One of the best reasons to choose Birmingham - apart from its excellent facilities and international standing - is the Chemical Engineering Society (BUCES) which is the source of some of the most excellent times at university.
BUCES is a society run by the students of the department for the students of the department. Anyone is welcome to join and everyone is actively encouraged to get involved. BUCES goes to every effort to help you get the most out of University life and the great city that is Birmingham.
From fancy dress to fancy dinners and all that important job finding in-between, BUCES is there to give a helping hand. As a society BUCES is incredibly active with respect to sports, charity fundraising and social as well as industrial events.
The Chemical Engineering Sports teams are often combined with the other engineering/science disciplines at university and mainly compete in the Intra-league against other departments and societies. Teams include netball, hockey, football and rugby. In the past the teams have been very successful with netball summing top and hockey coming second in the intra-leagues at the University last year as well as rugby coming third in the Birmingham Cup. The teams are open to all abilities and it is a fun and social way to learn a new sport!.
In the first two semesters there are socials run, on average, once a week. These include activities such as bowling and ice-skating as well as nights out and fancy dinners.
When you arrive at Birmingham you will be assigned some ‘parents’ in their second year of study to help with settling in and ensure you have links with older students in the department. These ‘parents’ will be assigned to you and some other first year students forming a ‘family’. They are there to answer any questions you may have; whether academic or general, and to help you get the most out of your first year at university. You will meet them at the Fresher’s welcome dinner, which is the first big social event of the year.
Some other big socials include;
Frank Morton – students from different chemical engineering departments across the country and Ireland all descend upon one city for a day of sporting events and friendly rivalry. Birmingham has an excellent record of winning the overall event and is key to its history.
Industrial Dinner – this is a chance to mingle with company representatives looking to recruit you and have a great time in the process. Often held at one of the large hotels in the city centre this is a chance for you to get useful application tips, do some networking and figure out which companies you might be interested in applying to for internships as well as graduate positions.
Winter Ball – this is your chance to get dressed up have a slap up meal and enjoy a night of refined entertainment with your friends. It is held in the second term after Christmas so don’t forget your tux/cocktail dresses when you are packing to return for another busy term at Uni!
It is always good to give a little back and at Birmingham we try to support causes that are local and close to our hearts. Fundraising events include students running the Birmingham Half marathon, charity raffles and lunches as well as the society donating some money raised through event ticket sales.
The department as a whole has strong links with various industries in the engineering and financial sectors. The society organises presentations from company representatives and application days often held within the department itself directly aimed at chemical engineering students. As part of the course students also have the opportunity to visit industrial sites and guest speakers from different industries give talks in lectures.
International buddy scheme
The international buddy scheme is a project that BUCES is undertaking in the 2013/2014 academic year and hopes to continue in future years. The scheme aims to integrate and support new overseas students (particularly direct entry students) through provision of a contact, their ‘buddy’, in an older year. The new students are welcomed by the committee and their buddies with a lunch, other events will be put on during the year to ensure continuing contact opportunities for the students. The buddies will also be a contact for their groups throughout the year, encouraging their group to integrate with other direct entry students and home students and offering guidance and help where needed.
Applicant visit days
If you choose to apply to the University of Birmingham’s Chemical Engineering department you will be invited to an applicant visit day. On this day you will have an opportunity to look around the department as well as the rest of the University and halls of residence.
The members of the BUCES committee will be present at the applicant visit day to talk to, about not only chemical engineering but also life in Birmingham in general and will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
The society wishes all prospective students luck in their current studies and exams and hope you enjoy University life wherever you choose to study.