“Knowing I’m making a difference to students is the best part of my job.”
After graduating, my first job was in training design within the defence sector. This was a million miles away from what I imagined I’d be doing, but I found I had a real skill for online learning.
I joined Imperial in 2018 and I’m currently a Product Engineer within the student lifecycle. Day-to-day I support and improve existing e-learning systems and implement new ones. I speak to staff and students about issues they are having with a system, or ideas they have to improve it. I love how varied my job is and that I can keep learning.
The pandemic had a big impact on my role, and lockdown presented an exciting challenge. I’m really proud of the work my team and I have done which enabled a relatively smooth transition to online-only learning. We faced some unique challenges, such as converting learning materials to be accessible in places where it’s not easy to log on to Blackboard and Panopto, running exams online, and helping ed-tech teams to run re-designed virtual lectures and seminars.
“I publish on a wide range of topics as well as being passionate about training and supporting new generations of sustainability scientists.”
As a teenager I thought I would become a fashion designer, which was a distinct improvement from wanting to be a horse. But after studying at Chelsea School of Art and ten years working in event design and management, I changed direction completely, went to agricultural college and moved into arboriculture, entomology and ecological science.
This diverse background and my voracious curiosity has led to a multidisciplinary path and I publish on a wide range of topics as well as being passionate about training and supporting new generations of sustainability scientists.
The variety of roles I hold leads to real variation in tasks and some days find me concentrating on teaching, whilst other days are a juggle of meetings, advice, research and writing. I also chat a lot and have an unsung role as ‘departmental glue’ mediated via informal channels.
My advocacy for edible insects often leads to media appearances as do my designs for urban air pollution mitigation. Alongside Caroline Howe, I lead research into Sustainable Viticulture Futures – a recent research growth area within the Centre for Environmental Policy’s Transdisciplinary Centre for Nature & People. With climate change, rural land uses are adapting, the area under grapevines is changing, and this creates a huge opportunity for improving sustainability of practice in social, economic and ecological dimensions. Four members of the ‘wine group’ recently presented their work at the British Ecological Society’s Ecology Across Borders conference to substantial international interest.
When not at Imperial, I am very social. I garden, provide advice on urban ecology and care for my three teenage children. 22 million people have now watched a TikTok made by one of my teens (Blue Gray) of ‘Dyeing Mum’s hair purple’ and I remain perplexed. The slow and wobbly return to an adapted new-normal and more face-to-face interactions is very welcome.
“I really enjoying being part of a team that puts customers first and allows a better customer and student experience.”
I joined Imperial College’s ICT department in March 2019 as a Customer Services Manager for Support Services, I met some talented and inspiring people and made some friends along the way. The best part of this role was being able to help, guide and provide solutions quickly to my customers, especially during the COVID19 pandemic.
In 2020 I took on the role as IT Service Management Lead looking at a customer-focused approach to delivering information technology. Having worked in this industry for over 13 years and being fortunate enough to be guided by one of the co-authors of the globally recognised framework ITIL, I am passionate about being able to focus on providing value to customers and building customer relationships.
Some frequently asked questions and issues from customers are “Where do I find information? What services do ICT support? I don’t have access, or it’s expired. I’m unable to log in.” My role involves reducing these types of issues by designing processes that underpin and drive efficiencies for the services ICT deliver. This includes looking at areas where a lot of time and manual effort is being spent and exploring how this can be digitally transformed by levering technology to automate recurring tasks that deliver better customer experiences.