Society of Oxford University Engineers

The alumni society for Oxford engineering graduates

August 2006: Jenkin Day 2006 Invitation

SOUE Jenkin Meeting, 2006

Friday and Saturday 22-23 September

This year we are repeating last year's format, combining an evening dinner on Friday, with the Jenkin Lecture and two other talks on the Saturday morning. The dinner will be in Mansfield, who can offer overnight accommodation with en-suite facilities in their brand-new building.

This year's Jenkin Lecturer will be Professor Rod Smith FREng (St John's 1967-70), who has had an academic career at Cambridge, Sheffield and Imperial College, and has been very active in many capacities as a technical adviser to railways. His title and synopsis are:

"Railways: the technical challenges of their renaissance"

Railways are deeply rooted in the nineteenth century and have declined in the face of competition from more convenient forms of transport, particularly the car, but increasingly the plane. However, railways still play a vital role in our transport system: London, for example, simply could not operate without the rail and tube networks.

Yet, if we look overseas, something we are perhaps reluctant to do because of false pride stemming from being the birthplace of the railways, there is evidence of a strong railway renaissance. In Japan rail has a 30% mode share of passenger kilometres, compared with about 6% in Britain: high-speed lines exist in several countries and many more are planned. The infrastructure is the key to providing a swift and reliable service, but it also dominates the costs of operating a railway. Just as the motorways revolutionised road transport, so dedicated high-speed lines can provide the reliability, speed and, importantly, the capacity, needed if our railways are to make a significant contribution to our transport problems.

This talk will largely steer clear of discussion of the disastrous privatisation of our railways in the UK and concentrate on the technical, economic and behavioural challenges posed by the provision of a railway system fit for the 21st century.

The two preceding speakers will be:

Dr David Gillespie, whose research at the Osney lab to reduce leakage flows is improving the efficiency of the gas turbine;

Professor Paul Buckley, who is investigating how the mechanical properties of polymers can be optimised for particular products, sometimes by the addition of nano-particles, thus reducing the amount needed.

An inexpensive buffet lunch (£8 per head) will be on offer after the Jenkin Lecture in the Atrium of the new Information Engineering Building. On the previous day the Department's research students about to start their third year will have been putting on a poster display in this atrium describing their work, and the exhibits will be left up for our inspection on the Saturday.

Saturday morning's timetable is:

0945-1015 : Coffee in the Thom Building foyer

1015-1045 : David Gillespie, "Healing leaks in a jet engine"

1045-1115 : Paul Buckley, "The place of plastics in sustainable engineering"

1115-1145 max : Annual General Meeting

a) Head of Department's Report
b) Secretary's Report
c) Treasurer's Report
d) Election of committee members (there are vacancies for 2 local members and one non-local)
e) Any other business

1145-1200 : Coffee

1200 : Nineteenth Jenkin Lecture: Rod Smith, "Railways: the technical challenges of their renaissance"

1300 : Buffet lunch in the atrium of the Information Engineering Building

The Friday night dinner

We propose "black tie" dress, which seems popular, but will not turn our noses up at anyone who comes dressed otherwise!

The place and time are Mansfield College, 7 for 7.30 (dinner in the Council Room, drinks beforehand in the adjacent lobby), and the menu is:

Tomato, mozzarella & basil salad

Crusted rack of lamb with a port & redcurrant sauce
(vegetarian alternative: Italian stuffed aubergines)

Assiette of desserts


The price of £44 includes two glasses of red or white wine, a glass of sherry beforehand and one of port to follow.

The college bar will be open after the dinner.

Accommodation is available in single rooms, with breakfast, at £39.50 per head, inclusive of VAT. The rooms are en-suite, with showers.

Mansfield will allow us to park up to six cars only on their site at a charge of £5.50 each, but some spaces will be available in the car park of 44, Banbury Road, for those who ask (see reply form).

Parking in Oxford on Saturday morning for those not staying overnight at Mansfield

Is very limited, as anyone who has recently been in Oxford will be well aware. We recommend the Park-and-Ride (parking now free but you pay 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. Limited car parking spaces may be available in the car park of 44 Banbury Road. This will need a permit, which we will send to those who ask for one, until spaces run out.

David Witt, Secretary SOUE, August 2006

(Click here to view or print the reply slip)