Blog posts

Staff profile: Nausheen Mehboob Basha CEng MIMechE

Article by Gemma Ralton.

Nausheen Basha is a Chartered Engineer and Project Manager at Imperial’s Chemical Engineering Department with keen interests in fluid dynamics, multiphase flows, computing and improving diversity in engineering.

She is currently on track to graduate with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the City University of London, specialising in computational fluid dynamics modelling of oil injected screw compressors.

Nausheen first became interested in engineering from a young age after watching Titanic. She was fascinated by the engineering room and inspired by her own uncle who was a marine engineer. She said: “When watching Titanic I would be thinking, what drives this massive vessel in the middle of the ocean? That’s what drove me to study engineering, and to see how useful it could be.”

Her interests led her to complete her BEng and MSc in Aerospace Engineering, graduating in 2014 from the University of Manchester.

Following this, she gained experience as a Modelling and Simulation Engineer at PSI Global Limited where she received an ‘outstanding’ award by Innovate UK for her work in modelling air-oil separators.

Whist undertaking her PhD, Basha worked full time as a Research Assistant from 2016 to 2020 with Centre for Compressor Technology, collaborating with Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited to design, develop and test a new range of oil-injected screw compressors, a common type of component used in manufacturing and energy industries.

She has multiple research publications in the application of computational fluid dynamics to oil-injected compressors and filters to improve efficiency and conserve energy.

In her current role at Imperial, Nausheen manages a UKRI funded project that aims at advancing machine learning and AI to create ultra-fast predictive models in multiphase flow systems for applications in various sectors including manufacturing, energy and healthcare.

Commenting on what she most enjoys about her role Nausheen said: “As a project manager I am working on multiple projects simultaneously and so I can take a look at what’s being done in every single project. That way I get to look at the bigger picture – seeing how everything is connected with each other.”

As a female engineer, Nausheen has always been aware of the lack of gender diversity within her discipline. Now she helps to inspire other women to take up STEM subjects, working with the Women’s Engineering Society, a charity organisation and professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists, offering inspiration, support and professional development.

She writes regular newsletters for them and is also a columnist for Process Industry Informer.

According to Nausheen, her next biggest challenges will be finding out how we could use machine learning and computing power in order to solve the engineering challenges quicker and reliably in a less human intrusive way. Her upcoming projects will be devoted to nuclear energy and hydrogen as she aids important chemical engineering work towards achieving decarbonisation targets.

Staff profile: Dr Deesha Chadha

Woman smiling at the cameraDr Deesha Chadha OBE is a Senior Strategic Teaching Fellow in Imperial’s Department of Chemical Engineering with a career in higher education spanning over 20 years.

In 2020 she was awarded an OBE for services to faith communities in her voluntary role as Co-Chair of the Faiths Forum for London, a group empowering religious communities to work together towards a better London.

Dr Chadha initially studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey where she met Dr David Faraday who became her inspiration in chemical engineering, encouraging her to get involved in volunteering opportunities alongside studying.

According to Dr Chadha, “Dr Faraday’s support was even more valuable given that I’m an ethnic minority woman who studied chemical engineering over twenty years ago – when it was an even more male-dominated subject.”

By the time she finished her undergraduate studies she had served on the Chemical Engineering Society, acted as the Department Student Representative to the Academic Board in Engineering and won the Surrey University Chemical Engineering Reunion Prize for exceptional personal and professional development. She graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1998.

In 2005, she gained a PhD in engineering education. Following this, she held various leadership roles including Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice at King’s College London from 2013 to 2016.

Dr Chadha has also been a National Assessor for the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service for over two years.

She has served as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Hindu Forum of Britain for over 10 years and in 2019 was elected Co-Chair of the Faiths Forum for London.

Reflecting on her OBE, Dr Chadha said: “Now more than ever, faith and community leaders are called upon to support their communities in getting through this crisis. It has been great to use my position with the Faiths Forum for London to connect with the Chaplaincy at Imperial. For example, we recently organised student podcasts where students discussed AI and faith.”

“As a woman from an ethnic minority background, I don’t think we are very high on the pecking order and I would love to use this honour as leverage to promote the achievements and work of other ethnic minority women.”

Her advice to any aspiring female engineers is: “believe in yourself, challenge yourself, and make the most of any opportunities available to you”.

Research round-up: cooling systems, batteries and bioplastics

In our research round-up we showcase recently published work by four different research groups. Keep reading to find out more about what our researchers are currently working on.


24th World Energy Congress | Strategies to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Article by Dieyo Moya, Michelle Arellano and Pablo Carvajal

The recent 24th World Energy Congress (WEC24) organised by the World Energy Council in Abu Dhabi (9 – 12 September 2019) was a platform to discuss the key implications for the energy sector to tackle global challenges in a fast-changing landscape of disruptive innovation. World energy leaders from over 40 countries got together to address the complex challenges and opportunities facing the energy transition. 

Energy Systems Modelling PhD student Diego Moya, in collaboration with Michelle Arellano –  Members Services at the World Energy Council, and Pablo Carvajal – Associate Programme Officer at the International Renewable Energy AgencyIRENA, reflect on the key takeaways from WEC24. Together with other Ecuadorian researchers, they created the Institute for Applied Sustainability Research (IIASUR|). IIASUR is a research institution that brings together researchers interested in Ecuador, Latin America and the Global South to collaborate and unite efforts towards high-end research that can foster sustainable development. 


Accelerating innovation by raising ambitions – the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial through a young person’s eyes

PhD student Luciana Miu
Luciana Miu, PhD student at Imperial College London

Article by PhD student Luciana Miu.

With the rising urgency of climate change and a sore need for global commitments to sustainable energy, it’s no surprise that intergovernmental partnerships and initiatives are taking centre stage these days. Perhaps the most important example from the energy sector is the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a high-level forum of 25 countries advancing programmes to accelerate clean energy deployment, recently coupled with Mission Innovation (MI), another global initiative which seeks to build public and private investment in clean energy technologies. However, up until the most recent annual CEM/MI meeting, one aspect of these ambitious initiatives remained puzzling.

There was no structured presence of youth at the meetings.


Customised healthcare to predict outcomes in cardiovascular surgery

Ms Selene Pirola from Imperial College London
Selene Pirola, Department of Chemical Engineering

Article by Selene Pirola and Chloe Armour.

Selene Pirola, Research Assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, is researching the fluid dynamics of blood with the aim of being able to better predict outcomes of cardiovascular surgery. Specifically, her most recent research looks at the impact of blood flow and pressure in patients treated for aortic dissection.


Imperial College London International Student Energy Summit (SES 2019)

Imperial College London will host the 2019 International Student Energy Summit (SES 2019, 17 – 20 July), the largest youth energy conference in the world, which will bring together over 650 students from around the world to discuss all things energy-related. The vision for this year’s Summit is ‘breaking barriers’ – it seeks to be inclusive and foster reflection and discussion across a variety of challenges unique to this point in time.

Chemical Engineering PhD students Luciana Miu and Michael Ehrenstein are responsible for bringing the Summit to Imperial, following a successful bid in 2017. Luciana acts as the Sponsorship Vice-Chair, and Michael the Finance Vice-Chair. Amidst busy preparation for the conference we spoke to Luciana and Michael about their research, motivations and hopes for this year’s conference.


Celebrating Women at Imperial: Chemical engineering postgraduates

To continue our Women@Imperial Week celebrations our student reporter Dora Olah interviewed two postgraduates from the Department of Chemical Engineering about their experience at Imperial.

Hannah Moran (PhD student)

What made you want to study Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London?

For my undergraduate studies, I wanted to study Chemical Engineering because it fit perfectly my interests and talents in maths and the sciences, and its graduates have excellent career prospects. I chose Imperial College London because it’s one of the best universities, and I had such a good experience on my interview day that I knew it was the place for me. I chose to return to Imperial to do my PhD because, again, it’s one of the best research institutions in the world, and it has excellent links to industry. It was very important to me to undertake my PhD in something useful and applicable, and Chemical Engineering at Imperial is really good for this.


Celebrating Women at Imperial: Chemical engineering undergraduates

To mark the annual Women@Imperial Week our student reporter Dora Olah interviewed three undergraduates from the Department of Chemical Engineering about their experience at Imperial.

Emily Xu (first year undergraduate student)

What made you want to study Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London? 

I’ve always enjoyed Chemistry, Physics and Maths; Chemical Engineering was the one course that would combine all my interests into one. The course also has the perfect balance between creativity with academic rigour. Out of all the universities, Imperial stood out to me as the course that prepares you for both work in industry and research.


New research accurately simulates flow patterns in complex geometrical structures

Article by Dora Olah, final year undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering

A new method of simulating fluid flow in unusual pipe structures can pave the way for manufacturing better microfluidic devices. In a new paper, published in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, researchers from Imperial have used a new way of simulating flow in a cross-junction. They constructed the junction using a combination of simple geometries, such as tori and cylinders, to have a resulting structure which involves oblong-shaped pipes and a thinning cylindrical cross-junction.