Society of Oxford University Engineers

The alumni society for Oxford engineering graduates

August 2013: Jenkin Day 2013 Invitation

SOUE Jenkin Meeting, Saturday 21 September 2013

The Jenkin Lecture, as previously announced, will be on Saturday 21 September 2013, at 2.30 pm, entitled:

Weather and climate prediction: science and application across timescales

by Dr Andy Brown of the Meteorological Office

Synopsis: Dramatic improvements have been made in the quality of weather and climate predictions over the last two decades. For example, three day weather forecasts are now as accurate as one day forecasts were twenty years ago. Complex numerical models are at the heart of the prediction systems. This talk will focus on the science behind these models and the commonalities and differences between the challenges faced for weather and climate prediction. The wide and increasing range of applications for weather and climate intelligence will also be discussed.


10.00     Coffee, in the Thom Building foyer
10.15 Jin-Chong Tan: Engineered porous materials: fundamentals to emergent applications
10.45 Another talk, to be announced
12.00 Annual General Meeting (see below for Agenda, note re constitution changes, and last year's minutes)
13.30 Lunch in the Holder Common Room
14.30 The 26th Jenkin Lecture
15.45 Tea, in the Thom Building foyer

(Click here to view or print the reply slip; please reply by 16 September)


The latest issue, number 11, is now on the Society's website,

Proposed change in SOUE's Constitution

The University's relationship with its alumni has changed since the Society was founded in 1988. All colleges and many departments now maintain relationships with their alumni through their own administrative organisations, rather than through an independent body such as the SOUE has hitherto been.

Many colleges regard all their alumni as belonging to a "college society", whose committee and officers are drawn partly from their alumni and partly from the college itself, though the society is based in and run from the college. This seems a useful model to follow.

It is therefore proposed to amend the constitution to:

  1. include all alumni automatically as Full Members, and all students as Associate Members;
  2. abolish entry subscriptions (the committee has already done this, as it is entitled to do by the present constitution);
  3. rely on e-mail for all communication with our members, since posting things to an increased number of them would be impossibly expensive;
  4. make some other minor amendments, including a reduction in the period of committee service from six years to three.

A revised constitution has been drafted by the committee, but still needs some refinement. The version to be put to the AGM will be posted on our website in advance, and paper copies distributed at the meeting.

Society of Oxford University Engineers, Annual General Meeting, 2013

In the Department of Engineering Science, Lecture Room 1, on 21 September 2013, 12 Noon


  1. Minutes of last year's meeting (appended).
  2. Head of Department's Report.
  3. Secretary's Report.
  4. Accounts and Treasurer's Report.
  5. Revision of the Constitution (see note above).
  6. Election of Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary.
    Clark Brundin and Simon Turner have indicated that they are willing to stand for further terms as Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively, and are proposed by the Committee.
  7. Election of three committee members.
    The Committee proposes the election of Adam Cary, Douglas Craig and Lynsey Thomas as full members. They are currently co-opted members.
  8. Any other business.

Minutes of the SOUE Annual General Meeting, 15 September 2012

Martyn Hurst, the President, presided. About 25 members were present.

1.     The minutes of the last meeting were approved

2.     Head of Department's report (Guy Houlsby)

The Department's affairs are currently dominated by a government exercise known as the Research Excellence Framework. Our funding depends on the product of the number of our academics and an assessment of the quality of our research. This can lead to some unintended consequences.

Staff recruitment is currently very active. We have been very pleased to welcome Jong Min Kim, hitherto a Vice-President of Samsung, as Professor of Electrical Engineering. Staff leaving include Fionne Dunn, Ian Reid and Alex Lubansky to posts elsewhere, and Paul Buckley to retirement. Arrivals, to a variety of posts, include Jin Chong Tan, Michael Osborne, Andrea Vedaldi, Michael Chappell, Robert Carlisle, Antoine Jerusalem, Edmond Walsh, Roger Reed and Marco Bacic, with four other appointments in process but not yet confirmed.

Joanna Rhodes has been appointed as the Department's new Administrator, but with the new job title of "Head of Finance and Administration".

Financially, the Department can reasonably be said to be "afloat". Its annual turnover is about 26m, with a surplus of 0.25m for the past year, in which this surplus remarkably came out within 1500 of the budgeted value.

The second issue of the Department's "News", a little larger than the first, is due out shortly.

3.     Secretary's Report (David Witt)

We recruited over 100 Associate Members from the freshers, on the new scheme by which they are offered the chance to join both OU EngSoc and SOUE on induction day for 15 total, shared equally between the Societies. We expect to offer a similar arrangement this year.

The Project Exhibition is now run by the Department, in fact by Dr Cathy Ye of the IBME. Prize money was donated by ARM, GlaxoSmithKline, Laing O'Rourke, Sharp and Sony BPRL, and there were 29 entries, a record. The judges, as usual, were four alumni of the department.

The Committee had decided that as the Department is now posting an annual newsletter to all alumni for whom it has addresses, SOUE News will for this year at least appear not in paper form but on our website,

4.     Treasurer's report (Clark Brundin)

(Treasurer's report not included in web version.)

5.     LinkedIn Network

Lynsey Thomas had reported that membership of the group was now 288, and that the Society had acquired several new members this way. The President encouraged others to join.

6.     Format of next year's Jenkin day

It was agreed that that it should again coincide with the University's Alumni Weekend (to be on Fri-Sun 20-22 September in 2013), since this had in recent years contributed substantially to the audience for the Jenkin lecture.

7.     Any other business

The President stated that the committee was short of two members and encouraged anyone interested in serving to let this be known. The committee had set up a working party to consider the structure of the Society, since there was a feeling that it needed to be modified to suit more modern approaches to alumni relations.

David Witt, Secretary, 19 September 2012