Alumni Year Group Reps

We have expanded our list of decade reps on our Association Committee to include year group reps, and we are thrilled to have Year Group Reps from every decade, across many different disciplines and career paths.

These year group reps will work with the College to encourage alumni from their year to:

  • Attend events such as reunions
  • Provide archival information
  • Tell us what they have been up to since they left Churchill
  • Give feedback on the College’s plans for alumni and fundraising initiatives
  • Suggest events or other initiatives the Alumni and Development office might undertake to maintain good relationships with alumni

Full list of Year Group Reps

Meet the Year Group Reps:

1963 Matriculation

Keith Paton

I graduated PhD in computer science in 1966 (it was then called Applied Mathematics).  My first job was with the Medical Research Council, where a colleague and I devised an algorithm that measures the amount of pneumoconiosis (coal worker’s black lung) in chest X-rays. I emigrated to Montréal, Canada in 1980 and worked for 12 years with Bell-Northern Research. There I worked on character recognition and tools for network design. In 1992 I started my own company, specializing in automatic code inspection, viz. programs to find errors in other people’s programs.  Montréal winters are severe; the rain turns to ice in the sub-zero temperatures and, when you are getting on a bit, it’s not good to take the risk of falling over and breaking something.

In 2003, therefore, I returned to Europe, to Mechelen, Belgium with my Belgian wife, Jenny, with whom I have been together for 40 years.  Mechelen is a modest city today but, it was at one time the capital city of Burgundy and many of the historic buildings have survived to this day.  I spend my time devising algorithms that generate rooted trees. I also sing a lot; I am in two SATB choirs and a sing- Gilbert-and-Sullivan society. I also give concerts (with piano) to seniors in their residences. I welcome the opportunity to keep in touch with my fellow Churchillians.


1966 Matriculation

John Brookes

John is married to Caroline née Fabricius and currently has three children and six grandchildren. He is now retired after 49 years and 11 months working in manufacturing, and lives in Crowle, Worcester. His current main interest is motoring and motor sport, and his only sporting activity is now table tennis. He is also a volunteer for the Canal & River Trust, an Ex-Round Tabler and now member of the 41 Club.

1969 Matriculation

Mike Pocock

Mike studied Engineering while at Churchill, but was perhaps more interested in rowing than studying!  He was just rowing at College level, but did row in Churchill’s 1st May Boat for 3 years, including in his final year when they won oars (as well as in the Lents) and moved into the 1st Division for the first time.

He specialised in Civil Engineering subjects in his last year, leading to work as a Civil Engineer for major contractors, but switching to working on major building projects in 1980.  He progressed to director level of the construction subsidiaries, overseeing a wide range of large building projects, including many office developments in London.  He switched to being a client for construction projects at one of the London Boroughs, but had a wide range of responsibilities at different times ranging from School Place Planning, to Town Planning, and Regeneration.

He retired at the end of 2017, and now spends time in ways such as skiing, playing golf (very badly!), walking, gardening, some charitable work relating to schools, and involvement in a London Livery Company.  He has a wife and two very much adult children.


1970 Matriculation

Peter Bossom

At college I studied Mathematics, rowed, was Secretary of the boat club, and was Secretary of the Chapel. A founder member of Cripetandcrimal, we basically gave dinner parties of 7 courses for between 14 and 29 persons in my room.

Since university I taught Mathematics at secondary level at various schools and as director of MEI I originated modular A levels, as I wanted to educate not teach to a syllabus.



1972 Matriculation

Helen Ilieve (nee Swallow)

Helen read Maths at Churchill and had a career as a Chartered Accountant. She became a tax partner at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) in their Edinburgh office. She then worked as a Montessori nursery teacher until she retired. She is married to Peter Ilieve (U71) and they enjoy cycling their electric bikes  and hillwalking (she completed the Munros at the age of 55).


1973 Matriculation

Kevin Knowles

As an undergraduate at Churchill, Kevin studied Natural Sciences, specialising in his third year in the theoretical option in Physics and Theoretical Physics, and taking optional courses in the broad area of solid-state physics. This led him to undertake a D.Phil. in what is now the Department of Materials at Oxford University. After post-doctoral research at Oxford and Surrey University and a temporary lectureship at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, he returned to Cambridge in 1984, initially to work on high resolution transmission electron microscope of materials in what is now the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

He has been a Fellow of Churchill College since 1987 and recently joined the ranks of the College Emeritus Fellows. Over the years he has supervised Materials at IA and IB for the College, both for the Natural Sciences Tripos and for the Engineering Tripos, and has undertaken teaching and research in the Department in the broad area of the microstructure and properties of metallic, ceramic and composite materials. He has also co-written the Second and Third Editions of ‘Crystallography and Crystal Defects’ with Anthony Kelly.

As an undergraduate, and also as a Fellow, Kevin played squash for the College in the University Leagues for a number of years. Sadly, his days of playing squash are no more, despite a recent very successful total hip replacement operation. Instead, he attempts to keep fit by walking and by playing recreational doubles tennis.


1974 Matriculation

Caroline Blackmun

“I originally came to read Natural Sciences (Physics), but having struggled with the course, intermitted for a couple of years, changed subject and graduated in Computer Science in 1980. Staying on as a research student I met my husband Martyn Johnson (U72,G75) and we were married in the college chapel. Having failed to write up my PhD, I joined the then University of Cambridge Computing Service and discovered I was more suited to support than research. Moving to the Engineering Department in 1993, I spent a total of 39 years working in University IT support until retiring in 2022. I’m now training for lay ministry in the Church of England, as well as enjoying cycling, walking and amateur radio.”

1975 Matriculation

Andy Molyneux

“Although I read Maths and then Physics, you may well remember my blue Ford Escort Van better than me.”


1977 Matriculation

Peter Hughes

“I studied Maths at Churchill and captained the University squash team (probably in the wrong order). After a varied career teaching and then ten years in the Diplomatic Service, I did an MBA at INSEAD and was owner/manager of a French based business in the sports good sector until stepping back a few years ago. I currently split my time between France and UK. I had a northern and state school background and loved every minute of my time at Churchill. I met my wife at Churchill, although now divorced, and I have two adult children.”

1979 Matriculation

Phil Leighton

“I was at Churchill from 1979 reading Natural Sciences. I stayed on and did my PhD, leaving in 1985. All happy days. Currently I live in Essex with my wife of 35 years and a small menagerie of dogs and horses. I run a small consulting business increasingly focussed on green technologies.”

1981 Matriculation

Jeremy Amias

Jeremy studied Classics while at Churchill, then went on to have a successful career in banking. He is currently Vice Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Europe. Passionate about mentoring, Jeremy actively participates at various employee groups to support professional and personal development of colleagues through networking, community volunteering, and training.

His interests include skiing, running, cycling and reading. He is also now passionate about helping Classicists get jobs and careers in the City and Commercial ventures, rather than get pigeon-holed into teaching or similar!

1982 Matriculation

Tim Armitage

Tim spent three very enjoyable years at Churchill attaining an engineering degree and a karate half-blue. After starting as an engineering consultant at Fraser Nash, with clearance for top-secret atomic MoD contracts, he moved to investment banking to trade interest rate and credit derivatives. He worked for multiple institutions including Scotiabank, HSBC, CSFB, Unicredit and Bear Stearns where he headed European Structured Credit. After 27 years in banking, he took board positions with a couple of Fintech start-ups and is now retired. He is married to Gill née Hutton and has a daughter. His interests include karate, fishing, shooting, skiing, and classic cars.

1983 Matriculation

Susan Brown

“Arrived as an Advanced student in October 1983 (from the Dark side!). Got heavily involved with the Boat Club and spent many happy hour in the Buttery and at the Pav disco. Still rowing in Cambridge and now happily retired after 35 years teaching secondary maths in local schools. If not on the river then I’ll be out on my bike!”

1994 Matriculation

Ben & Kate Brierton

Ben Brierton studied Engineering at Churchill, and is currently Principle Engineer at CRM Surgical, who recently received the first ever King’s Award for Enterprise within the innovation category for the Versius Surgical Robotic System.

Dr Kate Brierton is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with a passion for compassion. She completed her first degree at Cambridge University and later qualified as a Clinical Psychologist at King’s College, London. In her private practice, she has worked with clients of all ages facing a wide range of challenges. She uses compassion focused therapy (CFT) and mindfulness in most of her work.

As well as her private therapy practice, Kate is also on a mission to bring compassion into schools. She is a Trustee of the Eastern Learning Alliance, a family of 10 UK schools, encompassing primary, secondary and special needs education. She presents and writes globally on the importance of wellbeing in education and is a co-author of Cultivating Teacher Wellbeing published in 2022 by Cambridge University Press.

Ben and Kate have three children and currently live in Histon.


1997 Matriculation

Helen Czerski

Helen is a physicist and oceanographer with a passion for science, sport, books, creativity, hot chocolate and investigating the interesting things in life.

Helen graduated from Churchill in 2001 with an MSc in Natural Sciences (Physics), and again in 2006 with a PhD in experimental explosives physics. After four years working in the US, Helen returned to the UK in 2010, and took up a position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London. Her research addresses the physics of breaking waves and bubbles at the ocean surface. These bubbles change underwater sounds and light, help transfer gases from ocean to atmosphere and also eject ocean material into the air.


2000 Matriculation

Tom Whipple

“I was a Churchill mathmo from 2000-2004. The experience convinced me the world was not going to be the poorer for me not performing calculus in it. So these days I’m a journalist and I write about science rather than advancing it. I live in Reading with my wife and three children.

I have extremely fond memories of Churchill – but, like many of us, have stayed in touch with only a fraction of the wonderful friends I made there. Please do feel free to email me; I’d love to renew old connections.”


2001 Matriculation

David Cottingham

David is a Computer Scientist who spent 7 happy years at Churchill, including filling the Hepworth sculpture with snow, helping to fix people’s networking problems, and singing in the chapel choir. Volleyball and orienteering also came into the picture. For his PhD he helped fill a van with wireless networking gear and various sensors, and had a sideline in road pricing.

Today he is Chief Technology Officer at IQGeo plc, creating software that helps utility companies design the fibre/electricity/gas/heating networks of the future. He was previously at Citrix Systems and Checkit plc. Wherever he is he enjoys scribbling on whiteboards, and occasionally pontificates at .

David is married to Elke, and with their two children they live in the Cambridge area.

2009 Matriculation

Giorgio Divitini

Giorgio studied Materials Science while at Churchill, completing his PhD in 2013. During his time at Churchill he enjoyed being part of the community by helping manage the MCR bar and contributing to the Boat Club in various forms.

2015 Matriculation

Monica Zolczer

Monica read History at Churchill and joined the Boat Club in her second year, rowing for the W2 boat before trying her hand at coxing in her final year as Ladies’ Vice Captain of CCBC. Her fond memories of Churchill are dominated by CCBC socials and races (including Bumps), summer months spent on the playing fields and many, many formal dinners! Monica now works in sustainability; having started her career at PwC as a consultant, she then joined Morgan Stanley’s real estate investing team as a sustainability professional. She is currently a consultant in Monitor Deloitte’s Sustainability & Climate Strategy team, supporting clients with their net zero strategies. Her interests include dance, yoga, baking and travelling.

2017 Matriculation

Stephen Hughes

“I spent three wonderful years at Churchill (2017-2020) alongside some truly amazing people. I am now working in the sustainable transport sector with Mott MacDonald, having previously studied Geography during my time at Churchill. It was wonderful to catch up with our cohort at MA graduation in 2024 and recall fond memories. I look forward to keeping in touch as your rep.”

2018 Matriculation

Franck Courbon

Dr Franck Courbon MPhil, MRes, Meng, PhD is a Franco-British cybersecurity enthusiast, also driven by greener, fair and privacy enabling electronics.

During 3.5 years at Gemalto Security Labs and 7 years (Oct. 2015 onwards) at the University of Cambridge, he has brought innovative methods in the growing area of hardware security from reverse engineering, laser fault injection, memory content extraction to hardware supply chain security. Franck has also been lecturing, mentoring, advising, interviewing and supervising students from the Departments of Computer Science and Technology, Engineering and Physics at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Since 06/06/2022, Franck is Ethicronics’ Founder & CEO, aiming to ensure no more compromised, counterfeit and unsustainable electronics hardware at all – using software.

How to Volunteer

We are still looking for volunteers to become Year Group Reps! The time commitment need not be large to make a difference, and there will be many benefits to both the College and our alumni. To learn more, please contact the Alumni and Development office at