Greenwich Portraits at Medway
A new public exhibition at the University of Greenwich’s Medway Campus celebrates outstanding alumni from across the generations.
Eighteen graduates have had their portraits taken by award-winning photographer Diane Patrice. Those featured include a Nobel prize-winner, Sir Charles Kao, the inventor of fibre optic technology; Baroness Doreen Lawrence, a campaigner for social justice, and influential grime artist, producer and performer Jme.
Prominent in the exhibition are graduates who studied at the university’s renowned Faculty of Engineering & Science, based at Medway. These include global marketer Louise Vincer: once a PhD Student of the Year, Louise went on to become a senior scientist for GSK, working on its biggest oral health brand.
Vikki Cornelius, who says her time at Medway “gave me the courage to pursue my passion and do something making a real difference”, works at Oxford University as part of a global network of scientists and academics tackling malaria.
“This new installation celebrates the richness and diversity of the university’s global alumni community,” says Professor Martin Snowden, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering & Science.
“There have been so many successful Greenwich graduates that we cannot hope to showcase them all, but this occasion gives us the chance to celebrate eighteen extraordinary people and their diverse achievements.”
Greenwich Portraits at Medway also features Dr Frances Hawkes, Research Scientist with the university’s Natural Resources Institute.
Frances grew up in Strood, went to Rochester Grammar School and completed her doctorate at Medway.
She then embarked on a career that has taken her from the UK to West Africa while researching innovative solutions in the battle against malaria.
The selection of high-flying graduates includes those who have overcome significant social and personal challenges in achieving their potential.
Amy Lewington is a notable alumna who overcame the challenges of athetoid cerebral palsy to gain two degrees from Greenwich. Amy now continues to work at the Medway Campus, supporting students facing difficulties in their studies.
The university has a long history of producing world-class scientists and engineers since its conception as Woolwich Polytechnic, first established in 1895.
To highlight this heritage, the exhibition features an archive photograph of Tommy Flowers, the creator of the first programmable computer, ‘Colossus’, which made history as a vital part of the fight to end the Second World War.
“We aim to ensure that time spent studying at Greenwich is not just the experience of a lifetime, but a lifetime experience,” says Sarah Cretch, Head of the university’s Alumni team. “We do this by creating links and sharing stories of success, connecting members of our community.”
Medway University Technical College headteacher Dr Karon Buck credits doing her PhD at Greenwich as a cornerstone of her career.
“During my doctorate, I was offered work with BP who were interested in my research on zeolites, a type of crystal,” she says.
“I couldn’t believe that my research could be of use to such a huge company. Pairing technical experience with superb teaching is a winning combination.”