Chemical and Biological Engineering Speed Networking event

The Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) Department recently hosted a brand new speed networking event for its current students, the first of its kind at The University of Sheffield.

CBE Speed Networking - group

The event, attended by 30 students, saw nine alumni return to campus representing an array of career destinations including Atkins, Xeros Ltd, Magma Ceramics and Catalysts and Monckton Coke and Chemical. 

The format of the event involved small groups of students speaking to each alumni for 10 minutes before rotating to the next alumnus. Alumni had submitted their profiles in advance of the event and students had prepared questions for them. The speed networking was followed by an informal drinks reception and buffet, allowing the students to follow up questions and discussions with alumni.

The event, organised by the Alumni Volunteer Manager, Emma Packham, in partnership with the CBE Careers Development Officer, Dr Corinne Howse, offered students the opportunity to build their confidence networking with professionals and gain a real insight into the world of work and variety of careers available to them.

Dr Corinne Howse said: “When I met with Emma to discuss how to best involve Alumni in the Careers Events that I am setting up, she straight away mentioned Alumni Speed Networking. I thought that the concept was brilliant, encouraging and enabling discussion between Alumni and students. The event was well attended (to my relief) and students’ feedback on the day was very positive. As a result future events will be organised.”

Student feedback was very positive; not only did 100% of students enjoy the event and would recommend it to others, 97% of students agreed their confidence has increased in networking with professionals and 93% of students felt motivated to take action regarding their career as a result of attending this event. One final year student, who is now planning to apply for an internship as a result of attending this event, said: “The best thing about the event was getting advice from people that have been in the same position as you”. Students also came away with tips about approaching companies for internships or jobs that may not be publicly advertised, continuing to learn and develop throughout their careers, and to keep an enthusiastic and proactive attitude.

The event wouldn’t have been a success without the enthusiastic alumni that volunteered to share their advice.

Alumni volunteer John Mulholland, BSc Chemical Engineering 1974, Director of Mulholland Energy Solutions said: “This was a well organised and attended event. I was pleased to be asked to attend, and be able to contribute to the next generation of graduate engineers. It was good to be back in my old department after 40 years, and nice to see the department and University thriving and producing great graduates.”

Daniel Holden, MEng Chemical Engineering & Chemistry 2008, currently works as a Senior Process Engineer at Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies. He said: “I wanted to help my university department in some way, and this speed networking event sounded like a great way to pass on some useful knowledge to students. I also wanted to help because my company has been sending other engineers back to their old universities and I wanted to do the same for Sheffield. The event was really well organised and the students and staff were really friendly and appreciated that we had come to visit. I liked meeting and talking to students, and the chance to discuss things over a glass of wine was a bonus.”

If you would like to find out more information about volunteering at the University, please visit or

A huge thank you to the following alumni volunteers:

Andy Morrison, BSc Chemical Engineering and Fuel Technology 1982
Managing Director, Spinnaker Management Resources Ltd

Kirsty Bonner, BEng Chemical Engineering 2009
Process Development Engineer, Magma Ceramics and Catalysts

Stuart Cameron, PhD Chemical Process Engineering 2004
Senior Process Engineer, Atkins

Daniel Holden, MEng Chemical Engineering & Chemistry 2008
Senior Process Engineer, Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies

John Mulholland, BSc Chemical Engineering 1974
Director, Mulholland Energy Solutions

Adam Draup, MEng Chemical Engineering 2007
Process Control Manager, Monckton Coke and Chemical

Graham Moss, BSc Biochemistry and Physiology 1983
Proprietor, Mossbrew Brewing Systems

Katy Armstrong, BSc Chemical and Process Engineering with Biotechnology 2000
CO2Chem Network Manager, The University of Sheffield

Alireza Sadeghi, MSc Environmental and Energy Engineering 2009, PhD Biomimetic Engineering of Micro- and Nanoparticles 2014
KTP Associate– Development Technologist, The University of Northampton in partnership with Xeros Ltd

Photos of the event can be found here: