College News





Image for the news item 'Professor Brian Thrush' on 14 Sep 2023

The College is greatly saddened that our Life Fellow, Professor Brian Thrush FRS, has recently passed away, in the comfort of his home. This sad event follows the joyful celebration of his 95th birthday just a couple of months ago.

Prof Thrush, who matriculated in 1946, had been a dedicated Fellow since 1960 and contributed significantly to the college community, taking on various important roles including Tutor, Wine Steward, Vice-Master and Acting Master.

We will soon share the details regarding his funeral, which will take place at the College.





Image for the news item 'Professor Pettitt awarded Rose Mary Crawshay Prize' on 5 Sep 2023

We're thrilled that our Fellow, Professor Clare Pettitt, has been awarded the prestigious Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for her remarkable book, 'Serial Forms: The Unfinished Project of Modernity, 1815-1848.' 

Clare's work delves into the fascinating world of 19th-century urban life and the transformative power of rapid information. Her book has received accolades from judges and has won both the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) Book Prize, and the European Society for Periodicals Research (ESPRit) Book Prize.





Image for the news item 'Introducing Catherine Webb: Emmanuel's new Bursar' on 13 Feb 2023

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.





Image for the news item 'Ministry of Justice Honorary KC for Professor Lionel Bently' on 6 Jan 2023

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.





Image for the news item 'New Bursar appointed at Emmanuel' on 1 Nov 2022

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".





Image for the news item 'First Prize awarded to Prof Agarwal, Prof Gales & Dr McDonald in George B. Moody PhysioNet Challenge' on 10 Oct 2022

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.