Bristol Engineering Mathematics Society (BEMS) is the subject society for the Engineering Mathematics course at the University of Bristol. Although it’s a relatively young society, being around 8 years old, we host a range of events meant to enrich the experience of the course’s students.
Three times a year we host events called “Pint of Eng Maths”, a Q&A panel event with industry professionals. The Q&A themes include academia, traditional engineering, finance, and even how to start your own business.
When I became president of the society in May, we all knew that the industry events was where we shone. The students have regularly come up to us saying how useful the events were in helping them to find their dream career path. However, what we were lacking was a full calendar of social events to bring all the years together and promote the “Eng Maths” community feel. From personal experience, I know how valuable these events can be.
I started at Bristol enrolled in a Civil Engineering masters course. After a year studying this, I decided that I wanted to focus on more mathematics and also broaden the range of problems I could work on, so I switched to the Engineering Mathematics course. This is the best decision I have ever made. The friendliness and community of Eng Maths blew me away, with lecturers always willing to help and students from every year talking and assisting each other with their work.
Accordingly, when the new committee for BEMS were thinking about what new events we should add to the calendar, it felt natural to run events which add to this convivial feeling. We began this change by adding a type of school house system, where every student gets put into a house (named after famous engineers and mathematicians) with a mixture of students from every year. The first year students find this the most helpful because these events break the ice and let them meet more people than they can in their lectures. So far we’ve done pub trips, quizzes, scavenger hunts, and we’re planning a lot more for the next term. We also have two sports teams for netball and football, which are friendly and accepting of all sporting abilities.
None of this could have been achieved without our sponsors for this year: Bloomberg, CACI, NMI, Ultraleap, and Overleaf.
Coming up, we have two more Pint of Eng Maths events, a summer formal to organise, a lot more social events, merch to bring out, and many more football and netball matches to win!
Especially exciting this year has been that, for the first time ever, there are female presidents for the Engineering Mathematics Society, the Computer Science Society, and the Electrical Engineering Society at the same time. I hope this encourages more women in the engineering courses to join committees and get involved in making this university a more welcoming space.
Being president of this society has been stressful and a lot of hard work. However, getting to know all the students in every year and working closely with industry leaders as well as Engineering Mathematics’ own lecturers has been invaluable and made my time at university meaningful.
By Florence Townend