Blog posts

Meet the Alumni – career advice from our former students

By Ella Greenhalgh – Education Support Administrator

On Monday 13th February the EEE department welcomed back ten of our high-flying graduates to the lecture theatre 408 for our Meet the Alumni event. The event was a unique opportunity for students to meet their alumni, find out about the career paths open to them, and to get some first-hand advice for success.

Success stories

There were three panel discussions centred around energy, automotives, and software. The panels were led by student reps Pranav Madhusudhana and Simon Staal, who questioned the alumni on their career journeys thus far, the struggles they face within their industries, and how Imperial prepared them for their roles. Our graduates have gone on to do amazing things, as was exemplified by those that returned for the event.

Christopher Baker-Brian, the co-founder of BBoxx, Olivier van Goethem, data analyst at Google, Sophia Ahmed-Ashford, electronics development engineer for Mercedes F1, and Ashley Grealish, Head Of Engineering at Ev.Energy, were amongst those that spoke to our students. EEE’s Industrial Liaison Director, Esther Perea Borobio, said it was “wonderful to host our alumni and see what they have been up to. There’s such a variety of careers and adventures, it gives current students an insight to all the opportunities awaiting them.”

Learning for life

When asked for one piece of advice to offer our students, certain themes reappeared: find something that interests you and go all in; focus on what you are going to learn rather than what pays well; never stop learning; take risks. Sophia from Mercedes said that at Imperial, “you learn how to learn”, be that though the development of problem-solving skills in your Power Electronics seminar, social skills in your society’s social events, or public speaking skills in your final year project presentation. Imperial gave our alumni the basis for excellent career development both technically and interpersonally. Knowing how heavy the workload can be, our alumni stressed the importance of rest and relaxation. They reminded our students to enjoy their time here and to take frequent breaks. It is in these breaks that wonderful memories are made, and lifelong friendships consolidated.

Pranav Madhusudhana, panel host and event organiser, said that “the event was a great way for students to meet people who are 10 years ahead of them in their careers, and ask a variety of questions. The panels helped give understanding into some of the intricacies of the energy, automotive and software industries. The alumni also gave advice on the ways to get the most of our degrees and going into industry and research, which was very insightful.”

Our thanks to everyone who helped organise this successful event, and especially to our alumni for giving up your time to share your insight and experience with our current students — it was great to see you again!

  • Richard Pollock, Senior Motor and Power Electronics Engineer at Technelec
  • Sophia Ahmed-Ashford, Electronics Development Engineering at Mercedes F1
  • Olivier van Goethem, Customer Engineer at Google
  • Chris Baker-Brian CTO and co-founder of BBOXX
  • Ashley Grealish, Head Of Engineering at uk
  • Charlotte Levin – Consultant at ECS digital
  • Pascal Loose – Senior Product Manager at LAIIER
  • Eirill Mehammer – Research Scientist at SINTEF energy research
  • Alina Walch – Data Scientist at Urbio
  • Simone Bertaiola – Management Consultant at KPMG

New connections

The start of a new academic year in EEE is a great opportunity for our Women in Electrical Engineering Society to welcome new students and make new connections.

WiEE Meeting - Alex presenting

by Alex Dhayaa (WiEE President)

On Wednesday 5th October, Women in Electrical Engineering Society (WiEE) held a lunch for all the girls in the department.

The lunch began with Alex Dhayaa introducing the society and our aims and vision for it this year. Alex’s talk was followed by Professor Kristel Fobelets’ motivating and empowering speech to the girls about being willing to speak up and stand out.

With our new freshers eager to make friends and get to know each other, we had an ice-breaker activity called ‘Speed Dating’! Everyone got up on their feet and had the chance to meet other girls from different year groups and make new connections.

After plenty of chatting, it was time for lunch! With a selection of sushi, sandwiches, and delicious, sweet treats to choose from, the girls helped themselves, buffet-style, and walked around the room continuing to chat and make new friends.

Overall, the event was a big hit! We can’t wait to put on many more events so we can work towards creating a strong and safe environment for all the girls in electrical engineering!


Karman Space Programme Update

Imperial’s Karman Space Programme team are aiming to be the first student team to send a reusable rocket into space. In July they tested the avionics and telemetry systems in the 2.2m long Nebula rocket.

Aeronautical Engineering students originally started the project, which has grown into a cross-College programme with many departments involved. Avionics lead for the project is third year EEE student Vladimir Marinov.

by Vladimir Marinov

We returned from our launch in July having experienced a tense, but jubilant launch. The hours immediately preceding the launch were fraught with nerves, tension, and anticipation – this turned to awe and jubilation as several months of labour took to the skies at the SARA launch site in Scotland.

Nebula taught us a lot about our recovery and avionics systems. As firm believers in the idea of failing fast and repeatedly, we have decided to modify both before mounting them on a smaller test rocket. This will be in the air by the end of 2022, hopefully offering us more data from which we can learn in time for our space shot!

In parallel with this, we continue to work on our next NOVA-series rocket (Orion), which is scheduled to launch in late spring 2023. This launch is marked by several firsts, including the first in-flight test of our internally developed liquid fuel engine and the first launch with active engine control from our avionics team. All considered, this is not one to be missed!

I am also happy to share that our summer recruitment cycle has ended with a total of eight EE students (including both EEE and EIE) at the Karman Space Programme. Most of us work within the Avionics team, but the broad applicability of the degrees has resulted in EE students taking instrumental roles in other areas of the Programme.

We’re really excited for their next test launch. You can see videos of the launch and follow the project’s journey on their website 

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

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…)