EPS Societies' Awards 2014 Winners

These Awards act as a reminder of the hard work and dedication undertaken by students to make the University a better, more vibrant place to study and play.

The outstanding winners of these inaugural awards are:

Creative and Exception Event Award

EWB Birmingham: Engineers Without Borders 

Engineers Without Borders
EWB charity live mic night “Pear Jam” is a brilliant event. It has become a tradition for Engineers Without Borders to organise a charity band night twice a year to raise funds for international development volunteering programmes. The most recent Pear Jam took place on 1st May 2014 and was a fun night with seven live performances, delicious homemade cakes and cookies, pretty hand-made jewellery sales, and a raffle with great prizes. As it took place just before exams, it required a lot of effort and perfect time management from the committee members in order to make sure publicity, venue, raffle prizes, performances and sound systems were sorted nicely in time, and most importantly - to make sure that this break from revision is worthwhile for everyone attending the event! The committee worked all together, using everyone’s strengths, which led to a great turn-out raising around £200 for EWB-UK placement programmes, for which a number of our society members have applied. Now we wait, fingers crossed, for our members to successfully get the places and go do wonderful things in developing countries by applying their engineering or physical-sciencerelated knowledge, while we can support them not only with skills and knowledge, but financially too! 

Highly Commended: Emelia Galkowsla & the Ball Organising Committee, PPS: Poynting Physical Society 


Outreach Award

Callum Bellhouse, AstroSoc

Callum Bellhouse

Callum has been a cornerstone of the astronomical society for the past three years. Throughout this time he has insisted on the importance of outreach. After his lead role last year with the society he has this year taken on the role of Outreach Officer. Within this role he has organised a number of events with local schools to take astronomy to young children. Each of these generated an overwhelmingly positive response, with many of the schools requesting the society to return. As well as this he organised an outreach event held at the new Library of Birmingham which attracted a crowd of over 1,000 visitors. Most recently he has also taken on a voluntary role at the ThinkTank Planetarium confirming his enthusiasm for engaging the public with astronomy and furthering his career as a hopeful science communicator of the future. He has fantastic presence as a speaker. He is authoritative and clear and above all informative. He takes open questions from the floor from complete beginners to astronomy to the semi-professional enthusiast. He knows his stuff, but is also exceptional at communicating it.

Highly Commended: Emma Russell, EWB Birmingham: Engineers Without Borders 


Volunteer of the Year

James Girling, BUCES: Birmingham University Chemical Engineering Society 

James GirlingJames has been a dedicated committee member for two years and has always been passionate in his efforts to help BUCES succeed, often taking on other tasks to help fellow committee members with their roles. This year he has been charity representative and has helped BUCES raise an impressive £2,200 for Acorns Children’s Hospice, more than has ever been raised through BUCES before! He began his hard work over the summer entering over 20 students, including himself into the Birmingham half marathon. Throughout the year he is never to be seen without his charity bucket and through raffles, a sports day, a fantasy football league and other socials he has exceeded all expectations. James is on a year in industry next year and will be greatly missed in the department and BUCES would like to thank him for his continuous hard work and eager attitude.

Highly Commended: James Powis, EWB Birmingham: Engineers Without Borders


EPS Community Award

Bella Dunovska, Computer Science Society

Bella Dunovska

In addition to being an outstanding student in Computer Science, Bella has been an outstanding contributor to School culture through her actions as International Student Representative for CSS. In this role she has organised events which have welcomed all students and ensured a cohesive community where both home and international students feel welcome. In addition, she has done excellent work as a PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) leader - providing study support for first year computer science students and also is one of our student ambassadors for applicant visit days. In summary - Bella is academically one of our best students but she has also contributed immensely
to our culture as a vibrant and inclusive school.

Unfortunately Bella was not able to collect her Award on the night but her friend Kathryn Maclachlan accepted it on her behalf.

Highly Commended: UBRacing 


Industrial Award

James Barlow, BUCES: Birmingham University Chemical Engineering Society

James BarlowAs this year’s Industrial Representative, James has raised over £8,000 in sponsorship, much more than any other year. This funding has helped to subsidise many events, without which many would not have been possible. He also organised one of our biggest and most impressive events to date: the Industrial Dinner, a chance for students to network with engineering companies. A lot of companies came to the School that day to conduct interviews and this event gave an extra opportunity for people to make a lasting impression. James also organises and meets companies on a weekly basis, welcoming them into the School and organising career presentations and application discussions. In particular he has secured a great relationship with both BP and Exxon and we have heard nothing but praise from their industrial representatives. James also oversaw the organisation of a sponsored ‘BP Sports Day’ which facilitated a further £100 to be raised for Acorns Children’s Hospice. He gained sponsorship for Frank Morton, which is becoming harder to achieve each year, and yet the society received more than ever, reducing the ticket price of each of the 150 members who went to Glasgow by approximately £10. All in all James has ensured far greater levels of industrial activity within the School, allowing more students than ever to secure placements or graduate jobs. He has been a great asset to the committee and will be greatly missed next year.

Highly Commended: Alexander Hall, CivSoc


Inspirational Committee Member

Katie Aiston, BUCES: Birmingham University Chemical Engineering Society

Katie AistonHaving been on BUCES’ committee for 3 years now we have never seen a President so well organised, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Under her leadership the committee this year has excelled, expanded and to top it off has just won a bid to host the Frank Morton Chemical Engineering Sports Day at the University of Birmingham next year. A fantastic chair and an even better person: we could not be more proud of Katie. It has been a privilege to be part of the committee with Katie at the helm.

Highly Commended: Agota Mockuté, EWB Birmingham: Engineers Without Borders


Role Model of the Year

James Hatherell, UBRacing

James HatherellJames’ dedication to the team is undeniable – he gives up all his spare time at all hours to enable the car to be designed and built. He’s in the lab before lectures start, between classes, and until late at night. His work ethic is one to be admired and looked up to; the car wouldn’t be there without him. If it is said that an individual can ‘turn water to wine’ then it usually means that they have a habit of delivering a miracle when one is most needed. Judging by the amount of miracles he manages to pull out of his hat James could be described as a borderline alcoholic! Even in the most testing and stressful of circumstances James always seems to have a plan and be able to motivate people to work to the best of their ability, even if they have been doing that for 10 hours prior as well. All in all James is a very good individual who deserves some recognition for the hard effort and vast quantity of work he has put in throughout the year. Simply put: he is the smartest yet most modest person we have ever met.

Highly Commended: Philippa Hornsby, UBRacing 


Head of College Idea of the Year

Phoebe Facer, MathSoc

Phoebe FacerThe new “Family Scheme” run by MathSoc for first years has been a great success! The scheme involved every 1st year student (or “child”) being allocated a “Mum” and “Dad” who were students from 2nd year or upwards. These “families” were the foundation for getting 1st years to know each other, with many students highlighting that they wouldn’t have known the people they are friends with now if it wasn’t for the family scheme. It also acted as a platform for socials with the families meeting up before heading to events, and as a way to get support from the older students in the department. The scheme has received compliments from prospective students’ parents during AVD’s, where some parents said they had never heard of anything like it and think that it’s a wonderful idea. The success this year has led to many “children” being interested in becoming “parents” for next year’s scheme as well as current parents continuing in their roles. We hope that it will be an even bigger and better success next year!

Highly Commended: UBRacing 


Circles of Influence Endeavour Award

Joanna Maguire, CivSoc

Joanna MaguireJo is nominated for her endless dedication to CivSoc and the School of Civil Engineering, boosting the name and encouraging young female engineers, and her involvement in international development through volunteering oversees. Firstly, Jo is Chair of CivSoc: she has been successfully leading the society by organising the committee and bringing out the best of them, coming up with ideas for creative new events that would not only benefit the members, but also a wider society. Secondly, Joanna is an undergraduate ambassador for the School of Civil Engineering, therefore works during Open and Applicant Visit Days chatting with prospective students and encouraging them to choose engineering. In addition, she has led two short filming projects: “A Day in Life of a Civil Engineering Student” for the School and National Women in Engineering Day for the wider College. Furthermore, Jo has dedicated a massive amount of her time attending, organising and publicising events for female engineers or going to schools and chatting with girls about considering a career in engineering. Last but not the least, Joanna has spent her summer in Cameroon volunteering through an Engineers Without Borders placement, applying her engineering skills by helping local Cameroonians with their irrigation system and health and sanitation problems. All in all, Joanna is a capable young professional, and inspires many to always keep on improving.

Highly Commended: Andrew Glencross, UBRacing 


Most Improved Society 2013/14


MathSoc ImprovedFor the last two (or more) years it is unfortunate that MathSoc virtually did not exist. This year’s MathSoc have been phenomenal. MathSoc has been transformed by a highly motivated, proactive and organised committee under the tireless and devoted leadership of Phoebe Facer. During Welcome Week the society organised a Where’s Wally treasure hunt and a “Big Brother and Big Sister” buddy system was set up. To add to this, a family scheme was introduced to provide help and support to 1st years, as well as form a basis for socials, with compliments about the scheme coming from 1st years and even prospective students’ parents! Subsequently MathSoc organized pub crawls, quizzes and numerous other social events. They also organised a very successful careers and networking event, with a number of alumni invited back as well as graduate employers, and have made links with the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). Alongside these events, the committee introduced the MathSoc Spring Ball at the Jam House, a highly successful event where everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. MathSoc has forged good relationships with staff and students and enhanced the feeling of belonging that is so integral now to the School of Mathematics: MathSoc has been firmly re-established in the heart of the mathematics community at the University of Birmingham. They truly are an asset to the School and the strength of this committee is reflected in the new committee for next year, with even more promise for 2014/15!