We are delighted to announce that the University's Development and Alumni Relations Office has named Mark Hipwell (MEng Civil Engineering, 2013) as Volunteer of the Month.


It’s a genuine pleasure working with Mark. His volunteering relationship with the University started at the 2016 EPS Societies' Awards where he attended on behalf of his employers who were sponsoring the event. Since then he's done tremendous work with students in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; from icebreaker activities at the VC Challenge, sharing his professional expertise and love of bridges with Civil Engineering students, encouraging diversity in STEM and much more. Now in his current role as HS2 Curzon Street Station Interface Manager, he volunteers not only at the University but also is involved in outreach and volunteering with organisations across Birmingham to encourage young people to consider a career in engineering.

Here's what Mark had to say when interviewed for his accolade:

Why do you volunteer for the University?
It’s incredibly important to give back to universities when you start into the world of work. I remember how useful and important it was having that connection to people who were in the industry. Being able to help gives me confidence in my own abilities and develops my communication skills. Plus Grace Surman, the Alumni Relations Manager for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, often provides cake and coffee…

What is the best thing about volunteering at the University?
I get a really adrenaline kick from engaging with young enthusiastic STEM-gineers. It’s tough at university for students; looking for jobs, social media bombarding them, constantly comparing themselves to each other, a tough job market! So being able to talk, engage and try and help (even if it now feels a long time ago) makes me feel like I’m doing something beyond my day job.

It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to come back to Birmingham and volunteer; you work for a long time and it’s so great to throw in fun, engaging volunteering days to get that warm fuzzy feeling.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering? 
It’s so hard fitting volunteering into a day job, I totally get that. We’re all getting busier, but the best days I’ve had in the last one or two years have been working with the University. If you’re interested in signing up, bring a smile and your life experience and that’s all you need.

Thank you for all you do Mark!

More information on the University's Volunteers of the Month can be found on the Alumni website. If you'd like to get involved please email Grace Surman to get started.