“I was fortunate to join Imperial’s Calibre leadership programme, which I highly recommend to anyone with a disability.”
As a communicator I enjoy mending the gaps in information transmission, to better connect people with science, or services.
One of my proudest achievements at Imperial has been winning the President’s Award for Culture and Communication (Team Award) as part of the Chemical Engineering Student Communications Group, who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that students have remained informed and engaged during the pandemic.
I’m regularly told: “But you don’t look like you have a disability”. My condition is largely hidden, unless you happen to catch me wincing in pain or falling asleep at my desk from fatigue. Unfortunately, this has happened. It took almost two years to receive a diagnosis, during which time my biggest fear was the future and trying to imagine having a successful career while managing my symptoms.
I was fortunate to join Imperial’s Calibre leadership programme, which I highly recommend to anyone with a disability. The course had a profound impact on my sense of self-worth and my confidence in speaking up for myself and others with disabilities. I hope that one day the lessons from this course are embedded within training for all staff and managers, not just those with a condition. The scale of change that’s needed in society is daunting, but I have to remain optimistic that one day a person with a disability isn’t automatically faced with the question: “Are you sure you can do this job?”
“I believe my dyslexic strengths have benefited my research approach.”
Since being diagnosed with dyslexia from a young age, my perception of dyslexia has changed throughout my education and professional life. At school, I struggled with learning and found reading and speaking in public uncomfortable. I found school life most challenging during exam periods, where I would spend months trying to learn and then struggle to recall the information in a time pressured exam.
I saw dyslexia as a limitation, a reason why I could not perform to the same ability as my peers. For me and many other dyslexics, the difficulties I experienced in learning and struggles I had in demonstrating my knowledge would affect my self-esteem and made me doubt whether university would be an option.
In 2012, I was offered a place at the University of Sussex to study Mechanical Engineering. It was in coursework-based modules and my final year project that I felt able to fully demonstrate my ability. After graduating, I worked as a Design Engineer, developing new medical and scientific devices from concept to production. I was now working in a field that I enjoyed, and no longer felt that being dyslexic was a limitation.
“I am particularly passionate about ensuring that access to institutions like Imperial, is attainable to students from a greater array of backgrounds”
I’m a fifth-year medical student here at Imperial. Born and raised in South-East London, I am of Ghanaian heritage.
I chose medicine as a career due to the ability to impact a patient’s life and the positive contributions doctors make to society.
My journey so far in medical school has been enriching. I’ve met a lot of amazing people, developed massively as a person and have also been fortunate enough to carry out amazing work such as a research project in Uganda. Our research looked at the effect on malaria of discontinuing the use of the antibiotic, co-trimoxazole in people with HIV in the country’s biggest hospital, Mulago Hospital.
“I turn ideas into visual images to communicate a message.”
I wouldn’t describe my recent career as a journey, but a two-minute walk. I was a graphic designer at the Science Museum before joining the Business School. At the museum, I could be designing for a gene editing exhibition one day, then toilet direction signs the next. Now I get to work with academics, who are as passionate about Microsoft PowerPoint as they are about digital transformation.
I’m the Business School’s graphic designer. For anyone new to this role, I turn ideas into visual images to communicate a message. A client submits a design brief and I interpret it creatively to meet their needs, while keeping within the brand guidelines. My specialism is information design. This is the practice of presenting information in a clear and accessible way for users.
During the week, I could be working on anything from full digital campaigns to pull up banners for the annual conference, or a 60-page report on clean energy investing. Throughout lockdown, I worked with the Student Experience team on concepts to encourage student engagement. Client feedback is really important – after a few minor edits, I usually finish jobs at around version 11.
“I’ll work with the radiographer or physicist to see if I can optimise a scanning method so that we can help the researchers with their studies.”
After getting a degree and PhD in biochemistry, I worked as a postdoc in magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This led to ten years working in industry before I moved to Imperial to manage the Clinical Imaging Facility.
We are a small department with an MRI scanner and a PET scanner supporting research performed by the College and external groups, such as the NHS and clinical research organisations. The scanners help researchers answer questions such as how the brain functions following traumatic injury. We help the researchers to develop or refine imaging techniques to address their research questions.
Although the technologies used by the scanners are very different, they are complementary. The MRI can be used to assist many clinical diagnoses, whereas the PET scanner, which uses radioactive tracers, is mainly used for research studies, including cancer and dementia. There are numerous ways of innovating with MR images and, if the scanner is free, I’ll work with the radiographer or physicist to see if I can optimise a scanning method so that we can help the researchers with their studies.