Blog posts

Welcome home: Circuits and Systems Alumni Day

by Wiesia Hsissen

TheFormer students and staff at the CAS alumni day Circuits and Systems Research Group Alumni Day 2022 took place on Monday 11th July.

This event  provided the opportunity for our CAS alumni to come together again and reminisce about their time at Imperial College, as well as meeting our current students.

We were happy to see so many familiar faces from over the years, even back to 1979 !

Presentations were given by esteemed alumni to inspire current PhD students — Dr Stylianos Venieris (Samsung), Dr Peter Pesl (Austrian Embassy), Dr Alastair Smith (Adder Technology Cambridge) and Dr Shane Fleming (AMD).

Current students arranged poster presentations showcase their work, and lab tours for our alumni to explore the latest innovative research from the CAS group.

Thank you to everyone who attended, including our Head of the EEE Department for gracing our event. Everyone enjoyed it hugely, and we have agreed to hold another Alumni Day in two years time!

 

 

Woman @ Imperial Week

By Kate Highnam

The EEE Department and IEEE Student Branch celebrated International Women’s Day with a series of panels to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM.

The first event was our new inaugural Professor Maria Petrou Panel, featuring individuals from undergraduate through faculty within our department. In summary, there were two major areas highlighted by the panel: “chance” encounters and unconscious bias. Although the former seems like a serendipitous event, they can  only occur when we take the first step to join the STEM communities. The latter came up while discussing how all minorities suffer from unconscious bias and going through some training on it improves the respect of all within the community, as well as our own self-reflection.

The second event brought together four guest speakers from diverse fields and unique professional experiences in a roundtable setting. Amidst their powerful personal stories, these women conveyed their continuous struggle with imposter syndrome and tactics to combat it before it can impede their progress. They reminded the audience that you are not alone in your struggle (everyone feels imposter syndrome) and that, no matter what others say, you deserve to be here because you had to show up at the starting line to go anywhere. It was encouraging to see how they all mentioned immense support from their organisations and friends through any hardships. As for addressing how to increase the number of women in STEM, they recommended encouraging girls from a young age by continuously remind them that it is hard work to succeed, so keep trying!

Photo gallery

Christy and PriyaUndergraduates Christy Chan and Priya Chhaya present how women in Imperial EEE and EIE support each other. They also mentioned their own technical achievements: Christy is developing a novel recommender system for skincare products based on chemical composition; Priya works across three departments to advance the efficacy of PCR testing.

Postgraduate Dafni Antotsiou presents her background going from industry, where she worked as a Research Software Engineer on X-ray inspection in heavy industry, to Imperial, focusing on imitation learning with hand gestures.

PanelWe hosted four incredible women in STEM from both industry and academia: Dr. Jelena Ponocko (Lecturer at the University of Manchester), Dr. Yaprak Eminaga (Field Application Engineer at Intel), Alicia Blatiak (Postgraduate Candidate in EEE and CEO of Intelliflex), and Dr. Aizaan Anwar (Postgraduate in EEE and physician).

KristelDr. Kristel Fobelets talked us through her impressive career traversing multiple fields and the decisions that brought her to where she is now. She also told us of her “chance encounters” with Prof. Maria Petrou (the first female professor in EEE) and Ambassador Yvette Stevens (the first female engineer in Sierra Leone), along with other technical collaborators that enhanced her experience in STEM. As Dr. Jeremy Pitt added to the panel later, although it may seem to be pure chance to encounter these individuals that progress our careers, they could only happen to those who take the first step!

BagelsCo-organiser and Professor Maria Petrou PhD Scholarship winner Semina Mertzani sets up the platters for our first IWD event of 2022. She later starts the first event by discussing female inspirations that brought her to STEM.

 


 

A huge thank you to all our brilliant women, and everyone who organised, took part in and attended these events!

 

EEE’s PhD Reps — keeping the community connected

Students playing Jenga
Games nights are a towering success

Our PhD student representatives work really hard supporting the EEE PhD community and building connections — with regular games nights, a winter party, seminars, and their brilliant Fireside Chat ‘mEEEt-ups’ series.  

Al-Amin Bugaje tells us more…

Eric Yeatman meets the studentsThe EEE fireside chats are informal conversations between EEE PhD students and academic staff across the department, facilitated through a moderator that teases out the life story of the staff. The fireside chats have been popular and have served as a great way for the students to get to know members of staff on a more human level. The staff members have been excellent in sharing their wealth of knowledge and perspectives, especially regarding their journeys as researchers and in academia. The audience has received a fair share of inspiring stories from the head of the department, Eric Yeatman, and other remarkable journeys through the lens of Alessandro Astolfi, Goran Strbac, Ayush Bhandari, Pier Luigi Dragotti, Christos Papavassiliou, Nick Jennings, amongst others.

If any EEE staff are interested in taking part in the Fireside Chat ‘mEEEt ups’ — please get in touch via email al-amin.bugaje18@imperial.ac.uk.

Seminar
Cormac presenting a seminar

We have recently restarted in-person seminars after the Covid lockdown, and the first edition hosted two brilliant talks. One talk was from Kate Highnam of the Intelligent Systems and Networks research group, working in the intersection of    machine learning and cyber security. Kate’s talk focused on the BETH cybersecurity dataset for anomaly detection and out-of-distribution analysis from her latest paper. The second talk was from Cormac O’Malley of the Control and Power research group, working on low-carbon power systems operation, and focused on a topic from his latest research paper on scheduling frequency services in a low-carbon system.

A meeting of minds – organising a student conference

Behind the scenes with the organising team of the recent IEEE Student Branch event.

by Alicia Blatiak and Alina-Irina Serban

“IEEE Student Branch is a unique environment for postgraduate students at Imperial College London focusing on research developments, networking and social activities. The student branch re-started its activities in 2018-2019, when a group of postgraduate representatives joined forces to form a committee that led to exciting events for EEE students. One of the main events that was born in the first year of running the student branch was the Conference on Advances in Communications, Devices and Systems, which little did they know at the time, was going to become an annual event.

Fast-forward to 2021 and the current IEEE Student Branch committee decided it was time to have the second conference, which had been postponed. Starting as early as March 2021, after organising a successful seminar on Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, the Student Branch began planning a hybrid conference in a post-lockdown London.

The seminar helped them connect with the EEE PhD Representatives, who were keen to help bring more value to the students; an alliance was formed. Despite different approaches to structuring events, the partnership between the IEEE Committee and the PhD Representatives had the same goal in mind – to serve the students.

Award winners outside the EEE building
Award winners: the in-person and online audience voted for the best presentations.

Lockdown was a difficult time to hold student events, of any shape or form. The EEE PhD Representatives met regularly on Teams to try to ensure they were doing the best they could for students, who had dispersed to their own corners of the world. The Winter Party took the form of a virtual talent show and a quiz (with Saleh Komies asking his favourite question, what is the capital of Saudi Arabia). They ran virtual ‘mEEEt-ups’, regularly and informally interviewing members of staff who suddenly had become more accessible. They even managed to run the traditional 1-minute Thesis Competition for 1st year PhD students virtually, giving them a chance to connect with others during a particularly daunting time to start a PhD.

The newly formed alliance instantly got to work, melding an academic focus with a creative social vibe; the conference was born. Even the name was a hybrid, Advances in Communications, Devices and Systems: Things that might “shock” you. We have Kate Highnam to thank for the idea that brought about the structure of the conference, which was to present topics that had at least two perspectives, rather than the traditional ‘this is what I’m working on’ model. We planned it in hope of a hybrid in-person / online set up.

The day of the conference arrived and with Lina and Victoria’s help from the Postgraduate Office, Zia and Sousa on level 6 helping with logistics, we ran the first in-person student event since the pandemic started. The conference proved to be a success.

The conference started with a keynote speaker, Dr Ayush Bhandari, presenting “Some Short Stories from Academia”, followed by five discussions led by students from Imperial College on controversial topics from different fields related to EEE. We received great feedback from our attendees and managed to reward our participants with prizes and trophies. We even had a hybrid social event after the conference.

All in all, the day went as planned and the partnership between the IEEE Student Branch and the EEE PhD representatives managed to provide Imperial College London students a student-focused event. We look forward to the next one!”


Message from EEE: Thank you to all the students who work so hard to enhance the student experience in the EEE Community!

The team:

IEEE Student Branch

  • Alina-Irina Serban
  • Faris Abualnaja
  • Stefan Borozan
  • Olayinka Ayo

EEE PhD Representatives

  • Alicia Blatiak
  • Al-Amin Bugaje
  • Kate Highnam
  • Saleh Komies
  • Michalis Lazarou
  • Joseph Broomfield

International Women in Engineering Day 2021: May Tang

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.


May Tang is a technician in our department’s Teaching Laboratory. She is a member of the skilled and busy team  helping deliver our teaching experiments and supporting student projects. During the pandemic, when all teaching was suddenly remote, our lab technicians were recognised as engineering heroes who ensured thousands of pieces of kit were assembled and dispatched to hundreds of our students across the world, but May has an #EngineeringHero of her own.. (more…)

International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Esther Perea Borobio

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.


Esther Perea Borobio is Principal Teaching Fellow in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, responsible for the essential professional engineering skills strand of our undergraduate courses. She began her career in mechanical engineering and industrial design and had over 10 years’ experience in a variety of industries before moving into academia. (more…)

International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Kristel Fobelets

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.


Dr Kristel Fobelets is a Reader in Microelectronics and our Director of Undergraduate Studies. She is also a member of Senate. Cycling, gardening and knitting are among her hobbies – and she has found a way to combine knitting with electronic engineering in one of her current projects: wearable vests which can measure and monitor a patient’s breathing. (more…)

International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Swetha Lakshminarayanan

Wednesday 23rd June is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all. 

This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.


Swetha Lakshminarayanan is a third year student on our MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree course. Outside of life in EEE, Swetha practises karate — she’s the secretary of the Shotokan Karate society at Imperial, and also makes time to swim and play piano. (more…)

International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Alicia Blatiak

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.


Alicia Blatiak is a PhD student with a background in renewable energy consultancy for solar and offshore wind. Alicia’s research focuses on Electric Vehicles and how to use their energy to support the electricity grid. As one of our PhD student representatives, Alicia has been active in bringing together staff and students during the lockdown, helping organise a series of virtual chats with our academic staff to share their research and get to know what inspires them. (more…)

International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Maëlle Guerre

Wednesday 23rd June is the 8th global annual celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, an international campaign of visibility on social media, that aims to shine a light on our diverse engineering role models, and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all. 

This year, women students and staff from EEE have been sharing their journey into engineering and their proudest achievements, along with some words of advice to girls and young women who are thinking about a career in STEM.


Maëlle Guerre is a third year undergraduate student on our Electronic and Information Engineering (EIE) course, with a interest in FPGAs and Machine Learning. Maëlle is a STEM mentor for Imperial College, and has recently developed a COVID app which is being used in schools. (more…)