Freshers’ Welcome Dinner and Birmingham Half Marathon

An event which includes something for everyone and is viewed by many as one of the best nights in the ChemEng calendar, this year’s Freshers’ Welcome Dinner did not disappoint.

The sheer number of onesies – due to an animal twist applied to the new buddy scheme - on show throughout the day in lectures was evidence enough to reassure that the good name of chemical engineering students at Birmingham was going to be upheld by the new recruits.

As the jungle descended on the atrium a feast of curries, drinks and finger food synonymous with formal ChemEng events, animal related and mathematical quizzes and the first chance to get to know peoples ‘families’ – 2 second year ‘parents’ with 7 or 8 1st year ‘children’, providing academic and social support - for the year, occupied and entertained until 7pm when the atrium closes.

From here the night got going with welcome drinks being hosted at various parents’ houses providing the perfect opportunity for families to get to know one other better in a less formal surrounding, but one quiet enough that you can actually hear each other speak… well at most of the houses anyway.

With no less than £2,000 being invested in 1 hour, Urban Village was the next venue to be graced with thirsty sharks, tigers and unicorns alike.

The night finished, for most, at Australian bar ‘Walkabout’ on Broad Street. Successfully avoiding causing a ‘rumble in the jungle’, (had to get it in somewhere) such as that seen when certain England and Australian cricketers bumped into each other at the same venue, it was a great finale to cap off a top night. Oh and there was a bouncy castle.


This year to raise money for Acorns Children’s Hospice, BUCES organised students from the Chemical Engineering department to run the Birmingham Half Marathon. Acorns is a great local cause, with a hospice in Selly Oak, they offer high level care to life limited and threatened children.

20 to 30 students across 2nd, 3rd and 4thyear, donned their white Acorns vests and ran the half marathon. All managed to complete the challenge, even Dan Symes, the postgraduate representative - most of us passed him at the 5th mile, huddled in a ball by a bush. He still managed to finish the run with a twisted knee in 2 hours 20 minutes, so well done Dan!

Through generous donations from family and friends, ticket sales for the welcome dinner, ‘bucket shaking’ and running a fantasy football league competition, we raised £1000 for Acorns. This was the first year we had run the half marathon as an event through BUCES, so hopefully next year we can encourage more students to take part and raise even more money.

Upcoming charity events in the Chemical Engineering department in the next few weeks are a charity raffle at the Industrial dinner, a cake day and an international lunch buffet.