Despite COVID there have been several exciting developments for Engineering in College including: new opportunities for Engineering Post-Doctoral By-Fellows; agreement with the Engineering Department to proceed with a new joint appointment; good progress on the Creative Workshops; and the arrival of Dr Rachel Thorley as our new Community, Outreach and Recruitment for Engineering Fellow. We caught up with Rachel to ask her to introduce herself.

The CORE Fellowship is a new role – what is it about?   

Hi, I’m Rachel. I’ve started at Churchill as the CORE fellow. This is a new role, generously funded by donors Greg and Rosie Lock, and stands for Community, Outreach and Recruitment in Engineering. For this I’ll be building on and developing Churchill’s Engineering community: creating strong and effective links between the College and schools, further education colleges, the alumni network and industrial partnerships. I’d love to hear from anyone about new ideas and opportunities as we seek to re-invigorate the College Engineering community. 

What are your top three goals for the first couple of years?  

Tough one! There are so many exciting ways this role could evolve, so I’ve picked my top 3, one for each: C, O and R.  

The last few years through the pandemic have been pretty challenging, especially for our recent undergraduates who may have had very few classes and meet-ups in person! This gives a big opportunity to revitalise the college’s engineering community. My first goal is to bring together Churchill’s undergraduates, postgraduates Fellows and alumni.  Keep your eyes open for ways you can get involved, connect and support as alumni!   

My second goal is in outreach: to raise awareness of the profession with young people. Particularly with those from diverse backgrounds and under-represented groups such as women.   

The third goal is for recruitment: to make sure Churchill encourages and supports the most talented applicants for engineering from undergraduate students through to researchers and professors.   

How can alumni get involved/help?  

We’d love for you to be a part of the community here at Churchill! During this upcoming Association Weekend (23-25 September), we’ll be hosting a panel discussion entitled ‘Designing for sustainability’. The event is on Friday 23 September, 6–7pm, after which you’re warmly invited to continue the discussion and join engineering fellows, researchers and current postgraduates for High Table. Just select the Friday High Table option on your booking form.   

In 2023, the Bill Brown Creative Workshops are going to open at Churchill. This is an exciting new interdisciplinary venture which will have space for design, manufacture and exhibitions. We’re looking for projects that could be run when this launches. So if you or your company has ideas and/or would like to support some talented students to help make them a reality, please get in touch