Page 1


The magazine for alumni and friends of Sidney Sussex College    edition 29  summer 2012

Rapid Résumé Paddy Lowe In Focus: Graduate Research Graduate students working backstage in two theatres of war

2012 Telephone Campaign Engineering at Sidney Invisible Electronics Donald Green Fund The Stephenson Society


pheon  n  summer 2012  n  from the master

From the Master

3–4 Sidney News

5 As I write, here at Sidney we are in a period of renewal and change. Following our Mexicanthemed May Ball, the students have now departed for the summer. Scaffolding has been erected in both South Court and Cloister Court as the ongoing process of building maintenance continues, alongside an ambitious project that will seek to create additional, and much needed, student rooms. This will also be my last contribution to Pheon, as Master at least. Since I took up office three years ago, I have been combining College duties with my commitment to the ambitious conservation project at Herculaneum, which I have directed for the Packard Humanities Institute since its inception in 2001. After more than a decade, the project, rather than drawing to a close, is growing. Many of you will have read in the press about the ongoing crisis that affects the site of Pompeii. As a result of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, many of the problems that torment Pompeii have been addressed in the smaller town, which too was overwhelmed by that same fateful eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in ad 79. In an exciting new development, David Packard has asked me to take a more active role in helping explore further steps, including a potential new museum at Herculaneum, and my presence will be needed more often. I have therefore informed the College of my intention to stand down from the Mastership at the end of the 2012–13 academic year. The search for my successor now begins in earnest, but in the meantime Professor Richard Penty, Vice-Master and Fellow in Engineering, will take up the role of Acting Master. I am pleased to report that I will retain a presence in Cambridge while concentrating on this new opportunity. I shall remain at Sidney as a Fellow, while also enjoying the new title of Director of Research in the Faculty of Classics. Sidney, as all Sidneians know, is a very special college, and Jo and I have much appreciated its hallmark friendliness.

Sidney’s Royal Visitors

6–7 In Focus: Graduate Research

8–9 Engineering at Sidney

10 Rapid Résumé Paddy Lowe

11 2012 Telephone Campaign

12–13 Development News

14–15 Alumni Event Reports

16 Forthcoming Alumni Events

Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

Pheon Edition 29, Summer 2012 Guest Editor: Sally Simmons Pheon Editor: Hannah Williamson Front Cover: Ukulele tree, Sidney Sussex College May Ball 2012, ‘Cinco de Mayo’, by Victoria Bullard-Smith (2009) Contact Us Development & Membership Office Sidney Sussex College Cambridge cb2 3hu Tel: +44 (0)1223 338881 Email:


Twitter/SidneySussex Editorial management by Cambridge Editorial Designed by Paul Barrett Book Production Print management by H2 Associates, Cambridge Printed on chlorine-free 55% recycled fibre from both pre- and postconsumer sources together with 45% FSC certified virgin fibre from well-managed forests. Printed with vegetable-based ink.

sidney news  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

Sidney News

Choir Tour to Dubai The Sidney Sussex Choir has recently returned from a successful tour of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Highlights included four live slots on MBC1, the Arabic equivalent of BBC One, which were aired to more than 30 million people across the Arabicspeaking world. The Choir also performed at the University of the UAE in Al Ain, Repton School Dubai, DUCTAC (the only commercial theatre in Dubai) and Dubai College, the oldest academic institution in Dubai. During their trip the Choir and Sidney Sussex College enjoyed unprecedented exposure in the Middle East. The tour was arranged and organised by Joanna Marsh (1989), a former organ scholar at Sidney. Apart from the concerts, Joanna and her husband Paul Griffiths arranged for the choir to visit Aquaventure Waterpark on Palm Island, and organised an Arabic Safari that included ‘dunebashing’, camel riding, a traditional buffet and belly dancing. During their stay, members of the Choir were generously hosted by parents of Repton School Dubai. In addition to their recent trip to the UAE, the Choir will also be going to the USA later this summer and will be visiting, among other places, San Francisco and Las Vegas. For further information please contact the Osborn Director of Music, Dr David Skinner,

Boat Club 175th Anniversary Dinner Founded in 1837, Sidney Sussex Boat Club is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year and will be marking the occasion with a reunion and dinner on 3 November 2012. All SSBC alumni are warmly invited to attend this

special event, which will include the opportunity to row again and purchase the naming rights for next year’s men’s eight. Invitations and instructions on how to reserve your place will be sent out shortly, but please note that tickets will be allocated on a first-come, firstserved basis. If you would like more information or wish to make a donation towards next year’s men’s eight, please contact Daniel Worrall, SSBC Captain of Boats at Further informa­ tion can also be found on the SSBC website (

Colin Roberts to Head Olympics Equine Testing Team Dr Colin Roberts has been appointed to head the equine drug-testing unit at the London Olympics this summer. The equestrian events – dressage, eventing and jumping – will take place at Greenwich Park and will involve over 200 competitors and their horses from around the world competing for a total of six gold medals. Dr Roberts is an expert in equine internal medicine and is Sidney’s Director of Studies in Veterinary Medicine.

Eric Whitacre Wins Grammy Composer in Residence Eric Whitacre has won a GRAMMY Award for his album Light & Gold in the Best Choral Performance category, where he faced strong competition, not least from Stephen Layton and the choir of Trinity College. As Composer in Residence Eric Whitacre is a regular visitor to Sidney. He teaches choral conducting on the University’s new M.Mus. in Choral Studies and supports the work of our choir and its Director of Music, Dr David Skinner.


pheon  n  summer 2012  n  sidney news

Student History Trip to Rome Primary sources are the best investigative tools the historian of early medieval Rome possesses, so the opportunity to travel to Rome and to experience firsthand the material remains of the city in relation to our Special Subject for the Historical Tripos Part II (The city of Rome and its rulers, 476–769), was a welcome and invaluable opportunity. In the course of three days, the trip delivered on its aim to corroborate and challenge the textual evidence we had explored in class, and even alerted our attention to entirely new historical issues. We were fortunate enough to have accommodation at the British School of Rome (BSR). When we arrived, we were struck by the beauty of BSR’s classical architecture; and for those of us from Sidney there was the additional delight of the Master’s book on the history of the BSR displayed on a table in the foyer. Each evening the School provided a delicious dinner, during which we had the opportunity to converse with the other resident researchers. Enthusiastic about the purpose of our visit, they expressed jovial doubt when we revealed the ambitious scale of our itinerary. Combining the bird’s-eye view of the city from the brow of the Aventine Hill with a more in-depth inspection of Rome’s churches, frescoes, mosaics and relics, we gained

an understanding of the pagan to Christian transition of the city, and of the ways in which early medieval political actors manipulated the sacred geography of the city. Exploring the city on foot permitted an insight into the perceptions of the lay inhabitants, and into the ways in which religious and secular life would have mixed in what was visually an emphatically Christian cityscape. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest thanks to our benefactor, Mike Styles (Economics, 1970), without whose generosity many of us could not have had this experience. Special thanks go to Professor Rosamond McKitterick, for her willingness to take on the magnitude of this organisational task, for sharing her expertise with us in Rome, and for keeping us all very fit with her enthusiastic pace of travel around the city. Heather Berry and Natalie Tapley (History, 3rd Year)

Award for Sidney Architect Michael Ramage

© Peter Rich Architects


Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre

Along with his colleagues Peter Rich and John Ochsendorf, Michael Ramage, Fellow and Director of Studies in Architecture at Sidney, has been awarded the 2012 Wienerberger Brick Award. Winners in the Special Solution with Brick category, the trio were also named as overall winners for their Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa’s Mapungubwe National Park. The biennial awards, judged by a panel of renowned experts in the field, recognise ‘innovative and creative brick buildings of international quality and their architects’. This year a total of 50 architects from 28 countries were nominated. The trio are no strangers to success. The building earned them a silver medal in the 2011 International Prize for Sustainable Architecture and was named World Building of the Year in 2009.

Sidney Greats Lecture Series Lent Term saw the introduction of a new College seminar series exploring great texts and ideas. The Sidney Greats series was put together by Fellows in English Edward Wilson-Lee and Clive Wilmer with the aim of introducing foundational texts and ideas to the whole College community. The series has been a great success with all the seminars, which are followed by Formal Hall, selling out. The series featured a lecture by Professor Adrian Poole of the Department of English who introduced Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey. Other speakers included Edward Wilson-Lee on the Bible, Clive Wilmer on Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Dr Patricia Fara and Dr Tim Lewens from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science on Newton’s Principia and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species respectively. The lectures are now available to download via iTunes.

Tim Blanning’s 70th birthday On 21 April 2012, his 70th birthday, a portrait drawing of Professor Tim Blanning by Alastair Adams, current President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, was unveiled and presented to the College at a splendid reception in the Master’s Lodge. The affection and admiration felt for Tim were demonstrated by the large number of donors to the project who attended, and whose subscriptions raised twice the cost of the drawing. The surplus will be used to help fund research grants for Sidney’s History students.

sidney’s royal visitors  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

Sidney’s Royal Visitors Queen Margarethe II of Denmark

To coincide with H. M. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Archivist Nicholas Rogers looks back at some of the royal visitors Sidney has welcomed over the years.


t was Cromwell who brought the first royal visitor to Sidney. In 1768 George III’s dissolute brother-in-law King Christian VII of Denmark, came to view the recently acquired pastel portrait of the now deceased Cromwell. The Cambridge Chronicle for 10 September 1768 reports that he turned to one of his nobles and said in French, ‘He makes me tremble’. The Visitors Book started by the Master, Robert Phelps, in 1882 provides evidence of two 19th-century royal visits. A note records that the Prince Consort was one of the distinguished visitors to the Master’s Lodge. The exact date of Prince Albert’s visit is unknown, but it was probably during Phelps’s second time as Vice-Chancellor in 1847–8. A second notable visitor was Albert Victor Christian Edward, the eldest son of the future Edward VII. He had been admitted to Trinity College in 1883 and studied there for two years. He visited Sidney on 2 March 1884, accompanied by his tutors, Revd John Neale Dalton and Joseph Prior. Many years passed until Sidney welcomed its next royal guest. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, King Peter II escaped to Britain to head a Government in Exile. On Sunday, 14 February 1943 he attended a Serbian

Orthodox liturgy in the College Chapel, at which the celebrant and preacher was his Chaplain, Archpriest Dr Z˘ivojin Ristanovic´. Queen Margarethe II of Denmark attended a reception held at Sidney by Professor Linnett, Vice-Chancellor, on the occasion of her reception of an honorary degree in June 1975. Already familiar with Cambridge, having studied archaeology at Girton College in 1960–61, Queen Margarethe is also a distinguished graphic designer; her works include the illustrations to the 1977 edition of The Lord of the Rings, under the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer. In his capacity as Chancellor, the Duke of Edinburgh visited Sidney on several occasions, the first being the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix, on 9 June 1993, when he viewed a display of College treasures and dined in Hall. In 1994 Princess Margaret came to a private lunch at Sidney, remembered for her unscheduled visit to Sainsbury’s to photograph the College from its first floor. Our most recent royal visit took place on 8 March 1996 when H. M. The Queen paid the first visit by a reigning British monarch to the College, on the occasion of its Quatercentenary. Together with Prince Philip, she was escorted by Professor Horn, then Master, Mrs Horn and Professor Nisbet to the Master’s Lodge. A highlight of the visit was the unveiling of a stone plaque destined to be incorporated in the Mong Building. Nicholas Rogers Archivist

Supporting the College Archives Throughout Cambridge there is a wealth of history, much of it contained in archives across the city. Sidney is no exception: there is a wealth of archival material housed in the Muniment Room and looked after by our Archivist. A significant amount of investment is required if we are to preserve the materials in our archives for future generations. Conservation is of great importance, and beyond conserving what we have the College has an ambition to share these collections more widely by (for instance) digitising the medieval manuscripts in the collection. Of course, this comes at a significant cost; the funds required

for existing conservation needs run to nearly £10,000, and there is also a need to infill the College collections in areas such as silver and prints. This, however, is only the beginning. If we are to increase the awareness of our special collections, more integration between the history of Sidney and College life today is needed. In particular it is hoped that the College will be able to establish a fund to finance research into its special collections. This might include a prize for student work on the collections and a Special Collections Fellow to compile a history of the collections. By raising the profile of the archives among

students, alumni and researchers, the fund will help to encourage future support for conservation and display. In time we intend to create a purpose-built space for the College’s special collections. Not only will this create much needed space, but it will also enable us to share our treasures with a wider audience through displays and exhibitions, and put them at the heart of student life at Sidney. If you would like to discuss making a donation to support the special collections and the work of the Archivist, please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or



pheon  n  summer 2012  n  in focus: graduate research

In Focus: Graduate Research We are extremely proud of our graduate research community, which continues to grow each year. In 2011 we matriculated over 100 graduate students at Sidney. The breadth and depth of their research continues to impress and we are delighted to be able to showcase a small part of the work of our graduate community in this edition of Pheon.

Thomas Meyer is the current Fox International Fellow at Sidney. Here he discusses his research, which focuses on the experiences of junior military officers in counterinsurgency war.


y 2006, the Multi-National Force—Iraq (MNF–I) and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan staked victory on a population-centric counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy. Instead of ending armed rebellion and government subversion in these theatres solely by capturing or killing insurgents, they focused on winning the support of the local population and removing the conditions that foment insurgency in the first place. Western powers have pursued similar strategies in many insurgencies: the United States in Vietnam; the United Kingdom in Malaya, Kenya and Northern Ireland; and France in Algeria and Indochina all experimented with similar COIN strategies. In the literature on these cases, two primary insights recur: first, militaries pursuing COIN expand their war-time activities beyond combat to include governance, infrastructure development and essential services provision, to name a few; second, they devolve decision-making to junior leaders operating with relative independence among the local population. And yet most contemporary analyses are not based on data from those implementing COIN strategy on the ground, but rather from historical cases and macro-level policy. My current research aims to fill this gap, providing insight into why COIN proves difficult for junior leaders to implement, and how these officers merge combat and state-building activities in it. Thanks to the support of Yale University, the Fox International Fellowship, Sidney Sussex College and the North America Foundation Fund, I have been able to conduct

in-depth interviews and focus groups with over 80 Army officers from US and British militaries who served in combat arms branches during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. While the majority of these were junior officers who had served as small-unit commanders, a significant number were senior officers who either commanded large units or served in staff positions. Interviews took place on domestic US and UK Army bases between 2010 and 2012. While data analysis on interviews with British military officers is ongoing, the most striking results so far come from the experiences of junior US Army officers. Reporting that they received inadequate guidance from senior officers and formal doctrine, they felt significant strain from having to carry out a wide range of activities (combat, governance, essential services provision, local security force training, economic development and information operations) with great autonomy in an environment where insurgents and civilians look and behave alike. In other words, contemporary COIN doctrine asks junior leaders to do too much with too little guidance. In response, the junior officers interviewed developed an ad hoc decision-making tool to cope with their responsibilities in COIN: role-switching. Feeling as though they were ‘flipping a switch’ or ‘turning on and off’, these officers alternated between two interpretations of any situation, hostile or friendly, which corresponded with two roles, combat and state-building. Each role, in turn, helped guide decision-making by limiting the set of appropriate actions and behaviours with which the officer responded. As with any tool, however, role-switching brings its own set of problems that handicap junior officers and their subordinates, including role-stickiness, inappropriate switching and role bias. Significantly fewer British junior officers report role-switching during deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. Instead, the officers interviewed seem to have merged combat and state building in tactical COIN by subordinating the latter to the former. These initial results suggest that the officers interviewed conceive state-building projects as complements to combat missions rather than entirely separate undertakings. That is, they have militarised state building at the lowest levels of COIN. I look forward to analysing the implications of these findings for the future of military operations, development projects and expeditionary diplomacy in the Iraqi and Afghan contexts and elsewhere. The Fox International Fellowship Program was endowed by Joseph Carrère Fox (Yale, 1938) and his wife Alison Barbour Fox. After graduating from Yale Joseph Fox studied at Cambridge and in 2001 he was made a Fellow Commoner of the University. Sidney Sussex College is proud to be associated with the Fellowship Program.

in focus: graduate research  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

Gwilym hosting a discussion group with student genocide survivors in Kigali, Rwanda.

Gwilym Tudor Jones is studying for an MPhil. He has recently returned from a research trip to Rwanda with the support of a College travel award where he has been exploring the role of religion in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Here Gwilym shares some insights from his trip.


n 1994, the Rwandan genocide left the world reeling that such horrors could occur. Estimates of the death toll of Tutsis and Hutu moderates have ranged between 500,000 and 1 million, as much as 20% of the country’s total population. As the research component of my MPhil thesis, I recently travelled to Kigali, with the aid of a Sidney grant, to explore one aspect of this dark chapter in Rwanda’s history: the role of religion in the genocide. Armed with a list of email addresses of bishops and sheikhs with unpronounceable names, and my trusty recording device, I sat in the departure lounge anxiously wondering what would become of my first real foray into the mysterious world of graduate research and my first time in Africa. Ably assisted by my guide and translator, Flora, an engineering student at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, my anxieties about interviewing people who had lived through such atrocities quickly evaporated. On my first day I was warmly welcomed into the corrugated iron home of a Muslim survivor who had witnessed his family being killed. He told me that his only desire was for their story ‘not to go untold’, a line I heard countless times. Despite his poverty, he refused to let me leave empty-handed, insisting that I share a drink with him: ‘It is the Muslim way’. The next few days were a whirlwind of interviews and discussion groups with pastors, bishops, muftis, sheikhs and government ministers, punctuated by hair-raising ‘taxi-moto’ (motorbike taxi) rides. A clear narrative of the role of religion in 1994 quickly emerged: interviewees contrasted Muslim heroism in protecting fleeing Tutsis with Christian complicity and even active involvement in the genocide. Ally Munderere, a Muslim convert from Catholicism and now Vice Imam of Kigali City, spoke of the betrayal of Tutsi parishioners by their priests, who capitalised on the concept of sanctuary to facilitate their slaughter: ‘Catholic priests offered to protect people in their churches, and then they read the verse, “Today is the day for you to die. God wills you to die. Jesus leads you to die. If Jesus lets you die then we cannot do anything.” And then they went out to call the killers to come to kill them. They lied and betrayed Tutsis.’ I visited Nyamata Church, the site of the massacre of 12,000 Tutsis on a single day in April 1994. Even now, the bricks are still pocked by bullet holes, and in a few places indelible

bloodstains are visible on the walls and floor. I heard some moving accounts of priests risking their lives to protect their congregation; however, the obvious and immense contradiction between Christian principles and the massacres drew many towards Islam. Yakobo Djuma Nzeyimana, now 29, became a Muslim in 1996: ‘People died in my old church, and the pastor helped the killers. I couldn’t go back and pray there. I had to find something else.’ Others were inspired to convert by Muslims who sheltered and protected fleeing Tutsis: ‘If it weren’t for the Muslims, my whole family would be dead,’ said Aisha Uwimbabazi, a convert and mother of two children. Given the sharply contrasting roles played by the two religions in the genocide, it is a remarkable testament to the success of the Rwandan government’s guiding philosophies of equality and peaceful co-existence that they now flourish side by side. My research trip not only unveiled key findings about the complex and evolving nature of religion in Rwanda that will (I hope) enable me to make a contribution in this area; the people I met, together with their remarkable stories, made it an unforgettable personal experience.


pheon  n  summer 2012  n  engineering at sidney

Engineering at Sidney Invisible Electronics Dr Andrew Flewitt is a Fellow of Sidney and one of the College’s Directors of Studies in Engineering. Along with his colleagues in the Engineering Department he is exploring the use of large area electronics (LAE), which promises to change significantly the way we think about the digital world.


he field of LAE grew up in the late 1980s with the rise of the liquid crystal display (LCD), which is perhaps the most widely used LAE product. The picture on an LCD display, such as you find on your computer or tele­ vision, is made up from an array of over four million individual pixels. These are tiny liquid crystal shutters that allow light to be emitted selectively from particular areas of the screen to build up a picture. The opening of the shutters requires a voltage to be applied to the liquid crystal, and this is achieved using an ‘active matrix’ of thin film transistors – one for each pixel – which are distributed invisibly over the whole surface of the screen. Creating such a layer of electronics over areas in excess of 1 m2 is no mean feat. Crystalline silicon, which is the mainstay of electronics, cannot be manufactured over such large areas at temperatures compatible with the transparent glass needed to make the display. Therefore, for the last 20 years, the industry has used a semiconductor called amorphous silicon, which is produced by passing a reactive silicon-containing gas over the glass of the display, causing a layer of the material to grow. However, this material has poor electronic properties, and is orange. We would prefer a transparent material for displays. Also, migration to plastic substrates is difficult as the substrate must be heated to temperatures over 200 °c to give good quality amorphous silicon. Nevertheless, it has enabled the display industry to date. The Electronic Devices and Materials group is investigating a new generation of semiconductor materials called amorphous metal oxides. These materials are based on zinc oxide, which is an optically transparent semiconductor that can be deposited in thin films at temperatures as low as 100 °c. These materials have electronic properties that are about ten times better than amorphous silicon. The result is that we can start to create invisible layers of electronics on almost any surface. This means that not only can we produce better displays, but we can also make entirely new products by integrating this invisible electronics into everyday objects. This has the potential to change radically the way we think about and use electronics. The LAE display has already started this process through the mobile phone. The characteristic feature of the mobile is its display, which sets it apart from

© Whistledown


landlines. As the display in mobile phones has improved, so have the quality and quantity of the information we can access with it. Now we can send and receive complex data wherever we are in the world – we are no longer tied to a desk with a computer on it. The next step is to integrate electronics ubiquitously into the world around us so that we are effectively ‘connected’ without being conscious of the fact. A good example of this is smart packaging. Every year in Britain, a large quantity of food that is past its ‘use by’ date but has not actually gone off is thrown away. A layer of transparent electronics could be integrated into the packaging to measure the atmosphere inside, determine the state of the contents and display whether it is still edible. The electronics could then use wireless communication to talk to your fridge and find out its contents and their state. Your fridge could then communicate with your mobile phone so that, when you are out shopping and cannot remember whether you need more milk, you can find out exactly what you have at home. This is just one example, and although we are still some way away from realising this today, some elements of ubiquitous LAE are ready for integration, and we are actively working with industrial partners to see how this can be achieved. An exciting aspect for the UK is that the cost structure of making ubiquitous LAE is very different from displays. Integrating electronics into products means actually manufacturing the electronics in line with the rest of the product, and not relying on the electronic components to be imported. Getting the cost structure of this right is critical, and is an important aspect of our work, which we have been researching through a special grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to set up an ‘Integrated Knowledge Centre’ in the field. The potential prize is a new generation of electronics that significantly enhances our everyday life, manufactured in the UK. Dr Andrew Flewitt Fellow in Engineering

engineering at sidney  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

The Stephenson Society Since the late 1970s, students and fellows of engineering at Sidney have enjoyed membership of the College-based Stephenson Society. To our delight, this has been accompanied by many years of academic excellence, surpassing our neighbouring colleges. Since the society’s foundation, members have had the privilege of a yearly eight-part lecture series on all things engineering. This year brought forward some controversial topics on the energy debate, sustainable water sourcing issues, nuclear fusion power and Formula One, accompanied by many other well-attended talks by Sidneyites and local companies. We even had a field trip to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, not too far from the Other Place. In fact, StephSoc was around long before the 1970s but in a very different form. It was shut down by Donald Green after he was appointed Director of Studies in 1966. Donald found that the post-meeting socials in the King Street pubs were having an adverse effect on the students and liquidation seemed the only option. The minute books were hidden away and the society receded into the shadows of student memory. Five or six years later, two enthusiastic PhD students, Richard Chisnall (Engineering, 1970) and Mike Pursehouse (Engineering, 1970), urged Donald to reopen the Stephenson Society; he agreed, but with conditions. There had to be a degree of structure, to prevent the re-formed StephSoc from suffering the same fate as its predecessor. Various societal positions were created, including a secretary to run the entire

proceedings and an external president to sustain a degree of continuity between the years. The first president was a local man, Ken Knell. He had been born on Green Street, opposite Sidney, and had worked in both the university and engineering libraries. Once a month he would operate the Victorian steam engines at the former sewage pumping station still to be seen by the Cam. As an enthusiast in future years he would deliver the occasional talk on his interests, which were very well received. Unfortunately, at some point between then and now the minute books were misplaced and we no longer know the nature of previous talks or even the date of our foundation. We are now on our third president, the highly dedicated Chris Pyatt. At about the time of Chris’s appointment, Newnham and Wolfson joined the StephSoc and this has led to much-appreciated interconnection between the colleges. Without doubt, the re-formed Stephenson Society will thrive in our ever-growing technological era. If you would like to find out more about us, visit our website at Daniel Worrall Stephenson Society Secretary 2011–12

Donald Green Fund for Engineering It is 18 months since the launch of the Donald Green Fund for Engineering and we are pleased to report that more than £85,000 has been raised to date. Sidney enjoys a reputation as one of Cambridge’s pre-eminent engineering colleges and this is in no small part due to the work of Donald Green. Elected as a Fellow and Lecturer in Sidney in 1966 after serving in the Corps of Royal Engineers, Donald has supported many Sidney engineers with his expert and patient guidance throughout the years. It is therefore only fitting that the fund be named in his honour. We shall shortly be awarding the first Donald Green Prize for Engineering for outstanding performance in Part I (A or B) of the Engineering Tripos. The fund will also continue to support the Stephenson Society and in the future we hope to be able to increase the

number of bursaries available for our engineering students. Donald was also extremely keen that the College expand its outreach programme to encourage potential engineering students to apply to Cambridge. To this end, the fund will be contributing towards the College’s first Summer School taking place in August. The four-day event, organised in partnership with Christ’s College, will see around 50 high-performing sixth-form pupils wishing to study the sciences or engineering stay in Cambridge and experience what College life is really like. Students will receive an introduction to how these subjects are taught at Cambridge and will experience supervisions led by our graduate students, lectures by College Fellows, example classes and laboratory demonstrations.

To discuss supporting the Donald Green Fund please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or bill.abraham@ To find out more about the engineering Summer School please contact Dr Kirsten Dickers, Admissions Director, on +44 (0)1223 338846 or


pheon  n  summer 2012  n  rapid résumé

Rapid Résumé paddy lowe

Paddy Lowe (Engineering, 1981) is currently Technical Director at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, the team in which Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button compete for the Formula One World Championship.


ormula One may seem a world apart from the cloisters of Sidney Sussex, but these days it is a sophisticated industry, employing aerospace technology and attracting some of the very best engineering graduates from Cambridge and elsewhere. But it was not always so. When I left Sidney in 1984, Formula One was still trying to shake off the ‘man-in-a-shed’ image generated through the 1960s and ’70s. Teams were relatively small, and engineering was thinly spread and poorly funded compared to the highly professional organisations we have today, which are supported by global TV rights and big-brand sponsorships. My parents are Irish and were missionaries in Sudan and Uganda. I was born in Nairobi in 1962 and lived in Uganda until the age of 12 when we moved to Kent and I started at Sevenoaks School. My brother Michael (who is now Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College) is five years older and gave me a passion for all things mechanical from an early age. I rebuilt my first bicycle before I learnt to ride it! As I got older, I progressed to lawnmowers, motorbikes and cars, gaining a reputation along the way for fixing friends’ machines. Following my brother’s influence, I applied to study Engineering at Sidney Sussex and was one of the first wave to gain a direct entry using A-level results. I spent a year out in industry with the Metal Box Company who sponsored me and I arrived in Cambridge in 1981. During my three years at Sidney I came across inspirational brilliance through my supervisors Keith Glover and Ann Dowling, both of whom have since gone on to head up the Engineering Department at Cambridge. Unusually I kept a motorbike while at Cambridge and had a good arrangement with a local despatch company. If I wanted to get away I could phone them up and get a job to London or Leeds or somewhere where I had friends to visit, and get paid for it! In my final term, I coxed the Sidney first boat. We had a great time rowing the Cam in the summer evenings, and it was such a satisfying feeling when I learnt to steer the racing line through Grassy Corner at full pressure.

© McLaren

© McLaren


Back with Metal Box, one day in 1987 my good friend from Sidney, Eddie Dent, suggested I should work for an F1 team. You read of people who say, ‘When I was 12 I wanted to be Prime Minister.’ I wasn’t one of those. It had never even occurred to me that normal people could work in such a fantastic job. I wrote to a few teams and by fortuitous timing landed a job at Williams who recognised that my skills and experience were exactly what they were desperate for, having bitten off more than they could chew by committing to racing an active suspension car in 1988. Over the following six years I and fellow recruit Steve Wise helped Williams to become a pioneering force in all aspects of driver aids and associated electronics and hydraulics technology, a capability we built up from scratch and which culminated in the creation of the Williams FW14B, a car that through its revolutionary systems dominated the 1992 season in the talented hands of Nigel Mansell. This story was highlighted recently in the award-winning documentary film Senna. On the back of this success, I was headhunted by McLaren and have worked there ever since, introducing a range of new developments to F1 including power steering, ‘brakesteer’, seamless gear changes and driver-in-loop simulators. During that time McLaren have won Championships with Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton. It’s a scary length of time to stay with one company, but each year has presented new challenges, both technologically and through my personal growth as a more and more senior leader within the team. Each year has been better than the last. People often ask ‘What drives you?’ I am just extremely competitive, and being able to play that out in public every two weeks through innovative engineering is incredibly rewarding – provided you win of course! I love being first with a new invention and seeing the difference it makes. Conversely, nothing annoys me more than seeing a competitor come out with something before us. Looking towards the future, Formula One faces some difficult challenges and conflicts concerning environmental responsibility and commercial sustainability. I am optimistic that this industry can take a pioneering role in the generation and adoption of truly relevant technology for the automotive industry and I hope to play my part in that process.

development news  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

2012 Telephone Campaign


ver the course of two weeks after the end of a very busy Lent Term a team of 12 student callers embarked on the College’s first telephone fundraising campaign in over 10 years. During this time they spoke to over 600 alumni from across the years and many experiences of Sidney, past and present, were shared. The students were highlighting the importance of the Annual Fund, each year it has an £158,247 immediate impact on students through its total support of bursaries, research and teachamount raised ing and the overall student experience at Sidney. Our team of callers ranged from first years to finalists, all of whom study a variety of different subjects and participate in a wealth of different extra-curricular activities,

‘I really felt I got a lot out of it, both experience wise and personally. I loved the conversations I had and have had a couple of letters from people, which is so touching.’ Kitty Norman, Theology, 2nd Year from rowing and rugby to ballet and barbershop. They undertook two full days of professional training before they got on the phones on 20 March, with a mix of trepidation and excitement, to begin calling.

£31,192 amount raised on 31 March, our most successful fundraising day

The callers enjoyed the experience immensely 634 and gained some very valuable career advice alumni along the way. The Campaign provided an opporspoken tunity to develop skills that will be very helpful to in their future careers. Although it wasn’t all hard work – the students were fascinated by the stories told by alumni, many of which I dare not publish here for fear of giving our wider student body too many [bad] ideas, and the Dean too much extra work to do. After the final phone call of the fortnight our students had raised over £158,000 for the Annual Fund with almost half of those contacted deciding to make a gift. Regular gifts were particularly well supported with alumni £250 pledging their ongoing support to the College average for many years to come. This was a focus for the gift per telephone campaign as regular gifts provide the call College with a projected income stream that helps us to plan more effectively for the future. The overall success of the campaign could not have been achieved without the commitment and enthusiasm of our team of student callers. Our thanks to Liam Agate, Josh Brunert, Katie Estdale, Ruoxi Huang, David Liao, Stephanie McAuliffe, Danny McEvoy, Aimee Muirhead, Kitty Norman, Natalie Tapley and Alex Ward. Hannah Williamson Development Officer



pheon  n  summer 2012  n  development news

Development News

Remembering Sidney in Your Will Founded in 1596 as a result of a bequest from Lady Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex, the College as we know it today would not have existed without the extraordinary vision of this woman, who gave it the means to flourish. Much has changed since 1596, when Sidney’s primary mission was to train ‘godly ministers in word and sacrament for the Church of England’. However, we remain firmly committed to providing an excellent education where our students are inspired and taught by dedicated research-active academics, while ensuring that such an education remains accessible to all, irrespective of financial background. Since its foundation Sidney has benefited greatly from the support of its alumni and friends and it is this generous financial support that has been central to the College’s development. To ensure the continuing improvement of the College and the quality of the teaching and support for current and future students we are increasingly reliant on the generosity of our alumni and friends. One of the

easiest and most tax efficient ways of supporting Sidney is to consider making a provision for the College in your will. This can be one of the most meaningful ways in which you can make a gift to the College and will ensure that your generosity will continue to benefit future generations of students for many years to come. Alumni and friends who pledge a legacy to Sidney will also be eligible, along with their partner, to become members of the Lady Frances Sidney Circle. The Circle has been established to recognise the generosity of those who share Lady Frances’s vision for the future of Sidney. On Friday 21 September 2012 the Lady Frances Sidney Circle will be formally established and those who have pledged a legacy to the College are invited to afternoon tea. To find out more about the Lady Frances Sidney Circle event or remembering Sidney in your will please contact Hannah Williamson, Development Officer, +44 (0) 1223 338851 or

Fundraising Update As a result of your generous support over the last 12 months we are delighted to announce that for the financial year 2011– 12 (ending 30 June) we will have raised close to £1 million in philanthropic donations – with more than £400,000 being directed to the Annual Fund. Almost £160,000 was raised through the telephone fundraising campaign alone that took place during the last two weeks of March. We now have more donors than ever before with nearly 700 alumni and friends making a gift to Sidney this year.

Collectively, this support will have an enormous and immediate impact on the College – with the Annual Fund supporting a variety of projects and initiatives at Sidney each year in line with the College’s three priorities of Student Support, Research and Teaching and the overall Student Experience. In future issues of Pheon we will publish details of what we were able to fund as a result of your generosity this year but in the meantime thank you all for your continued support.

development news  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

1596 Foundation At the most recent gathering of members of the 1596 Foundation in May, we were delighted to induct into the Foundation five new members who between them have supported a wide range of projects at Sidney, encompassing the main priorities of the College. Following dinner in the Hall, members and their guests were treated to a recital featuring the College’s Mietke ‘Bach’ harpsichord by Francis Knights, Director of Music at Fitzwilliam College. Our newest inductees include: William Dolben (mml 1983) who has established the William Dolben Bursaries to support undergraduates studying Arts and Humanities subjects at Sidney from October 2012. The CT So Bursaries have been established to support students from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan studying at Sidney from 2012. Professor Alexander So (Medicine, 1971) – who was also a visiting scholar at Sidney this year – joined the 1596 Foundation to represent the So family. Professor Rosamond McKitterick, Fellow in History and Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives at Sidney who generously supported both the new chamber organ and the Confrat fund for History. Gifford Combs, an alumnus of Harvard and Queens’ College, Cambridge, has supported both the College and

College Bursaries Update In the last edition of Pheon the Bursar wrote about the impending changes to the funding of higher education and what that will mean for students from less well-off backgrounds. We are pleased to announce that, as a result of the generosity of several alumni and friends of the College, Sidney has been able to establish several new bursaries, which will be awarded from October 2012. It is hoped that these new bursaries will help to ease the burden of the increased undergraduate tuition fees and will continue to encourage students from all financial backgrounds to apply to Sidney. If you would like to find out more about supporting a College bursary please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or

the University by establishing a Lectureship in the Classics Faculty specialising in Greek Prehistory, which will be conjointly held with a Fellowship in Classics at Sidney. Brian Moody (Classics, 1962) was recognised for his continued support of Music at Sidney, in particular his gift that enabled the purchase of the Mietke harpsichord, with which guests were entertained after dinner. Special thanks are also made to existing 1596 Foundation member Peter Espenhahn (Economics, 1962), whose support not only created the Espenhahn Bursaries for students commencing in October 2012, but also enabled the College to confirm its installation of a new chamber organ designed by the American builders Taylor & Boody. Dr David Skinner, Sidney’s Director of Music, said, ‘Our new chamber organ will not only be one of the finest historical instruments in Oxbridge but an object of exquisite beauty. It will certainly be the crowning jewel in our beautiful chapel.’

Bill Abraham – Marathon Man Congratulations to Development Director Bill Abraham who completed the London Marathon in April, raising nearly £4,500 for Sidney’s Annual Fund. Bill decided in his infinite wisdom to run the 26.2-mile course dressed as a porcupine and while he certainly stood out from the crowd his quills hardly made the most aerodynamic outfit. Bill completed the course in five hours and three minutes. Speaking of his achievement he said, ‘I’m so glad not to be wearing blue or dragging a porcupine around London – he’s a great mascot, but didn’t make for a good running partner!’ Bill was running in support of the Annual Fund, which each year enables the College: • to attract and support the very best students irrespective of their financial background; • to continue to provide personalised teaching with high levels of supervision by research-active scholars; • to enhance our students’ experience at Sidney by providing excellent facilities and a wide range of activities including student societies, the Choir, music and performance, sports and travel.



pheon  n  summer 2012  n  alumni event reports

Alumni Event Reports

Sidney Sussex Society Spring Event at Westminster Abbey On Tuesday 17 April the Choir of Sidney Sussex College celebrated Evensong in the Quire at Westminster Abbey. Following the service, the Choir and members of Sidney Sussex College proceeded to the tomb of the Foundress, Lady Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex, where the Choir sang the College Grace and the Master laid a wreath. Afterwards, the Choir and alumni enjoyed a drinks reception at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, hosted by the Sidney Sussex Society. At the reception the Choir, directed by Dr David Skinner, launched their new recording of the music of Thomas Weelkes. Guests were treated to a live performance of two songs from the new CD.

How You Can Help As well as events in College, the Development and Membership Office and the Sidney Sussex Society organise a programme of events throughout the UK and across the world – but regrettably it is only possible for us to visit a certain number of places each year. If you would like to help us by organising an event for alumni in your area or year group we would be delighted to hear from you. Whether it is a get-together in your own home, an informal gathering at a local restaurant or a more formal dinner, the Development and Membership Office can help you make the initial contact with alumni in your area so you can get your event off to a flying start. To discuss organising an alumni event please contact the Membership and Events Officer, Wendy Hedley on +44 (0)1223 338881 or

2012 John Thornely Lecture The eighth annual John Thornely Lecture was held on 19 April 2012 at the offices of Ince & Co LLP in London. It was delivered by Dr Eva Nanopoulos, on the topic ‘The EU and the UN in the fight against terrorism: allies or enemies?’ Dr Nanopoulos argued that the apparent conflict between the obligations of members of the European Union to enforce Security Council ‘terror lists’ and to uphold human rights must, and could, be resolved. The lecture prompted a lively discussion, which continued in the reception that followed.  The Lecture was preceded by the AGM of the Thornely Society. Sidney Sussex College and the Thornely Society are extremely grateful to Ince & Co for hosting this event. Sidney alumni from across the years and current students were warmly welcomed by members of the firm and the venue provided magnificent views of the London skyline and sunset in the aftermath of one of April’s downpours.  The Lecture provided an opportunity for the College to both thank and congratulate Dr Nanopolous who has recently been appointed to a post at King’s College, Cambridge. She has been a Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies in Law at Sidney Sussex since 2010 where she has supervised Constitutional law, International and EU law while also lecturing on the LLM course, Contemporary issues in EU law.

Dr Eva Nanopoulos

alumni event reports  n  summer 2012  n  pheon

Sidney Club of Geneva Earlier this year members of the Sidney Club of Geneva met for their New Year Dinner which, in a break from tradition, had been delayed from the beginning of the year to allow more people to attend. Seventeen members and friends met for an excellent meal at the Karishma Indian Restaurant in the nearby French town of Divonne-les Bains. Sidney’s Professor James Mayall was in attendance and had the double pleasure of attending the dinner and enjoying a weekend’s skiing. The President of the Club, Dr Ajit Bhalla, thanked the Secretary, Vikki Kay (SPS, 2002), for the hard work she had put in to organising the event, and wished her well as she embarks on a new job as a freelance NGO consultant in Nairobi. More recently the Sidney Club of Geneva organised a weekend trip to the Aosta Valley in Italy on 12 and 13 May 2012. The trip included a stopover in Martigny, an old Roman town with a small Roman amphitheatre and other ruins. Dr Bhalla writes: ‘We drove through the 7km Grand St Bernard Tunnel into the Aosta Valley close to the route followed by Napoleon Bonaparte centuries earlier.’ Visits included the Fenis and Issogne castles, the Roman bridge of St Martin, dating back to the 1st century BC, Bard fortress, the Aosta

Global Alumni Conference, Hong Kong The First Cambridge Global Alumni Conference, hosted by Friends of Cambridge University in Hong Kong, was a great success story for collegiate Cambridge. Attended by the Vice-Chancellor the conference took place over three days (13–15 April 2012) and attracted an audience of over 150 alumni and friends, including several Sidney alumni. Events throughout the weekend included an alumni hosted drinks reception, lectures from some of Cambridge’s most eminent speakers on physics, biochemistry and sociology, and a discussion panel examining, in the context of a world of globalised education, ‘What keeps me awake at night’. The weekend closed with an energetic volunteer training day and social activities for members of the active local alumni groups. If you are interested in finding out more about this year’s Conference or plans for next year please email

Museum of Traditional Handicrafts and the Church of St Orso. Members also enjoyed a wine-tasting session in Frazione village near Arnad – the Aosta region produces several types of white, rosé and red wine. Alumni of the College who would like to join the Club or find out more about it are encouraged to contact the President, Dr Ajit Bhalla,

Sidney Sussex Society London Christmas Reception Over 100 alumni and guests attended the Governors’ Hall in St Thomas’ Hospital on Monday 5 December 2011 and were entertained with talks about the role of Sidney in medicine over the centuries.  Martin Drage (Natural Sciences, 1989) welcomed everyone and gave a very interesting talk about St Thomas’ and the history of the other great London hospitals. Richard Humphreys (English, 1972) spoke about Sidney’s reputation for producing medics in the early days – most famously Sir George Ent (1624), the promoter of William Harvey’s ideas, and John Sterne (1641), who founded the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Others included Samuel Haworth, who ran a famous Turkish bath and spa in Covent Garden in the 1680s, and Francis Newbery, who sold the patent medicine that allegedly killed the writer Oliver Goldsmith in 1774. Natural Sciences developed at Sidney in the 19th century, with eminent figures such as the otologist William Dalby. Early 20th-century figures included a tragic pair: Horace Dimock, whose suicide due to pressure from local private doctors provoked huge riots in Wisbech in 1911; and George Mines, a brilliant young cardiologist who probably died as a result of selfexperimentation in 1914. Professor Tim Cox (Fellow) took up the story since the First Word War and talked about the great nutritionist Alexander McCance and his collaborator Dr Elsie Widdowson, the paediatrician Hugh Jolly and a number of important medical figures in more recent times. The evening finished with guests enjoying the Sidney Sussex Christmas Cake made by our award-winning chefs.


Forthcoming Alumni Events Friday 21 September 2012 ■ Lady Frances Sidney Circle Afternoon Tea Alumni and friends of Sidney who have chosen to remember the College in their will are warmly invited to afternoon tea which will formally establish the Lady Frances Sidney Circle. If you have left a legacy to the College but have not notified us and wish to attend, or if you are unsure if we are aware of your planned legacy, please contact us.

Saturday 22 September 2012 Sidney Reunion for matriculands of 1974, 1975 and 1976.

Friday 21–Sunday 23 September 2012 ■ University Alumni Weekend Be inspired by all Cambridge has to offer at the 2012 Alumni Weekend. Each year the weekend attracts speakers and academics from across the University and more than 1,000 alumni visit Cambridge for the threeday programme, which consists of over 100 lectures, tours and activities. For further information about the Alumni Weekend please see Sidney alumni attending the 2012 Alumni Weekend are also welcome to attend the Decade Reunion Lunch.

Sunday 23 September 2012 ■ Decade Reunion Lunch Alumni who matriculated in the 1990s are invited back to Sidney for an informal buffet lunch on Sunday 23 September. We would like to encourage alumni to bring guests to this event. The Decade Reunion Lunch coincides with the University’s Alumni Weekend (21–23 September) and although it is aimed at those who matriculated in the 1990s, alumni from other years attending the Alumni

Weekend are welcome to attend the Reunion Lunch. Saturday 13 October 2012 ■ Sidney Sussex Society Autumn Event at Boughton House The Sidney Sussex Society invites alumni and guests to its autumn event, which will be held at Boughton House. Situated in the heart of Northamptonshire, Boughton House was the home of Sir Edward Montagu and his wife Elizabeth Harington, niece of Lady Frances Sidney; their son James Montagu was the first Master of Sidney and no fewer than 22 of their descendants studied at the College. Boughton joins four other Great Houses (Blenheim, Burghley, Chatsworth and Holkham) as flagships of Britain’s wonderful heritage. The house displays a staggering collection of paintings, furniture, porcelain, weapons and textiles – including stunning pieces created for the French Royal Family. Monday 3 December 2012 ■ Sidney Sussex Society Christmas Reception The Sidney Sussex Society invites alumni and guests to its annual drinks reception. This year’s event will be held at the Institute for Government, 2 Carlton Gardens, London, sw1y 5aa. Saturday 16 February 2013 ■ Triennial Reunion Dinner for Engineers Alumni who read Engineering, including Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Sciences, Electrical Sciences and Electrical and Information Sciences are warmly invited to a reunion dinner in College. Further information will be sent in due course.

For further details about any of these events please contact the Membership and Events Officer, Wendy Hedley, on +44 (0)1223 338881 or

University Alumni Travel Programme The Alumni Travel Programme run by the University’s Alumni Relations Office (CARO) is now into its 12th year, and offers a unique way of linking up with other alumni from all colleges and backgrounds and exploring the world in the company of University experts. The Programme runs around 25 trips a year, and can include anything from an exclusive visit to a Cambridge archaeological dig in the Egyptian desert with the research leader on hand, to seeing the Galapagos Islands in the company of the leading expert on Darwin and his mentor Henslow, to viewing the night skies over the Arctic Circle with a Professor of Astrophysics. The trips are a wonderful way to reconnect with the University. Not only that, they also help to support Cambridge through a donation from the partner tour operators on every booking. Departures in 2012 include Burma, Russia, Madagascar and China and many more are being added for 2013. For further information, download the 2012 brochure, Unbound, from the CARO website at www.alumni. or contact CARO on The new brochure is now available.

Pheon Issue 29  

Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Alumni and Friends Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you