Society of Oxford University Engineers

The alumni society for Oxford engineering graduates

September 2004: Jenkin Day 2004 Invitation

S.O.U.E. Jenkin Day 2004

Our Annual Meeting this year will be on Saturday 23 October, starting at 10 am with two talks by graduates of the 1995-9 vintage. The AGM will follow, and then the Jenkin Lecture at noon, followed by lunch at St Anne's. This copies last year's format in part, but with an earlier start.

The Jenkin Lecturer this year is David Kenning, who retired last October after many years as Lecturer in the Department and Engineering Tutor at Lincoln. His title is:


Bubbles can be micro-actuators; they can cool down micro-electronic devices, clean up contaminated water, improve bio-separations, produce new materials, treat tumours and destroy nuclear reactors. Based on 40 years of bubble-watching, this talk reviews current prospects for their useful employment.

The speakers between 10 and 11 am both graduated from St Catherine's in 1999, Claire Edwards (née Lewis) and Gemma Long. Claire worked at a Corus steelworks in South Wales from graduation until recently, when she moved to pharmaceuticals at Glaxo-SmithKline in Kent ("from one production line to another", as she put it). Her title is

Developing the Engineer

Engineers are not created the instant they leave university. It is a continuous learning curve. Technology doesn't stand still and neither does the need to keep improving. It is a constant case of developing the engineer!

Gemma is a patent attorney, for which she finds our course an admirable background. Her title is:

The Law of Invention

A brief introduction to patent law in the UK including what constitutes an invention, how inventive does an invention really have to be, and who is the skilled man? Followed by a look at some of the weird and wonderful patents that have been published for the most unlikely of inventions.

The day's timetable is: (lectures and AGM in Lecture Room 1)

0930-1000 : Coffee in the Thom Building foyer

1000-1030 : Claire Edwards, "Developing the Engineer"

1030-1100 : Gemma Long, "The Law of Invention"

1100-1145 max : Annual General Meeting

a) Head of Department's Report
b) Secretary's Report
c) Treasurer's Report
d) Proposed New Constitution (See attached paper. If any member has serious reservations about any part of it, it would be appreciated if he could let the Secretary know before the meeting.)
e) Election of Officers (Peter Lund wishes to give up the Secretaryship after 16 years. The Committee proposes David Witt for Secretary, Clark Brundin for Treasurer and, if (d) is accepted, Simon Turner for Membership Secretary). Any other nominations should be sent to Peter Lund.
f) Election of committee members (there are four vacancies)
g) Any other business

1145-1200 : Coffee

1200 : Seventeenth Jenkin Lecture: David Kenning, "Bubbles"

1330 : Buffet lunch at St. Anne's (only a few minutes' walk from the Thom Building)

Lunch will cost £18, and there will be a cash bar for wine, beer, soft drinks etc.

Parking. There is an underground car-park at Gloucester Green. On-street parking in central Oxford is mostly metered and limited to 2 hours or less, but there are areas north from Norham Gardens where on Saturdays there is a 3-hour limit up to 1 pm and thereafter it is unregulated. Parking in Bardwell Road (½ mile up the Banbury Road from the Department) and northwards is largely unregulated. But we recommend the Park-and-Ride (60p to park + £1.70 return for the bus). Buses go from the Park-and-Ride car-parks at Pear-Tree and Water-Eaton (on the Woodstock and Banbury Roads respectively, about ½-1 mile north of the A40 by-pass), every 10 minutes or less, and stop close to the Department. There are also services from the south, east and west.

Please complete the cut-off slip below if you are coming (and certainly if you would like lunch!) and return to:

Nikki Johnson
Department of Engineering Science
Parks Road

Peter Lund, Secretary, 14 September 2004

Reply slip (please complete as appropriate)

I will be attending the Jenkin meeting on 23 October 2004

I will be bringing ...... guests

I would like to book ...... places for lunch at St. Anne's, and enclose a cheque for £...... (£18 per head), payable to SOUE.

Name :

College :

Years at Oxford :

Address (if different from on this mailing)

Revision of SOUE Constitution

The Committee thought that after 16 years the Constitution was in need of amendment in some respects, and asked a sub-committee of Clark Brundin, Alastair Howatson, Peter Lund and David Witt to draw up proposals, which are attached. The effects of the proposed changes are to remove some provisions which applied only at the foundation of the Society, and to correct anomalies which have appeared subsequently. Principal proposed changes are listed here:

Clause 2. "The Department" was formerly defined to be the "sub-faculty", which seemed not to be useful. They are inherently different bodies, and should not be confused.

Clause 3. The object of the Society was originally defined to be "to advance the interests and well-being of the University...". We thought it should be made clear that in this context "the University" included its alumni.

Clauses 6 and 15. Membership of the Society had previously been "open to" members of the academic staff, whether or not they were Oxford graduates. We thought the academic staff should be members automatically, and without subscription (since they do not cost the Society postage stamps). Where appropriate the Committee is empowered to extend such membership for life.

Clause 9. This repeats the previous situation. There are six such honorary members at the moment, one of them being Clark Brundin. If this clause is accepted, the Secretary will propose that "notwithstanding Clause 9, Clark Brundin be authorised to take full part in the proceedings of the Society".

Clause 16. A new office of Membership Secretary is proposed, since managing the list of members and their postal and e-mail addresses is no longer trivial (if it ever was).

Clause 17. It is proposed that the period of office of the President be extended from four to six years.

Clause 20. It has been felt desirable that the Chairman of the Sub-Faculty of Engineering Science should be an ex-officio member of the Committee, to help communication between the officers of the Society and the academic staff of the Department. The number of other Committee members is to be reduced by one to compensate.

Clause 24. This formerly required the Annual General Meeting to be held between 31 August and the start of Michaelmas Term. A recent modification added "normally" in order to legitimise a meeting in Michaelmas Term. We believe the proposed wording is a better reflection of current practice, permitting the AGM (and Jenkin Day) to be in term or vacation as desired.

10 September 2004

Proposed new constitution for the SOUE


  1. The name of the Society shall be "The Society of Oxford University Engineers".
  2. Interpretations

  3. "the Society" shall mean The Society of Oxford University Engineers.
    "the University" shall mean the University of Oxford.
    "the Committee" shall mean the Committee of the Society as provided for under Clause 20.
    "graduate member of the University" shall mean a person having a first degree or higher degree of the University.
    "the Department" shall mean the University's Department of Engineering Science.

    Where the male gender is used herein the female shall equally apply.

  4. Object

  5. The object of the Society shall be to advance the welfare and interests of the University and its alumni:

    1. through the encouragement of closer relations between graduate members of the University who are or have been associated with the profession of engineering and between members of the Department, all one with the other, and through fostering the interests which they have in common; and
    2. through keeping members of the Society informed of the professional activities of one another and of the activities of the Department and of issues which concern its welfare.
  6. Membership

  7. The members of the Society shall be those persons eligible for membership under Clause 5 who were present at the inaugural meeting of the Society in Oxford on 15 April 1988 and whose names are set out in the Schedule to the memorandum of Agreement of that date and such other persons who become members in accordance with Clauses 5, 6, 7 and 9.
  8. Membership of the Society shall, subject to Clause 8, be open to any member of the University who has satisfied the examiners for the University's second public examination in an Honour School which included engineering or the examiners for a higher degree of the University awarded on an examination or thesis which included engineering and to any graduate member of the University who, in the opinion of the Committee, is or has been closely associated with the profession of engineering.
  9. Members of the Department's academic staff shall be ex officio members of the Society. Such membership may be extended for life at the discretion of the Committee.
  10. Application for membership of the Society shall be made in writing to the Membership Secretary by the person wishing to be a member and he shall furnish such information regarding himself as the Society may require.
  11. The Committee shall have the right, as they see fit, to refuse any application for membership and to suspend or terminate the membership of any person.
  12. The Committee may grant honorary life membership of the Society to any person who they consider has made outstanding contribution to the advancement of engineering or who otherwise is or has been pre-eminent therein. An Honorary Member may attend and speak at meetings but may not otherwise take part in the proceedings.
  13. Associate Membership

  14. Any person pursuing an engineering course at the University shall become an associate member of the Society subject to payment of a subscription of ten pounds, or such other sum as the Committee may from time to time decide, to the Treasurer of the Society.
  15. An associate member shall be entitled to take part in all activities of the Society, including attending all meetings, but shall not be entitled to vote or to be an officer or member of the Committee.
  16. Any associate member who satisfies the examiners in accordance with Clause 5 shall thereupon, subject to Clause 8, become a member of the Society for life without further payment, notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 14.
  17. Should an associate member cease to pursue an engineering course at the University he shall no longer be an associate member and, upon so notifying the Treasurer, shall thereupon be reimbursed his subscription, save that, where the cessation is temporary, the Committee may, at its discretion, extend the period of associate membership. Should any associate member, having satisfied the examiners in accordance with Clause 5, not wish to become a member of the Society then, upon so notifying the Treasurer of the Society, he shall cease to be a member and shall be reimbursed his subscription. Except as provided for under this Clause no subscription for associate membership or any part thereof shall be reimbursable.
  18. Subscriptions

  19. The subscription for membership of the Society shall be for life and shall be fifteen pounds or such other amount as the Committee may from time to time decide, which sum shall be due and payable by a member to the Treasurer within two months of the member being notified by the Membership Secretary that his application for membership has been accepted under Clause 7 or, in the case of a member who was so notified during the year in which he obtained a first degree of the University, within that year. No subscription or any part thereof shall be reimbursable.
  20. Members under Clauses 6 and 9 shall not be liable for a subscription.
  21. Officers

  22. The officers of the Society shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Membership Secretary and a Treasurer. Of these, only two of the last three may be one and the same person.
  23. The President shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the Society to hold office for a period of six years. The retiring President shall not be eligible for re-election.
  24. The Vice-President shall be the Head of the Department for the time being or such other member of the Department as he may from time to time nominate to act in his stead, provided that, when a new Head of Department is appointed and assumes office, any nomination made by his predecessor shall thereupon lapse.
  25. The Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the Society each to hold office for three years and shall be eligible for re-election.
  26. Committee

  27. The Committee of the Society shall comprise a Chairman, who shall be the Vice-President of the Society, the Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer and eleven other members of the Society, five of whom shall normally be resident in or near Oxford and six of whom shall normally be resident elsewhere. In addition the Chairman of the Sub-Faculty of Engineering Science shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee.
  28. The Committee shall, subject to the control of Annual and Special General Meetings of the Society, but not so as to render invalid any proper act done by the Committee prior to a resolution relating thereto by such a meeting, administer the funds of the Society, all of which shall be devoted to the furtherance of its object, and conduct and manage all its affairs.
  29. The eleven other members, referred to in Clause 20, shall be elected at Annual General Meetings to serve for six years, but shall be then be ineligible for one year for re-election to the Committee.
  30. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members of the Society to the Committee, the total number of whom shall not exceed three at any time and who shall not vote on any matter in the Committee, and to fill any vacancies that may arise among their members, including officers. When such vacancy arises it shall be the subject for election at the next following Annual General Meeting of the Society.
  31. Meetings

  32. An Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held in Oxford, after 31st August each year and before the end of the next Michaelmas Full Term of the University, at a time and place determined by the Committee, for the purposes of electing officers and members of the Committee, discussing any matter duly submitted to the meeting and receiving the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts.
  33. A Special General Meeting of the Society shall be held in Oxford at any time if required by the Committee or upon written application to the Secretary by any twenty members of the Society.
  34. Notice of any Annual or Special General Meeting of the Society shall be sent to all members not less than four weeks before the date of the meeting and shall state the agenda thereof. In the case of a member resident overseas, notice need only be sent to such postal address in the United Kingdom or such e-mail address as he may provide.
  35. Candidates for election as officers of the Society and as other members of the Committee may be nominated each by two members of the Society. Such nominations shall be in writing and shall reach the Secretary at least one week before the advertised date at which the election is to take place. The procedure for elections shall be determined by the Secretary.
  36. The Chairman of any Annual or Special General Meeting of the Society shall be the President of the Society for the time being, or failing him, the Vice-President. All questions and issues at such meetings and at meetings of the Committee shall be decided by simple majority of those present and voting save that, for the election of officers and members of the Committee, members not present may vote by proxy for specific nominated candidates by notifying the Secretary in writing of their vote at least one day prior to the date of the meeting. In the event of an equality of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote. For an Annual or Special General Meeting, a quorum shall be 20 members, including officers and Committee members. For a meeting of the Committee, a quorum shall be 8 members.
  37. When, at any meeting, there is not a quorum within 30 minutes following the time when the meeting was due to start the meeting shall be adjourned to a future day, the time and place being decided by the members present and being such as will allow sufficient time for notice thereof to be given which shall, in the case of an Annual or Special General Meeting, be given in accordance with Clause 26. Where such a meeting is an Annual General Meeting, the adjourned meeting may take place after the end of the period defined in Clause 24.
  38. Annual Lecture

  39. The Committee shall each year invite a suitable person to deliver a lecture to the Society in Oxford on a subject of general engineering interest or notable engineering achievement, which shall be named "The Jenkin Lecture". The particular subject for each lecture and the person to deliver it shall be decided by the Committee, as shall the time, place and other arrangements therefor, though the day shall normally be that of the Annual General Meeting.
  40. Reports

  41. At each Annual General Meeting of the Society the Secretary shall report on the activities of the Society during the preceding year and the Treasurer shall present a written statement of accounts for that year of which copies shall be available to members.
  42. Amendment to Constitution

  43. The Constitution may be amended only by a resolution of an Annual or Special General Meeting of the Society carried by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting, provided that notice of the proposed amendment shall be given at the same time as the notice of the meeting.