UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Welcome the new Crook Society for 2020

15 June 2020

Welcome to Praveena, Sebastian, Gavin, Aditi, Agnes, and Zeynep who make up the new undergraduate events committee, named after Professor Eric Crook. Normally we get to meet everyone in person but this year we met online

2020 Crook Society Committee Memebers

“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.

Praveena Senthilkumar - President (top, centre)

Hi, I’m Praveena and I studied in South London, in Croydon. I did A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths and an AS in Classical Civilisation. I knew at the start of my A-Levels that I wanted to do Chemical or Biochemical Engineering. Most other universities only offer Chemical Engineering but a big interest in biology which I didn't want to lose. So, it was a blessing that I found UCL did Biochemical Engineering because I didn't have to compromise on what subjects I wanted to study further. As president of the Crook’s Committee, I want to create a committee that adds to the university experience of Biochemical undergraduates and I am very lucky with the team that was elected as they share this goal too. Given that our department is small I wanted to create that family environment. This is an advantage you don’t have in other departments; we are closer with our lecturers and students across the years. We’re very lucky in this regard and I want to extend that further. I am looking forward to working with the committee on careers and social events we want to put on to bring people closer together. I also want to make sure we leave something behind for the next committee, so they have an established network to support them.

Sebastian Rudden - Vice President (top, left)

Right now I’m in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s a small island in the Caribbean, I’m a first-year doing the Engineering (Biochemical) BEng. I studied A-Level Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics and I was relatively sure I wanted to do Biochemical Engineering early on, I wanted to get into mass manufacturing of medicine and I was attracted to the multidisciplinary features of the programme. I’m vice president of the society and I think largely I’ll be supporting the president and the team. I do say one of the things I love about the department and one of the things I can do is build a sense of community between the students, students and teachers, student in different cohorts. I think our sense of community is one of the best things about our department, especially since we have our own building which nobody else does in engineering!

Gavin Ravichanthiran - Treasurer (bottom, left)

Before I came to UCL I did my A-levels in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology and now I’m on the second year of an MEng Engineering (Biochemical). I’m the new treasurer for the committee. I’m pretty good at organising, I was the social executive with Engineers Without Borders last year and it kind of helped me learn how to plan and I wanted to take that further with the Crook Committee. Two of the other members are basically my classmates already.

Aditi Holey – General Secretary (bottom, centre)

I studied in Sri Lanka before I came to the UK. In my A-Levels I took Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths. I didn’t actually plan on coming to UCL, the UK or to study Biochemical Engineering, it all happened over a few days. I think it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made and I’m really enjoying my course. When I spoke to Praveena about the role of Gen. Sec. in the Crooks Society, she said that it would be focused on careers talks but also that a lot of our roles would be intertwined. The reason I applied for this is post is because as a first-year, I had experience as an academic representative which allowed me to work with the Student’s Union at UCL. From this I found that I could be helpful in engaging with other students and staff which tied in well with this role. I really look forward to working with everyone over the next academic year!

Agnes Aparte – Social Media Secretary (bottom, right)

I did my A-Levels at Woking College, doing Biology, Chemistry and Maths. I’m in charge of the social media presence for the Crook Society. I had a similar role when I was at college when I was part of the Student Union, actually as treasurer and someone else was in charge of the marketing and advertising but somehow I ended up sharing that responsibility as I know Photoshop and I do graphic design and make posters and created most of the posts on our Instagram account. Physical posters do have a big impact and putting our posters on the walls got a lot of attention and I’d like to have the same impact in this role. I also look forward to interacting with people through social media too.

Zeynep Cukurcesme  - Social Events Secretary (top, right)

I’m in my second year of the Engineering (Biochemical) BEng, and I didn’t actually do A-Levels, I studied in Istanbul and UCL was able to accept my high school diploma as an equivalent as I’d done maths and physics as well as biology. In my highschool I was involved in organising events like sports tournaments and I really enjoyed it. This year I wanted to be more involved in our department as well, organising events so I applied for the role of social secretary and it was perfect for me to divide the role. I want to get more people involved and get more people to go to events

Read more about UCL Biochemical Engineering student societies here