Meet Our People: Dr Fiona Jamieson, Strategic Partnerships Director
12 February 2023
Our Strategic Partnerships Director, Dr Fiona Jamieson (UCL Mechanical Engineering and CEGE) joined UCL in early 2022. We asked Fiona about her UCL mission, her dream email and how she'd keep herself busy in the event of a shipwreck.
How would you describe your job to an 8-year-old?
Chatting to interesting people about science and engineering. Trying to find ways to make their lives and jobs better, by joining up the right people to do this.
What’s your mission at UCL Mechanical Engineering and CEGE?
To ensure that people know how to navigate working with external partners. Whether that’s sharing the incredible research the departments are doing with a spectrum of stakeholders, helping companies who want to know how to start a conversation about a challenge they need help overcoming or supporting our amazing student talent with sponsorship opportunities for their extra-curricular activities.
Now you’ve settled in, what are your priorities for the next 18 months?
To make the departments the go-to place for partners who want to work with academia. This will involve growing the partnerships we already have and ensuring we present a joined-up approach in order to collaborate on larger mission-focused challenges, rather than individual pieces of work. Building on the existing activities, I want to work more with our alumni as they, more than anyone, know our potential and how we might fit alongside their work. Finally, I want to reach out to those who haven’t really worked with us to have conversations about their needs and our capabilities, to see whether we can start a partnership, no matter how small this might be.
You’re scanning your inbox on a Monday morning, what would be the ideal “subject” line that would make you double-click?
“Funded partnership opportunity”. I’m involved in so many exciting conversations about people’s plans and aspirations, but some never get off the ground because we can’t find the money to make them happen.
Building on the existing activities, I want to work more with our alumni as they, more than anyone, know our potential and how we might fit alongside their work.
Dr Fiona Jamieson
If someone was able to fund what we wanted to do, I know we would make some huge leaps forward in deploying our engineering capacity for good. Take our Formula Student team for example… they would love to pioneer the development of an electric car in this competition and drive forward the electric revolution in the sport. However, right now we don’t have the funds to support this, so we are continuing the development of their conventional combustion engine until we have the means to fund the electric project.
One of the things people are surprised to find out about you is…
I’m exceptionally self-competitive and have a number of personal goals on the go at once. This year’s fitness one is to deadlift more than 100kg. I’m currently at 75kg so a little way to go, but determined to do it.
Shipwreck time: Your three books, movies and albums on the lifeboat?
Books: The Bible – an almost daily read for me. Anything by Peter May, his crime thrillers are page-turners that I get hooked on. A worldwide travel guide, so that I can plan the next adventure.
Films: Baz Lurhman’s "Romeo and Juliet". "Anchorman" – in my opinion one of the funniest films ever made. "Hook" – a childhood favourite that I watched on repeat, while it was the only VHS we had.
Albums: Spice Girls' “Spice” – full of bangers and "Spice Up Your Life" is my go-to request when hitting a dancefloor. Chemical Brothers' “Dig Your Own Hole” – I’ve seen them live so many times. Maribou State's “Portraits” – I discovered them at a festival a few years ago.