SOUE News Issue 3

Lubbock Days, 2003 and 2004

29th Lubbock Lecture, 23 May 2003

This was given by Dr Paul Drayson, Chief Executive of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals Ltd, and entitled "Building a world-class company from Oxford Engineering Science: the PowderJect Story".

The PowderJect company had been formed to exploit Brian Bellhouse's invention of a new method of getting medical drugs into the bloodstream, by forcing particles into the skin with a blast of air released by a rupturing diaphragm. It was envisaged that this would be more effective than swallowing pills, and less distressing to the patient than needle injection. The company had now broadened into pharmaceuticals more generally, and Dr Drayson gave us the story of how this had happened.

The main lecture was preceded by Lionel Tarassenko outlining the Department's plans for an Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and two related research-in-progress talks:

Stephen Duncan on "Controlling ultrasound treatment for cancer"

Lionel Tarassenko on "Home monitoring of chronic conditions using GPRS mobile phone technology".

30th Lubbock Lecture, 21 May 2004

This was given by Sir David Brown, Chairman of Motorola UK and President of the IEE, and entitled "Engineering in the Information Age".

Sir David, who had worked in the tele-communications and electronics industry since graduating in 1972, had joined Motorola in 1991, initially to direct UK operations on the "infrastructure" for the mobile phone network, and since 1992 as Chairman of the UK Company.

He contended that we were now in the "Information Age", which had succeeded the Industrial Age of the last two centuries, and he discussed what this meant for the nature of engineering, and the challenges and opportunities facing today's engineers, and society in general.

The lecture was preceded by two research-in-progress talks on information engineering topics:

Paul Newman on "Autonomous navigation in unknown environments"

Stephen Roberts on "Information, complexity and learning".

Lubbock Day Project Exhibition 2003

There were 10 entries, and SOUE prizes of £100 each went to:

Hardware section: Alan Coombs, LMH, for "Multi-axis gyro-stabilised camera platform" (a most elegant marriage of mechanical engineering and electronics)

Poster section: Michael Chappell, Univ, for "The intelligent land-mine detector".

Runner-up was Tim Moore-Barton, St. Peter's, for "Optimum sail design", and other prizes went to:

Edward Allen, Magdalen, "Sound production in flue organ pipes"

Andrew Cotter, Wadham, "An articulated finger"

Marcus D'Arcy, Trinity, "Self-regulating compact heater"

Philip Valvona, St. Peter's, "Control of 3 stepper motors for automotive applications"

Eugenie Von Tunzelmann, Magdalen, "Augmentation of video sequences".

Our thanks to the judges, who were:

Alex Macro, Mansfield, 1991-5;

Angus Palmer, BNC, 1984-7;

Simon Turner, Lincoln, 1984-7.

Lubbock Day Project Exhibition 2004

There were nine entries, and SOUE prizes of £120 each went to:

Hardware section: Charles Bibby, LMH, for "Visual tracking at sea", with a gimballed camera, and a computer simulation of the visual tracking of small vessels in a rough sea.

Poster section: Richard Scott-Smith, Keble, for "Giant Robotic Spider", fortunately a design study rather than the real thing!

Other prizes went to:

Nick McSloy, Magdalen, "The effect of shock waves and particle penetration in the skin on cell viability following gene gun delivery"

David Latham, Trinity, "Coaching aid for ergometer rowing"

Russell Whitehead, St Anne's, "Friction effects in cable networks".

Again, our thanks to the judges, who were:

Neil Childs, Pembroke, 1991-5;

Tamsin Lishman, St Hilda's, 1995-9;

Andrew Pyle, Balliol, 1995-9;

Hugo Spowers, Oriel, 1978-81.

Note that LMH have taken a top prize for two years running. In the four years we have been running this competition so far, Balliol have picked up four prizes, Magdalen and St Edmund Hall three each, and 13 other colleges one or two each. Nine colleges have yet to produce even an entry, but perhaps it would be tactless to name them here!

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