“Taking part in the StudentShapers programme was a rewarding experience that broadened my understanding and enhanced my skills.”
I am a second-year master’s student at the Dyson School of Design Engineering and the Royal College of Art, on the Innovation Design Engineering course. This course is a unique blend of the arts and sciences, bringing together a diverse mix of students from different backgrounds. In the previous academic term, I was part of a dynamic team of four that created a revolutionary, carbon-negative, biodegradable replacement for petrol-based foams, such as Styrofoam. Working on this project gave us a chance to collaborate with experts from different departments across Imperial, which was a valuable learning experience for all of us.
As someone with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, I have always been fascinated by the manufacturing and making processes, the interaction involved, and the skills required for such processes. Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to be part of the StudentShapers programme, which supports staff and students working together on a broad range of projects related to educational development and educational research. I worked on a project called ViRSE, which stands for Virtual Reality for Student Education, and involved creating a mechanical lathe simulation for mechanical engineering students. The lathe can be quite daunting for first-time users in the workshop, due to its high speed and noise. So, our goal was to create an engaging onboarding experience for students, that would prepare them for their first real-life interaction with a lathe. (more…)
“My research is about the climate impacts of contrail cirrus clouds – line-shaped clouds that form behind an aircraft”
I am a research associate at the Transport and Environment Laboratory in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Global aviation is fundamentally entwined with the fabric of modern society, bringing significant social and economic benefits, but it also generates negative impacts in the form of climate change and local air pollution.
I develop computer codes to improve existing models of aircraft flight. I use them to simulate aircraft fuel consumption, exhaust emissions, and the formation and lifecycle of contrail cirrus – line-shaped clouds that form behind an aircraft. My research objective is to improve our understanding of the climate impacts of contrail cirrus clouds, which are responsible for two-thirds of the climate effects from aviation.
“At Imperial, my two seemingly opposing passions in the arts and sciences are allowed to seamlessly intertwine”
Studying a biotechnology degree, people often think my days are spent in labs creating samples, writing extensive reports, and planning for experiments. But what if I tell you that I spend a lot of my time creating infographics, writing YouTube video scripts, and planning for Instagram reels?
At Imperial, my two seemingly opposing passions in the arts and sciences are allowed to seamlessly intertwine. The skills I gain as a scientist also prepare me to become a creative and detail-oriented person. I enjoy being able to transform complex concepts into easy-to-digest diagrams as an illustrator for Felix, the student newspaper, as well as sharing my personal experiences through “A Day in the Life” or “Why I chose Imperial” videos featured on the College’s official social media accounts as a Student Content Creator.
“As scientists, I believe it is our responsibility to convey what we do to the general public”
My desire has always been to answer unanswered questions and defy what has been established, broadening the fields of research one small discovery at a time, and contributing to the better understanding of ourselves and our surroundings. With this aim I started my career in my home country Spain, where I studied biology. In 2013 I decided to move to the UK to do an MSc in virology at Imperial, and luckily obtained funding from Spain that enabled me to do just that. This is where I discovered my interest in how our body’s defences, our immune system, respond to attack by harmful microbes (pathogens) by mounting a complex and well-orchestrated response, and how pathogens have evolved ways to subvert this response.