Focus on our Centenary: The year so far

Posted on: 22 August, 2019

We are exactly two-thirds of the way through our centenary year. The year has been packed full of activity and, in case you missed anything or wanted a reminder, here’s a rundown of what’s taken place so far…


The official launch of our centenary year took place on 7 January with the centenary section on our website going live, the launch of our Centenary Fund, the first centenary newsletter being published, the introduction of our centenary logos and the announcement of key dates to look out for.

An internal launch took place at our Reading-based Horizons HQ during which Principal, Ashley Wheaton, and Deputy Principal, Jane Fawkes shared the plans for the year with staff and outlined the institution’s new vision. There were a few new licks of paint around the office and balloons and cake as we celebrated the start of our exciting milestone year!

An empty Wells Suite with centenary balloons  UCEM HQ Staff in the Wells Suite Celebrating UCEM's centenary year A table with a centenary cupcake selection in the shape of a '100!' alongside glasses of champagne


Our centenary volunteering programme got off to a great start at Purley Park Trust. The Trust’s clients benefited from the day and our staff enjoyed making a difference.

Group photo of staff prior to starting the first of UCEM's centenary volunteering program at Purley Park Trust Members of staff at the Purley Park Trust Staff members in the Purley Park Office Staff members holding gardening equipment in the Purley Park car park


We were honoured to receive a visit from our Patron, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales at our Reading HQ to mark the occasion of our centenary.

UCEM's Patron, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in the Horizons building holding his gifted UCEM centenary tie Two members of staff showing UCEM's Patron, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales UCEM's online learning resources in the Horizons building


A second group of UCEM employees volunteered for Launchpad by helping the charity create an allotment for its clients. Launchpad’s CEO, Ian Caren, wrote about the charity and a few UCEM employees wrote about their volunteering experience in a blog.

Staff working on the allottment  Ataff lifing a large clod of earth


Our volunteering events were coming thick and fast with the third set of employees heading to Courage Park in Coley to help clean up the woodland there.

Staff at Courage Park Staff clearing shrubs

We held our first external centenary at the world’s most sustainable events venue, The Crystal in London. The event was split into two parts – a session for secondary school students from Newham introducing them to the surveying profession and presentations from illustrious industry experts in the evening which forecast the future of the Built Environment with an audience of stakeholders.

Speakers at the Crystal event Melissa Sterry, Dan Hughes, Amanda Clack and Mark Farmer on stage answering questions from the audience Panel at the Crystal event Melissa Sterry, Dan Hughes, Amanda Clack and Mark Farmer on stage answering questions from the audience

During the first session, awards were handed out to the winners of our ‘Design a Building of the Future’ schools’ competition from a wide selection of creative entries across the nation.

Art pieces created for the ‘Design a Building of the Future’ schools’ competition

The whole event was recorded and the presentations from all the speakers on the day are well worth a watch!


It was the turn of staff to celebrate at UCEM Fest! All employees were invited to Shinfield Grange for a barbecue, music, an open-door cinema and plenty more on a (thankfully!) sunny summer’s day!

It’s been a great year so far but there is plenty more still to come! Pens and calendars at the ready…


10 September – Celebrating 100 Years of UCEM exhibition opens. Our exhibition commemorating our heritage at Reading Museum opens to the public.

11 September – Centenary Projects for Good: The Built Environment of the Future. Our exclusive alumni and student centenary event a stone’s throw from our original home in London.

19 September – Housing for Good in Reading: The Built Environment of the Future. A free public event at Reading Town Hall discussing long-term housing solutions with donations going to our charity partner, Launchpad, to support its latest project.


22 October – The Built Environment of the Future: Where next for the Built Environment in Hong Kong? Our centenary event at our Asia-Pacific HQ in Hong Kong.


In addition to these events, there will be the last few centenary social media competitions offering chances for you to win an item of merchandise from our shop and our mascot, Oswald the Owl, may be on his travels for networking shortly… Keep an eye out on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn channels for all the latest.