UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Welcome to the new Crook Society for 2018

27 March 2018

UCL Biochemical Engineering is currently celebrating its twenty year anniversary, and the Crook Society – UCL Biochemical Engineering’s undergraduate committee - has been running just as long. We meet the new team and welcome them all in their new roles, taking over from Allia, Justin, Davina, Cecile and Mathilde (with thanks for all their hard work over the previous 12 months).

“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.

“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.” The new Crook Committee (left to right Enya, Hashim, Omar, Dwayne, Aoife, Dennis), March 2018

Dwayne Bicar (President)

"I grew up in Tottenham, North London and went to an all-boys secondary school. For my A-levels I studied Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History. All of us are Engineering (Biochemical) MEng students in our 2nd year, apart from our new sports secretary, Dennis, who’s in 1st year. After seeing the success of last year’s committee, I put myself up as president as I sincerely believe that I could build upon that and really take it even further to develop the great community we already have. We’re all looking to see increased integration amongst all the undergraduate year groups and we already have some plans in the works! Also, we’re looking towards connecting with other engineering departments within the faculty by working with the contacts I have from Ramsay Society and UCLES (Engineering Societies). The new committee is composed of some of the most talented and hardest-working people that I know and I have no doubt in my mind that we can really use the Crook Society to build a friendly and thriving community for the department of Biochemical Engineering."

Omar Hamed (Vice President)

"I grew up in Liverpool where I studied Physics, Maths, Biology and Chemistry at A level. Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be the Vice President of the Crook Society so for me, this position is a dream come true. The work of the current society has been brilliant but I feel that more needs to be done to integrate the year groups - something the whole committee feels. Being part of this committee is a platform for us to help make our department even better (Lecturecast for example) but also a platform for other ideas. Printing a calendar with a lecturer posing for each month would be great - maybe holding a puppy or if we're desperate, possibly posing next to a stylish fermenter? Professor Dan Bracewell would definitely make an excellent January.

We also really liked the hoodies organised by last year’s Crook Society, but there have been a lot of requests for other clothing so we are interested in hearing more about everybody's preferences. As much as we’re a departmental society we also want to make better contacts with other departmental societies such as with the chemical engineers and there are plenty of opportunities for joint events.”

Aoife Bye (Treasurer)

“I grew up in Kent, South East England, where I studied my A-levels. I studied Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Physics, and chose to study Biochemical Engineering at UCL as it was the perfect combination of all those subjects. I really wanted to do this role after seeing what a great job Justin did last year. I think I've got the organisation skills to support the team and the projects we’re planning and I look forward to helping out with organising things like the hoodies, I’m also looking forward to bringing new ideas to the table and integrating the different years in the department more.”

Hashim Farooq (Social Secretary)

“It all started off in a little old borough called Ealing (West London). I studied Maths, Chemistry, Biology and English Lit (long story) at A-levels. And then came to study Biochemical Engineering at UCL in 2016.

As social secretary of Crooks, my goal is to run more inclusive social events, giving more opportunities for people from different years to get to know one another. We want to run competitive events like a games night so people can come along to show off their Mario Kart skills. Also, working alongside the sports secretary (Dennis), we are thinking about creating departmental sports event, possibly getting lecturers and students to compete against one another. My last goal is to work with Beakers society to create the greatest Biochem Christmas Ball that you have ever seen.”

Enya Gomes Clynch (General Secretary)

“I grew up in South Wales and studied biology, chemistry and maths at A-Level.

Alia (last year’s Crook Society President) gave us some great advice which was to give people plenty of notice, we'd like to set a calendar in the summer so people know what's happening and when and can plan around dates. I went to most of the careers talks run by the previous team and they were insightful and useful but did give me quite a few ideas on how to develop them. For example, last year they were all at lunch time but in the design suite where you can’t take food or drink, so moving them throughout the day would make it easier for some people to come. Also, having a longer event would allow for more questions and networking rather than just a presentation – we hope to see if we can make it work.”

Dennis Eluyefa (Sports Secretary)

“I'm a first year from Budapest, Hungary, but I moved to Winchester a while ago where I took Maths, Physics, Chemistry (+ an EPQ) at A Level.

Up till now, the main role of Sports Sec has been the organisation of the annual national Bio/Chem Eng sports day, Frank Morton which is held in Leeds. I would really like to increase the number of events we have like a fun sports day that's within our department and a bit closer to home! Perhaps also setting up teams and competing against other societies, like Chem Eng! I'd also love to hold some sport themed socials for our freshers in collaboration with our Social Sec (Hashim) to welcome them into their first year. Ultimately, the main thing is to establish a more well-connected and friendly Biochemical Engineering department across all years and even staff!”