Frank Morton Sports Day

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The Frank Morton Sports Day (abbreviated to FM) is an annual sporting competition between the students of chemical engineering departments from UK and Irish universities. The event is held on one of the campuses of one of the competing universities, normally in the second week of February, when there is less academic pressure on students. In 2009, for the first time, the event was held in Singapore as well as the UK.[1]


The event is named after Frank Morton, a prominent professor of Chemical Engineering, who taught at Birmingham University until 1956, when he switched to teaching at UMIST (now University of Manchester). His love for sport and connections at both universities led him to organise the first of these sports days. The competition began in 1961 as a football match between the two departments,[2] but by the 1980s, the event had grown to include many more universities and sports. In 2015, 29 Universities competed in 19 events,[3]

Previous Winners:

Year Winner Host Reference
2018 University of Birmingham University of Leeds [4]
2017 University of Birmingham Loughborough University [4]
2016 University of Birmingham University of Manchester [4]
2015 University of Birmingham University of Birmingham [4]
2014 University of Strathclyde University of Strathclyde
2013 Imperial College London University of Newcastle
2012 University of Birmingham University of Swansea
2011 University of Birmingham University of Nottingham
2010 University of Birmingham University of Birmingham
2009 University of Manchester University of Newcastle [1]
2008 Imperial College London University of Leeds [5]
2007 Imperial College London University of Manchester [6]
2006 University of Manchester University of Birmingham [7]
2005 Imperial College London University of Newcastle [8]
2004 Loughborough University Loughborough University [9]
2003 University of Sheffield University of Sheffield
2002 Imperial College London UMIST [10]
2001 Imperial College London University of Leeds [11]
2000 Imperial College London University of Bath
1999 Loughborough University University of Nottingham
1998 Loughborough University University of Sheffield
1997 University of Newcastle University of Newcastle
1996 University of Birmingham University of Birmingham
1995 Loughborough University Loughborough University
1994 Loughborough University University of Surrey
1993 University of Birmingham Bradford University
1992 Loughborough University Loughborough University
1991 University of Birmingham UMIST
1990 University of Birmingham University of Birmingham/Aston University
1989 University of Birmingham University of Nottingham
1988 Loughborough University Teesside Polytechnic
1987 University of Birmingham University of Newcastle
1986 University of Nottingham Southbank Polytechnic
1985 Birmingham/Nottingham Newcastle University
Wins University Last Won
14 Birmingham 2018
7 Loughborough 2004
7 Imperial College London 2013
2 Manchester 2009
2 University of Nottingham 1986
1 Newcastle University 1997
1 University of Strathclyde 2014
1 University of Bath 2000
1 Sheffield 2003

Current Format[edit]

The modern version of the sports day shows significant development from the original concept, though the ideals of friendly competition and rivalry remain. The day can begin for many students as early as midnight the night before, when they travel from their university to where the competition is held; some universities even opting to stay the night before in a host city hostel.

An opening ceremony at around 9am sees all students register, collect bags full of sponsor goodies and visit an organised careers fair. Sports competitions are held throughout the day, typically from around 10am to 4pm, with participants often travelling by bus to the sporting venue. Tournaments of a less athletic nature also run in this time frame, such as pool or bowling, but teams' performances in them still count towards the final points total for the universities.

In addition to this universities can gain points through the T-shirt competition, where the most creative designs based on Chemical Engineering puns gain points towards the final result.

Frank Morton Loughborough 2017[edit]

In April 2016, it was announced that Loughborough University would be hosting the event in 2017, for the first time since 2004, after beating bids from Leeds University and Newcastle University. This Frank Morton was won by the University of Birmingham earning them their 3rd title in a row. Entertainment headlined by The Hoosiers, Tupac hologram, Tim Westwood and Scott Mills.

Frank Morton Manchester 2016[edit]

The event was hosted by the University of Manchester on Tuesday 16 February 2016 at the Manchester Central Convention Complex. Manchester was announced as the host in May 2015 after winning the bidding process for the event.[12]

With the largest event of its kind, Manchester hosted 20 different sports with 3000 chemical engineering students attending from 32 UK and Irish institutions. New sports to the roster ranged from Indoor Cricket and Chess, to add with traditional sports such as Football, Touch Rugby, Basketball and many more. New attendees included Aberdeen, Chester and Wolverhampton for their first taste of a Frank Morton event.

Over 25 corporate partners attended Frank Morton, with Brand Sponsors SPX FLOW, Main Sponsors AB InBev and NNL, Event Sponsors AstraZeneca, GSK, Phillips 66, Shell, Tarmac, University of Manchester, Valero along with multiple attendees at our careers event including 3M, Accenture, Bechtel, Fichtner, Heineken, Jacobs, PM Group, Teachfirst, Total, RAF, Army and more. The event also worked with three charities, Cancer Research UK, Red Cross and Marrow UK to raise funds as part of the non-profit event.

The University of Birmingham won the overall event with Strathclyde in second place followed by a tied third place between Manchester and Imperial, with the awards hosted by Olympic swimmer and Bronze Medallist Steve Parry. The event ended in University of Manchester Students' Union building across three rooms in a mini festival named "Frank Morton Presents" and was played out by multiple local bands and DJ's, including Pacific, Ray Benni and the world-famous DJ Jaguar Skills.

Frank Morton Birmingham 2015[edit]

The event was hosted by the University of Birmingham on Tuesday 17 February 2015. Birmingham was announced as the host in March 2014 after winning the bidding process against Manchester University.

The 2015 event was attended by around 2700 chemical engineering students from 29 UK and Irish universities. The event took take place at the Barclaycard Arena, with students and companies to participating in 19 different sporting events located in venues around Birmingham.[13] Frank Morton 2015 was won by the University of Birmingham, ensuring them their 11th title.

The event secured a range of high-level sponsors, including ABB, National Nuclear Laboratory, BP, CB&I, GSK, Mondelēz International, PepsiCo and Teach First. The event was supported by, Phillips 66, Syngenta, University of Birmingham, Valero, Johnson Matthey, Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies, Bechtel and BOC. As a charity event, money was raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Frank Morton Strathclyde 2014[edit]

The event was hosted for the first time in Scotland by Strathclyde University in Glasgow on 11 February 2014. Strathclyde was announced as the host in March 2013 after winning the bidding process against Birmingham University.

Over 2000 chemical engineering students from 22 UK and Irish universities attended attracting sponsorship from several companies. The event was based at Braehead Arena where opening speeches were heard before students and teams from 11 companies competed in 13 different sports at venues across Glasgow. Some notable venues included Scotstoun Leisure Centre, home of the Glasgow Warriors rugby team, and the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, the hockey venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. A closing ceremony was hosted by comedian Ray Bradshaw, and involved a performance by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Strathclyde were announced as the overall winners of the competition, beating Birmingham University by one point.

The night consisted of a split group bar crawl through Glasgow, involving 11 different bars. Arta, in Glasgow's Merchant City, was the final venue of the day.

Frank Morton Newcastle 2013[edit]

The event was hosted by Newcastle University on Tuesday 12 February and saw the scale of the event increase dramatically. The event took place in the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, and was the first time the event has ever been held in a commercial venue. Over 2000 chemical engineering students from 24 UK and Irish universities participated in 15 different tournaments across the city.[14]

The day featured the voice of Big Brother UK, Marcus Bentley, and the awards ceremony was hosted by Chris Ramsey. The ceremonies featured pyrotechnics and a Heineken Perfect Pour bar. The night saw the biggest ever Frank Morton club crawl ever attempted starting at The Gate Newcastle for food with 6 clubs on the route ending at Newcastle University Students Union.

With 22 organisations financially supporting the event, £60000 was raised. The event was partnered with ABB with sponsorship from GSK, Royal Navy, Phillips 66, Exxon Mobil and support from Bechtel, Johnson Matthey, Croda, KBR, Davy Process Technology, Gradcracker, Valero and Ineos.[15]

Previous Events[edit]

In 2012, the event took place at Swansea University, 21 February 2012 and included a number of new events such as Laser Tag and Bowling. The 2012 event was won by Birmingham[16]

In 2011, the event took place on 22 February at the University of Nottingham and was won by the University of Birmingham.[17]

In 2010, the event was hosted, and won, by the University of Birmingham on 18 February.[18] It involved 1547 students from 20 universities.[19] The Asia-Pacific Frank Morton Sports Day in October 2010 was hosted by the Universiti Technologi Mara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[19] The Event was sponsored by ConocoPhillips, British Sugar, PepsiCo, Exxon Mobil, Croda, Unilever, M W Kellogg, BP and DBD Nuclear.

In 2009, Frank Morton Sports Day was held in Singapore as well as the UK for the first time.[1] In the UK, Newcastle University hosted the event.[20] Overall winners were the University of Manchester, with Strathclyde second and Birmingham Third.[1][21] The National University of Singapore hosted the Singapore event on 21 February 2009. Overall winners were Universiti Teknologi MARA with University of Nottingham (Malaysia) second and National University of Singapore third.[1]

In 2008 the event took place on 19 February at the University of Leeds. 1300 students from 17 universities and several company teams took part. Imperial College London successfully defended their title as overall winners, with Birmingham University second and Strathclyde University third. The champion company team was that from Bechtel.[5] The event was sponsored by ConocoPhillips, GSK, Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, British Sugar, Petrofac, Lafarge, CB&I, Jacobs Engineering, Bechtel, SABIC, Exxon Mobil, M W Kellogg, Atkins plc.


  1. ^ a b c d e The Chemical Engineer April 2009 page 53 Frank Morton Sports in Newcastle and Singapore
  2. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 838 (April) page 59
  3. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 850 (April 2012) page 70
  4. ^ a b c d "A fourth win in a row for Birmingham at Frank Morton 2018". Institution of Chemical Engineers. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b The Chemical Engineer issue 802 (April 2008) page 60
  6. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 790 (April 2007) page 68
  7. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 777 (March 2006) page 52
  8. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 765 (March 2005) page 56
  9. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 754 (April 2004) page 21
  10. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 729 (March 2002) page 24
  11. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 718 (April 2001) page 19
  12. ^ The Chemical Engineer 12 May 2015 "Frank Morton returns to Manchester in 2016"
  13. ^ The Chemical Engineer March 2015 p50 "Morton in the Midlands"
  14. ^ The Chemical Engineer issue 861 (March 2013) pages 52-3
  15. ^ "Frank Morton Sports Day Newcastle 2013". Frank Morton Newcastle. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  16. ^ The Waterfront 28 November 2011 "Engineering Society to host Frank Morton Sports Day"
  17. ^ Events: Frank Morton Sports Day 2011.
  18. ^ The Chemical Engineer (December 2009-January 2010) page 52
  19. ^ a b The Chemical Engineer issue 825 (March 2010) page 60
  20. ^ Newcastle University Frank Morton 2009
  21. ^ Frank Morton 2009 awards ceremony