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1 February

OV Careers Special!

OV advocate for careers in STEM

It was a pleasure to welcome OV Claire Gott MBE (Cl 97-06) back to King’s this week. Claire was invited by our Head of Careers, Helen Airdrie, to speak to the pupils in a College Hall assembly about her journey to becoming an Engineer. Claire highlighted emerging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) opportunities to all current students and her wonderful talk really demonstrated the link between STEM careers and the subjects that the pupils enjoy at school. She also promoted the wide variety of professions that are available in an ever-changing world of work.

Claire is a chartered Civil Engineer specialising in managing multi-disciplinary design teams on major infrastructure projects and is currently WSP’s Design Manager for High Speed 2 Curzon Street Station in Birmingham. She has worked on a number of high profile projects including High Speed 2 Euston Station, the London Bridge Station Redevelopment project and the Paddington Cube. Claire sits on the board of the Major Projects Association focused on inspiring the next generation of engineers. Claire's passion for sustainable positive change led to her appointment as UK Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and in 2017 Claire championed WSP's commitment to becoming Carbon Neutral by 2025.

Claire helped found charity Cameroon Catalyst which facilitates sustainable development in rural Cameroon and in 2015 she was awarded an MBE in recognition for her “Services to civil engineering and charity work in Cameroon".

You can listen to Claire’s inspiring address here.

OV Professor back at school

We were so very happy to welcome OV Nigel Bax (S 56-66) back to King’s on Monday. Nigel was Professor of Medical Education and ran the MBChB programme at Sheffield University, and in his retirement still remains key to the institution as Emeritus Professor of Medicine there. Nigel, who did us the great honour of giving a memorable and inspiring Barnabas speech in 2016, is also hugely active with his wife Professor Deborah Bax, working around the world, particularly in Iraq, to improve medical provision, infrastructure, and education.

Nigel started his day at King’s by visiting Harriet Patrick in Archives. Nigel is giving an address at the celebration of the life of Hon OV and former King’s History teacher Alan Stacey in February, and he was delighted to see many lovely photographs and records of Alan’s school activities that Harriet had found. Nigel was also surprised and thrilled that Harriet had found some photographs of himself at King’s, and also a few articles in the Vigornian magazine about rugby games and drama performances that he had been a part of.

At lunch, Nigel joined Liz and Sophie from the Development and Alumni Relations office, Headmaster Matthew Armstrong, and four current Upper Sixth who are all intending to study Medicine. Nigel was able to share his experiences of the interview and application process for Medicine and also an overview of his career path to date. He took the time to explain the demands of the course and the many different areas he has worked in. He also passed on lots of useful tips on how to manage the workload, including stressing to the pupils how vital it is to continue extra-curricular activities alongside the course.

Nigel concluded the day with a Lower Sixth Biology lesson. Nigel got all the pupils engaged in a wonderful conversation about disease and medical statistics around the world, asking the group to contribute their ideas on how to address the huge gap in the quality of medical care that exists between different counties. Of particular interest to the group was the disproportionately high number of female and child deaths during pregnancy and birth in Iraq. The group were full of ideas on how issues like this could potentially be solved, and Nigel was going to take their thoughts on board and present some at a meeting in London the next day.

We are hugely grateful to the OV community who offer support, inspiration and encouragement to current members of the school, and it is always a pleasure to welcome OVs back to King’s. 

Rugby Nations OV with trio of careers

We love to hear how OVs are getting on professionally and OV Dan White (W 92-99) has certainly been keeping busy handling not one but three professional roles! We were particularly delighted to hear that this year Dan will be one of England's Judicial Officers for the Guinness 6 Nations Rugby Championship. Dan has sent us this report on his fascinating trio of jobs including what his work with the 6 Nations will involve:

“I'm presently "riding three horses" professionally. I remain a tenant of Citadel Chambers in Birmingham. My work at the Bar within the last year has involved me prosecuting offences of murder (most significantly as junior counsel in the Gregory Irvin case  – He stabbed his own grandmother 39 times), rape and fraud. Whilst this year I'm focusing on SYNALOGiK (see below), I am still prosecuting the County Lines Drug case within Herefordshire and Worcestershire called "Operation Ballet". We're slowly working our way through the 77 charged defendants!

The second "horse" is as a Sports Law Barrister, whereby I represent professional and amateur athletes, clubs and national sports bodies in relation to disciplinary disputes. Within the last 12 months I have been involved with matters before the FA, the English Ice Hockey Association, the LTA, the RFU, GB Archery, the British Rowing Association and more. I sit as a Judicial Officer for the RFU, European Professional Championship Rugby ("EPCR") and World Rugby. This year I'm one of England's Judicial Officers for the 6 Nations, meaning if a player is cited or sent off for disciplinary matters in a game NOT involving England (because you can't sit on cases involving your own country) then I hear the case as Chair, on a panel of three, and decide upon sanction if charges are upheld. I was appointed this year as a legal arbitrator for Sport Resolutions, but haven't yet heard any cases.

The third, and most time consuming, is I have jointly founded a company called SYNALOGiK Innovative Solutions. We are a software development business focusing upon automated data analysis tools. Our trademarked product, Scout, is used to detect fraud and anti money laundering within the insurance, banking and gambling industries. We hope that later this year it will also be used in the public sector.”

Debut for OV WRITER

It is great to hear about the diversity of careers OVs can pursue and we were delighted to learn that alongside studying at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and revising for the next round of University Challenge, OV Lizzie Fry (Cr 07-14) has begun working for the Alliance of American Football Great Britain as a writer.

Lizzie says, “I’ve been following the NFL for nearly 10 years now as a (long suffering) fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s a long gap once the season finishes in February, and so I was excited to see a new American Football league (the AAF) get off the ground this year to fill it. I’ll be involved in covering the League for the UK audience."

You can read Lizzie’s interesting article here.