All Oxford University Scientific Society events are open to the general public. All talks begin at 18:30.

Free entry for students at St Anne’s College for talks held at St Anne’s College.

Trinity Term 2019:

Week 1 Wed 1/05


Brian Launder

“Climate Engineering to avert dangerous global heating?”

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manchester

Week 2 Wed 08/05 Bryn Roberts

“How Big Data and AI are Revolutionising Medicines R&D”

Global Head of Operations for Roche Pharmaceutical Research & Early Development, Switzerland

Week 3 Wed 15/05 Ben Davis

Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford

Week 4 Wed 22/05
Week 5 Wed 29/05 Dr Frank Haselbach,

Global Head of System Design, Rolls Royce

Week 6 Tues 04/06


David Gann,

Vice-President, Imperial college and Chair, UK Atomic Energy Authority

Week 7 Wed 12/06


BRIGHT International Oxford Chapter Presentation on NHS and Health Innovation
Week 8 Wed 19/06


NOTE: Events are £2 for non-members of OUSS, and free for members. Membership can be bought on the door (£10 for one year or £20 for life).

Week 1: Brian Launder

Climate Engineering to avert dangerous global heating?

Venue: Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College

The presentation briefly summarizes the massive change in lifestyles and political strategies needed to limit the rise in global temperature to just 1.5 deg C as advocated by the Paris Agreement (COP 21). It concludes that it is very likely that the world will have to resort to Climate-Engineering techniques to avert catastrophic global heating. Two such approaches are then examined, Direct Air Capture and Marine-Cloud Brightening. The former entails extracting CO2 from the air and ideally re-using it (or failing that permanently removing it from the atmosphere). The latter exploits the Twomey effect by brightening low-level marine clouds so that they reflect a greater proportion of incident solar radiation back into space

About the Speaker: Brian Launder received his first degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London (IC) and continued his studies to master’s and doctoral levels at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for experimental research on
laminarization of turbulent boundary layers. He then returned to IC as lecturer and reader for a dozen years developing the subject of modelling turbulence for use in
the emerging CFD software together with fundamental experimental research on gas-turbine blade cooling. After a 4-year spell as professor at the University of California,
Davis, he returned to head the Thermo-Fluids Division in Manchester. Following his election as a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering he took on the role of regional director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. From 2009 he has edited or authored several books, official reports and articles on
Climate Engineering.

Week 2: Bryn Roberts

“How Big Data and AI are Revolutionising Medicines R&D”


Big Data, powered by genomics at scale, digitization of medical information and emerging digital health solutions, are transforming healthcare and medicines R&D. Once FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), these data are amenable to advanced analytics approaches such as machine and deep learning, and the resulting insights propel our understanding of disease and how best to treat it. The resulting potential for Personalized Healthcare, where patients receive the treatments most appropriate to them, is improving outcomes and lowering the burden of disease for
individuals, families and society. Ultimately, earlier detection and prevention of disease is our goal.

Bryn has a PhD in Pharmacology and background in Data Science. He joined Roche in Basel in 2006 and, in his current role as Global Head of Operations & Informatics for Pharma Research and Early Development, Bryn overseas global research infrastructure and business processes, and provides strategic leadership in areas related to informatics, digital, AI, automation and personalized healthcare. Beyond Roche, Bryn is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, with interests in AI and machine learning, systems biology and scientific software development. He is a member of several advisory boards including the Pistoia Alliance, University of Oxford Dept of Statistics and SABS Centre for
Doctoral Training, and the Microsoft Research/Univ Trento Center for Computational and Systems Biology. Bryn has been recognized in the Fierce Biotech IT list of Top 10 Biotech Techies and the Top 50 Big Data Influencers in Precision Medicine by the Big Data Leaders Forum

Week 3: Ben Davis

Ben Davis got his B.A. (1993) and D.Phil. (1996) from the University of Oxford. During this time he learnt the beauty of carbohydrate chemistry under the supervision of Professor George Fleet. He then spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Bryan Jones at the University of Toronto, exploring protein chemistry and biocatalysis.

His group’s research centres on the chemical understanding and exploitation of biomolecular function (Synthetic Biology, Chemical Biology and Chemical Medicine), with an emphasis on carbohydrates and proteins. In particular, the group’s interests encompass synthesis and methodology; target biomolecule synthesis; inhibitor/probe/substrate design; biocatalysis; enzyme & biomolecule mechanism; biosynthetic pathway determination; protein engineering; drug delivery; molecular biology; structural biology; cell biology; glycobiology; molecular imaging and in vivo biology.

Week 4: 


Week 5: Dr Frank Haselbach, Rolls Royce

A dynamic and accomplished leader with a wealth of operational, strategic and product design & technology experience, Dr Haselbach has operated businesses and worked with customers, teams and suppliers in Europe, Asia and America. As an elected Rolls-Royce Engineering Fellow and Visiting Professor for the University of Oxford he also holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering.

As the Global Head of System Design at Rolls Royce, Frank looks after the system design sub-function within the Rolls-Royce group across all business sectors. Based in Derby, UK, and positioned in the civil aerospace business sector he leads the whole engine architecture, functional and mechanical design of all civil aerospace products and acts as the Chief Aerodynamicist of the group.

Week 6: David Gann, Imperial


David Michael Gann CBE is a British academic, innovation strategy adviser, author and speaker. He is Vice-President at Imperial College London and a member of the College’s Executive Board.

Week 7: BRIGHT International Oxford Chapter Presentation on NHS and Health Innovation

Week 8: 

NOTE: Events are £2 for non-members of OUSS, and free for members. Membership can be bought on the door (£10 for one year or £20 for life).