UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Welcome to the Crook Society 2017

30 March 2017

Welcome to The Crook Society's New Committee in 2017

The newly-appointed members of the Biochemical Engineering Department's long-running Crook Society take some time to tell about themselves and what the society is up to.

(From left to right: Allia, Justin, Davinia, Cecile and Mathilde)

What is The Crook Society?

The Crook Society has been running for nearly twenty years, since The Department of Biochemical Engineering was set up in 1998. We’re the undergraduate society who organises events to help students feel integrated in the department. We’re all studying the Engineering stream, one of the four programmes run within The Department.

Tell me about yourselves

Allia Ruggerio, President

I grew up in Germany but have a mixed background. I studied my A levels in Essex, my subjects were maths, physics, chemistry, biology and further maths. I basically put myself forward for this role at Brenda’s suggestion (Dr Brenda Parker, undergraduate admissions tutor) I’m currently living in Archway alright while I study.

Davina Rehal, Vice President

I am committed to listening and introducing ideas to the society. I grew up in southwest London taking A-levels in biology, chemistry and media. I’m living at home in in Southwest London while studying at UCL which means a nice easy commute up the Northern Line each day!

Justin Lutterbuese, Treasurer

I took my A levels in Buckinghamshire (everyone says this it’s very posh) studying maths, further maths, chemistry and physics and I’m the only first year student in the committee. I’m currently in UCL Student Halls at Schafer house which is fine but I’ve had a few issues with “interesting” guests in the halls (mice) and but it’s good fun!

Mathilde Thoulouze, Social Secretary

I did my baccalauréat in Paris that covered a range of subjects focusing on science with further maths. I think I’ve had a different experience than my fellow students at Biochemical Engineering because those of us who did a baccalauréat studied a wider range of subjects but not as in depth than with more focused scholar systems, I notice that we bring different skills to the group. As Social Sec I would like to organize welcoming events for the first years, so they feel integrated in the department quicker and get to know everyone, but also organize various small gatherings through the year and some specific pub crawls!

Cécile Geier, General Secretary

I am French & German and grew up in Luxembourg, a country at the crossroad of Europe where 50% of the population is non Luxembourgish. Hence, I have always lived in an international environment and I really enjoy the diversity in the the department. Before university I did the International Baccalaureate (IB) covering higher level maths, chemistry and French, with standard level history, English and German. Due to its structure the IB widens your knowledge and that interdisciplinary experience comes out when doing scenarios.

What are you looking forward to?

We’re excited about getting to know more people around The Department, so far we’ve mostly had contact with those in our own classes which can mean that some people don’t get to know the wider department until their second year.

The society has a number of ideas for events that will start helping undergraduate students to get to know people in other years and on other programmes, as well as academics and support staff. We’re planning a mentoring scheme and a treasure hunt – that will be a great way to explore what goes on here. We’ll also be doing smaller gatherings throughout the terms and a big end-of-exam pub crawl, maybe a carnival (after some discussion they thought carnival may be a bit much, but a unicorn/ onesie day would be a great idea), and a cake sale to raise money for the society. We’ll also be planning class photos and create departmental hoodies to show off on campus. We also want to get involved in the organisation of the Christmas Ball. Last but not least we will organise several career talks and get involved in the open days to attract as many freshers to the department as possible.

We are really excited to be the new Crook committee and we are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

“The undergraduate society is named in honour of Professor Eric Crook one of the early supporters of Biochemical Engineering research at UCL. He undertook some of the early scale-up studies on biological systems in the 1950s while working in the then UCL Department of Biochemistry and collaborating with engineers in the then UCL Department of Chemical Engineering. Crook was one of the original editors of ‘Biotechnology and Bioengineering’ which is still the leading journal in the field.” Prof. Gary Lye, Head of Department