Alumni Association Awards: 2010 winners

Read more about the winners of the 2010 Alumni Association Awards.

Peter Cooper (MEng Engineering 2009-)

Lead nominator: Professor Nick Leiven, Dean of Engineering and Professor of Aerospace Dynamics

Through Peter’s leadership of Bristol’s Engineers Without Borders society, he has demonstrated a combination of passion, vision and determination. As a direct consequence of Peter’s actions, the society’s membership has increased to over 800 members and he has expanded the society’s Outreach programme from 100 students to over 15,000 in a year.

He has brought together a group of University of Bristol students to dispel engineering stereotypes through creative, interactive and development workshops. Peter has also developed a unique Research Network allowing ethical academics to reach like-minded students. These achievements, combined with his organisation of social events, have created a generation of students with enhanced interest and vigour for their degree.

In addition, Peter’s unique mix of political and design interests has resulted in him being invited to speak at a debate on the Education of Engineering, organised by the Technology Select Committee.

Peter’s contributions spread outside Bristol as well, and he has personally forged a relationship with the Ghanaian Government, laying the foundations for a development project whereby Bristol students were presented with a real-life project to design and create. The people they were working with in Ghana were empowered through appropriate technology, tailored to their needs and offered a means of alleviating their suffering.

His nominator, Professor Nick Leiven, says: 'Peter’s positive stance has yielded great benefit reaching beyond just students and academics at Bristol, but to children, both at home and overseas and his subject area as a whole.'

Kay Hudson (BSc 2011)

Lead nominator: Miss Joanna Resnick, BSc Biochemistry with Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, current student

Kay has been an extremely active member of Student Community Action (SCA) since 2008, regularly supporting fundraising events and enthusiastically recruiting new members. For the last two years, Kay has been a student coordinator for Jolidays, a scheme that provides activity days and residential weekends for young carers. She is responsible for overseeing the logistics, fundraising and publicity and also energetically engages with the young people that the scheme supports. Kay also spent a summer working with a small volunteering organisation in Uganda and has since become an ambassador for the developing project.

In addition, Kay devotes a great deal of time to the performing arts and has worked as both a producer and stage manager with many of the leading student drama societies including DramSoc, Spotlights, Music Theatre Bristol and the Stage Technicians Association.

Her nominator, Joanna Resnick, says: 'Kay has an infectious enthusiasm for the numerous projects she is involved with, which transfers to those around her. She is a source of great generosity and inspiration.'

James Rae (PhD 2012)

Lead nominator: Professor Michael Kendall, Professor of Earth Sciences

James Rae has contributed enormously to building links between various Schools in the Faculty of Science. His achievements include setting up an interschool palaeoclimate group, bringing together research students from Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences, Chemistry, Biology and Archaeology.

James organises two scientific meetings a year, with talks and poster sessions, maintains a webpage and coordinates a fortnightly student reading group. He has established an Earth Sciences student seminar series with the aim of presenting PhD student research to undergraduates, postgraduates and staff in a friendly environment. He has worked hard to increase undergraduate interest in, and attendance at, events and the seminar series is now particularly well attended.

James has also been the postgraduate representative for BUGGS, the undergraduate subject society, and has been instrumental in extending it from a purely social organisation to one that now also offers academic talks and expeditions to sites of geological interest. James is also the School Coordinator for the World Universities Network Earth Systems Science virtual seminars.

On top of all this, James has appeared on a documentary called The Last Trillion Tonnes, about the work scientists do to study climate change, speaks on BURST student radio's 'Green Waves' show and still finds the time to play several musical instruments, including the bagpipes. He is also an active member of the University mountaineering club and is involved in several other societies as well.

His nominator, Professor Michael Kendall, says: 'James is an all-round good citizen and an ambassador for his subject.'

Thomas Vie (BA 2012)

Lead nominator: Mr Graeme Reeves, BSc Economics and Finance, current student

Thomas Vie had worked extremely hard as President of Orbital, the society for Freshers who are living outside Halls of Residence. Orbital is one of the University’s largest societies with a vital role in providing support to a large section of the student population.

Under Thomas' leadership, Orbital has run more events than ever before and has been congratulated by the Students' Union by making a concerted effort to run more non-alcohol focused events. He has managed to turn a deficit in the region of £15,000 at the beginning of his tenure into a substantial surplus, with healthy cash reserves. Orbital has also raised more than £7,500 for charity.

Thomas has also worked tirelessly to represent the interests of JCRs as one of the Residency Forum representatives on Student Council and as a member of the University Accommodation Committee. In addition, he has spent a large amount of time working as a RAG volunteer and committee member and has both run and participated in a number of large scale charity events during RAG week. He also makes contributions within his department as a student mentor and as a coordinator for the History Peer-Assisted-Learning-Scheme.

His nominator, Graeme Reeves, says: 'Thomas is a person who is constantly eager to lend a hand or help anyone with any problems they face. Whenever he finds a problem, Thomas' first reaction is always to try to work out how to fix it.'