There’s only one thing on your mind in February if you’re a UK chemical engineering student. Nope, not Pancake Day, not Valentine’s, not even your exams or Final Design Project (okay maybe that’s on your mind a little). It’s the Frank Morton Sports Day!
The annual gathering is special because it is just for them, chemical engineering students from up and down the UK. One day to get to know prospective employers, compete with rival Universities in sports from hockey to chess, all rounded off by a night of entertainment.
University of Leeds took on the monumental task of hosting this year, with a committee of eight students. The Frank Morton Sports Day is a huge undertaking for the students, who find time to organise a sports competition, careers fair, and night out for more than 2,000 students – all whilst studying.
The event was generously supported by Essar Oil, Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, AstraZeneca, Essar, GSK, Pfizer, Phillips 66 and TeachFirst. IChemE was also there to support the event, and invited students to participate in I’m a Chemical Engineer, Get Me Out of Here!
A cold, bright day in February saw more than circa 3,000 chemical engineering students from every corner of the British Isles gather at Loughborough University for the annual Frank Morton Sports Day.
The event has grown spectacularly from its modest beginnings in 1961 when IChemE stalwart, Professor Frank Morton, organised a football match between the chemical engineering departments at the University of Birmingham and the then University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
55 years ago, a chemical engineering professor with a passion for sport and a strong sense of fun initiated an annual football game between the chemical engineering departments at Birmingham and Manchester Universities in the UK.
That professor’s name was Frank Morton, and he had strong connections with both departments having taught in Birmingham where he rose to professor, before moving to Manchester as the first head of chemical engineering at the new Manchester College of Technology in 1956.
And his passion for fun lives on in the annual Frank Morton Sports Day
Frank was a firm believer in the principle that chemical engineering students should work hard and play hard. This year’s participants certainly didn’t let him down.
The 2015 Frank Morton Sports Day took place at Frank’s old stamping ground in Birmingham earlier this week, and had he been there to witness the event, I’m sure that he would have had a huge smile on his face.