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The 2017 Alumni Weekend at the Department of Engineering Science – a historic day…

The 2017 Department of Engineering Science Alumni Weekend made history with Professor Ekaterina Shamonina - the first female speaker to give the Jenkin lecture in 30 years. Over 185 engineering alumni as well as those from other subjects and non-alumni were treated to the annual Jenkin Lecture on the fascinating subject of ‘metamaterials’. The day’s programme also included the first lecture given by the winner of the Oxford Engineering Alumni (OEA) Award, an update from the Head of Department on the 2020 Vision for Engineering Science in Oxford, this year’s Oxford Engineering Alumni (OEA) Annual General Meeting, and the presentation of the special Matthew Greenwood Outreach Award.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the Jenkin Day. Both talks by Professor Shamonina and Sam Attias were engaging, enlightening and entertaining, and the whole event was a great opportunity for networking, as ever’. Alumna

‘We were treated to the bright future promise of nanotechnology research in an excellent fast moving lecture by Professor Ekaterina Shamonina. The tuning of novel nano-material circuits comprising cylinders and Swiss rolls as magnetically coupled resonators provides the ability to induce current at range and heralds the removal of wires from rooms cluttered with electrical devices and IT equipment. Many of us were left desperately scratching our heads trying to remember our electro-magnetic theories of permittivity and permeability. If only a knowledge upload, or recharge could be so swift and reliable as the customisation of electro-magnetic fields by nano technology. But that, I am sure, will be the subject of some future Jenkin lecture’. Alumnus

‘I believe that the event ran really well, and had a lot of talks to showcase just how good the department is and all the amazing things that go off. It drew an audience of all ages and backgrounds, but was particularly enjoyable to work at as it gave a chance to bond with fellow ambassadors, and also hear about the careers of past alumni’. Student Ambassador


Professor Ekaterina ShamoninaThe annual Jenkin Lecture was given by Professor Ekaterina Shamonina, the Department’s Professor of Engineering Science and Fellow of Wadham College. Professor Shamonina’s talk explored how metamaterials - artificially engineered composites - enable manipulation of electromagnetic waves in novel ways, not possible with conventional materials, This lecture explored exciting multi-disciplinary developments in this burgeoning research field with possible applications ranging from invisibility cloaks to perfect lenses.

Ekaterina Shamonina is Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford working on RF metamaterials for communications, data and power transfer. She graduated in 1993 in Physics from the Moscow State University and received her doctorate in 1998 from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. She was Professor in Advanced Optical Technologies at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg from 2008 to 2011 and a Leverhulme Reader in Metamaterials at Imperial College London from 2011 to 2013. Her main research areas apart from metamaterials have been amorphous semiconductors, photorefractive materials, antennas and plasmonics. She was recipient of the Hertha-Spooner Prize of the German Physical Society in 2006. She is a co-founder of Metaboards, a company spun out from the Department.

The Jenkin Lecture can be viewed on video below:

Sam AttiasIn May this year the new annual OEA prize for the best overall student to present their 4th Year Project was launched during the Department’s Maurice Lubbock Memorial Lecture event and judged by alumni. The overall winner was Sam Attias who delivered a stimulating 15-minute lecture about his project, titled: ‘Nanomaterials in Revolutionising Diabetes Diagnostics’. Sam also received a prize of £500. Sam said: ‘My 4th year research project focused on the application of nanomaterials as a potential non-invasive diagnostic and monitoring method for type-1 diabetes. I researched optically-active Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and their reaction to chemical biomarkers present in the human breath, notably acetone’.

Sam’s lecture can be viewed on video below:

The Matthew Greenwood Outreach Award

Matthew Greenwood Outreach AwardA new award has been established for a 4th Year Oxford Engineering Ambassador who has been exemplary in engineering outreach initiatives. The award has been called the Matthew Greenwood Award in memory of the St Edmund Hall Engineering Science undergraduate who tragically passed away last year after a fierce battle with cancer. Matt was a highly committed Oxford Engineering Ambassador, and was even said to have been enthusing about the transformative power of an engineering degree from his hospital bed.

The award was given, at the Alumni Weekend, to an undergraduate who reflected the qualities Matt showed as an Ambassador; someone who consistently goes above and beyond, to whom it is easy for young people to relate, and who always volunteers to help with outreach initiatives. This year, the award was given to Maruthi Malladi who was a contemporary of Matt’s in the Department.

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Head of the Department of Engineering Science, said: ‘The whole of the Oxford Engineering Science community was deeply affected by what happened to Matt last year. As a Department, we wanted to honour his memory with an award which reflected his own passion for attracting school pupils into engineering. We are deeply grateful to Matt’s parents, Peter and Michaela, for coming back to the Department to present the first award to Maruthi.’

The Oxford Engineering Ambassador programme was started for Oxford engineering undergraduates in 2015. The programme has grown to include 50 ambassadors who participate in events throughout the year including engineering summer schools, Open Days, student conferences, and school workshops. The Matthew Greenwood Award recognises undergraduates who volunteer in outreach.

Professor Lionel TarassenkoWe want to hear from alumni who want to ‘get involved’

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Head of the Department of Engineering Science, said: ‘The Department would be delighted to hear from alumni who can offer internships, help with fund-raising or act as ambassadors for the Department’.

If you are interested in ‘getting involved’ please e-mail:

2020 Vision Update

Professor Tarassenko’s update on his 2020 Vision can be viewed on video below:


Rod SmithOEA AGM

The new President of the OEA, Professor Roderick Smith, formerly Chief Scientific Advisor Department for Transport and Past President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, chaired the OEA AGM. New ideas from alumni were sought on how they can support both the Department and grow the activities of the OEA.

The AGM can be viewed on video below:

The day in pictures…

Gabby networkingAlumni WeekendAudience 1Alumni WeekendAlumni WeekendAlumni WeekendProfessor Ekaterina Shamonina presentingAudience

Published on 16 October 2017