Some sixty alumni and their guests matriculating as far back as 1961 and as recently as 2014 enjoyed a programme of talks, tours and lab demonstrations at Wadham College and the Department of Engineering, culminating with a drinks reception and celebratory dinner in College last Friday.
The day was organised to mark the amazing generosity and vision of hundreds of Wadham alumni, who donated in support of the creation of a permanently endowed Fellowship in Engineering in honour of Colin Wood, which will secure the teaching of Engineering at Wadham for future generations.
The occasion was also an opportunity to thank Emeritus Fellows Colin Wood and David Edwards for their tireless dedication to the teaching of Engineering at Wadham over past decades, and to introduce Wadham’s two new Engineering Fellows, Dr Alfonso Castrejón-Pita and Professor Ekaterina Shamonina.
Welcomed by Mark Thompson (Wadham Fellow and Tutor in Engineering), guests enjoyed an interview by Colin Wood, between Alan Hutchison (1978) and Norman Lee (1981), which delved into their memories of Wadham and fascinating careers. Mark then spoke with pride of the successes of Engineering at Wadham today, and our new programme of annual summer schools for school-aged pupils to learn about Engineering, before introducing Emily Cannon (Wadham's Access and Outreach Officer), who gave an overview of Wadham’s ambitious plans to be a beacon for fair access for brilliant young minds from all backgrounds.
The day continued at the Department of Engineering with interactive talks, tours and demonstrations by current Wadham Fellows, including Mark Thompson’s Mechanobiology – living composites and affordable prosthetics, Alfonso Castrejón-Pita’s Drops and liquid jets – the underlying science of inkjet, and Ekaterina Shamonina’s Metamaterials: from invisibility cloak to perfect lens, from RF to the visible, bending light the wrong way, accompanied with demonstrations by Chris Stevens (Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering). Grahame Faulkner (Research Fellow at the Department of Engineering), also demonstrated the Optics Communications Lab, including an anechoic chamber.
Alumni and guests returned to Wadham for a tour of the new award-winning McCall Macbain Graduate Centre, before enjoying a drinks reception in the Cloisters Garden and celebratory dinner in the Old Library. A speech and toast were given by the Warden, Ken Macdonald QC, followed by Warren East (1980) speaking on behalf of alumni and raising a toast to his former tutor, Colin Wood, thanking him for his immense contribution to Engineering at Wadham.
Re-living their student days, the Wadham engineers made their way to The Kings Arms for post-dinner drinks!
Wadham would like to thank the Department of Engineering for their help and support in co-hosting this successful event.