Engineering Performance

The CPS hosted the inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Performance Science featuring Imperial College London’s Nigel Brandon, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

The lecture was held in the Royal College of Music’s Britten Theatre on 12 March and was accompanied by a evening of performance and discussion.

In his presentation Engineering Performance, Nigel Brandon described the performative nature of engineers’ work and careers. He drew parallels with artists, surgeons, and athletes to describe how engineers work in multidisciplinary teams and across specialities, must be creative and artful in their work, and rely not only on the efficiency of their products but of the people making them.

Following an introduction by CPS Co-Director Aaron Williamon, the evening started with a performance by Royal College of Music Director Colin Lawson (clarinet) and the RCM Arcus Quartet (Iida Lymi, violin; Abel Puustinen, violin; Geeta Nazareth, viola; Ruth Hallows, cello) playing the Rhapsodic Quintet, Op. 31 by RCM alumnus and former professor Herbert Howells.

The lecture was followed by a roundtable conversation with Nigel Brandon, Colin Lawson, and CPS Co-Director Roger Kneebone as they discussed issues of crafting sensitive equipment, of contributing as performers to large collaborative products, and how to promote interdisciplinarity in education.

Professor Brandon’s research focuses on electrochemical devices for energy applications, with a particular focus on fuel cells, electrolyses, and batteries. He is Director of the RC Energy programme funded Hydrogen and Fuel Cells SUPERGEN Hub and Co-Director of the SUPERGEN Energy Storage Hub. He was the founding Director of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College and a founder of Ceres Power, an AIM listed fuel cell company spun out from Imperial College in 2000. In 2014, he was appointed as the founder Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute at Imperial College.

Learn more

For more CPS work examining how engineers perform, visit the Embodied Knowing project page.