The College is delighted to welcome Catherine Webb, our new Bursar, who begins her time at Emmanuel this week. As Bursar, she will be responsible for the operational functions of the College and leading the college staff, as well as strategic oversight of Emmanuel’s finances and facilities.
She is working with our outgoing Bursar, Mike Gross: focusing on understanding the breadth of issues that she will be responsible for, and getting to know our community of Fellows, staff and students. Catherine says “I’m really excited to be re-joining the Emmanuel College community at an exciting point of its history and to play a role in the successful development of the Emma enables project. And personally, I am looking forward to the opportunities this role presents to broaden my experience and to apply my skills and experience in a very different context.”
Ms Webb studied Economics at Emmanuel between 1997 and 2000, with a particular interest in applying economic theory to solve public policy problems. As a natural step from final year papers in Industry and Public Economics, she joined the Civil Service, becoming a member of the Government Economic Service and working particularly on welfare policy and competition and economic regulation. In 2011, Catherine became Counsellor for Economic and Trade Policy based in Beijing. Since 2019, she has been HM Treasury’s Director of Operations, the Board member responsible for HR, buildings (including the establishment of a new economic campus in Darlington), IT, security and knowledge management. In 2021 she was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath, in recognition of her public service.
The College are delighted that Lionel Bently—one of our Fellows in Law—has been elected as an Honorary KC by the Ministry of Justice. We are so proud of his success, which adds to his many other achievements, for which he is being celebrated at a national level.
The Honorary KC is a distinction awarded to Lionel for his involvement in national and Europe-wide policy work, having advised the UK Government on Intellectual Property and Copyright, for the Strategic Advisory Board. Prof Bently leads on advising the Gowers Committee, reviewing sound recordings and their copyright term extensions, as well as reporting to HM Treasury about trading funds & public data.
He is one of our Teaching Fellows in Law for our undergraduates in second and third years, and is the Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property at the University of Cambridge's Law Faculty. He is also Director of the University's Centre for Intellectual Property & Information Law, and has previously held Lecturer & Professorship positions at Keele University & King's College, London. His expertise is in all fields of IP Law (such as copyright, patents & trademarks), and his research investigates the history of Intellectual Property Law, both in the UK and in the former British Empire.
Emmanuel College is pleased to have selected Catherine Webb as its next Bursar. She will join the college next February, taking over from our retiring Bursar, Dr Mike Gross.
Catherine matriculated with us as an Economics undergraduate in 1997 and will join us from a highly successful career in the Civil Service. A career that has seen her serve in multiple Departments in a range of high-profile appointments. Her current appointment being the Director of Operations for HM Treasury.
Doug Chalmers, our Master, said: “I am delighted that, after a highly competitive process, Catherine will be joining us. She has a proven track record of being able to take people with her through complex issues and programmes. And I know that I am not the only one that looks forward to working with her in the months and years ahead.”
Catherine Webb said: “I am really excited to be returning to Emmanuel, and to have the opportunity to help ensure future generations benefit from the same opportunities I have had from studying at Emmanuel".
First Prize awarded to Prof Agarwal, Prof Gales & Dr McDonald in George B. Moody PhysioNet Challenge
Two of our Fellows—Professor Anurag Agarwal & Professor Mark Gales—as leaders of teams in the Acoustics Laboratory & Information Engineering, collaborated to win First Prize in the 2022 George B. Moody PhysioNet Challenge: a challenge to use machine learning to classify heart sound recordings, entered by 40 international teams.
The interdisciplinary collaboration between Prof Agarwal & Prof Gales—alongside PhD research from one of Emma's Research Associates, Andrew McDonald—entered their approach to identifing murmurs and clinical outcomes using heart sound recordings collected from multiple auscultation locations, as challenged by the competition. They designed an algorithm that can use electronic stethoscope recordings to predict whether the patient has a heart murmur.
Prof Agarwal's team has been researching automated heart sound analysis since 2016, and they were awarded an MRC DPFS grant to develop an algorithm to use stethoscope recordings to classify the presence of valvular heart disease in patients.
We're absolutely delighted that our Honorary Fellow, Dr. Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has been awarded the 2022 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. The award, presented by the Lasker Foundation, is widely regarded as America’s top biomedical research prize, and Dr Lo has been celebrated for his discovery of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal blood, and development of noninvasive prenatal testing.
He has been one of our Honorary Fellows since 2017, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, and as a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2013. Dr Lo recently wrote an article for our Emmanuel Review, which can be found at the link below.
Our Master, Doug Chalmers, pays tribute to the service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in this video on our YouTube channel. He gives details of how we, as the College community, will be celebrating her life and service during the period of national mourning. We join together as the College in offering our deepest sympathy to His Majesty Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death earlier today (8 September 2022) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
She served the country as its Head of State for seven decades, and will be remembered for her steadfast devotion to duty, dignity and humility. At Emmanuel we will particularly remember her visits here to the University and to the College.
A tribute to Her Majesty’s contribution to the University appears on the University of Cambridge website. https://www.cam.ac.uk/news/queen-elizabeth-ii-1926-2022
We offer our deepest sympathy to His Majesty King Charles III and all the members of the Royal Family.
The College are delighted that one of our Honorary Fellows, and epigeneticist & developmental biologist, Professor Edith Heard, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cambridge. Professor Heard matriculated at Emmanuel in 1983, reading Natural Sciences, before obtaining her PhD at Imperial College London, investigating gene amplification in rat cells. She is currently Professor of Epigenetics & Cellular Memory at the Collège de France, and Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
Professor Heard said: "I’m incredibly grateful to receive an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Cambridge. My years at Cambridge as an undergraduate were the foundation of my career as a scientist. Today we are living in a truly exciting time for the life sciences. I believe that the University of Cambridge and EMBL are two great institutions that exemplify how science and technology can come together to advance discovery and inspire the next generation of scientists".
After graduating from Emmanuel, her postdoctoral study began at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was followed this with a year as a visiting scientist at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the USA, before returning to Paris and the Institut Curie, as Director of Genetics & Developmental Biology. Heard’s own laboratory focuses on epigenetic processes in mammals, and on chromosome biology and the role of non-coding RNAs, chromatin structure and nuclear organization in the establishment and maintenance of differential expression patterns.
A Fellow of the Royal Society, she is a member of the Academia Europaea, the European Molecular Biology Organization, the US National Academies of Science and Medicine, the Senate of the Max Planck Society, and the Science Council of the WHO. A Silver Medallist of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Professor Heard has also won the Hansen Family Prize and the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science International Award.
The College is absolutely delighted that our Life Fellow, Professor Stephen Young, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's 2022 Birthday Honours. Professor Young, who has been part of Emmanuel since 1985, was awarded the honour for his services to Software Engineering.
Prof Young's research interests lie in the area of spoken language systems including speech recognition, speech synthesis and dialogue management. He is the original developer of the HTK Toolkit for building hidden Markov model-based recognition systems. He led the team that developed the HTK Large Vocabulary Speech Recognition System. He has written and edited books on software engineering and speech processing, and he has published as author and co-author, more than 200 papers in these areas.
A memorial service for Professor John (Shôn) Eirwyn Ffowcs Williams, Rank Professor of Engineering 1972–2002, Master 1996–2002, will be held in the College Chapel at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 7th May. The service will be followed by a reception in Hall. All are welcome to attend. We regret that parking is not available on the College site.