was formed. 2014 saw the first joint association conference, hosted by UCLAS  at Strathclyde University in  Glasgow and jointly organised with UBMA and TMU.


1992, Sheffield University
1993, Manchester University
1994, Cambridge University
1995, Glasgow University
1996, Hull University
1997, Newcastle University
1998, Oxford University
1999, East Anglia University
2000, York University
2001, UMIST
2002, Southampton University
2003, Universities of Dundee & Abertay
2004, Cambridge University
2005, Sheffield University
2006, Imperial College London
2007, Loughborough University
2008, York University
2009, Aberdeen University
2010, No conference
2011, No conference
2012, Sheffield University
2013, Liverpool University
2014, Strathclyde University Glasgow
2015, Newcastle University
2016, University of Sheffield
2017, University of Bristol


TMU has a growing membership and continues to welcome new members who are in a senior technical, a supervisory or a management role in any discipline where their work has a technology or engineering element.

TMU is a very varied and diverse collective that thrives because of the informality of its network, where individuals and groups can benefit from advice and experience of colleagues working in like environments.

TMU members get together just once a year for a conference held at a university in the UK, where they can enjoy and participate in a relevant programme of presentations, talks and discussion that encourage and support collective networking opportunities.

TMU is not a formal professional body, and does not have a formal committee or hierarchy. Its administration currently consists of just a voluntary chair and deputy chair of its conference organising team.

TMU does not have any membership fees.

TMU aims to:
• Enable sharing of best practice
• Add to individual and corporate knowledge
• Broaden understanding of our technical profession
• Foster a collegiate spirit across its membership
• Act as a focus for feeding legitimate and common concerns with respect to our support for teaching and research in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to the Institute of Science & Technology, of which TMU is a registered special interest group