Category: Student news

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