Month: February 2024

Ben Gray, Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator, Estates Division

Ben Gray, Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator, Estates Division
“Our labs and offices at Imperial are quite energy intensive, and it’s my job to understand how we can reduce our energy consumption to reach Imperial’s Net Zero target by 2040.”

I have always been interested in Sustainability which led me to do an MSc in Chemistry, with a focus on future battery technology in my final year project. Following university, I worked as an Analytical Chemist for four years, with a focus on Chromatography for the Health Care business, which is when I first considered the need for sustainable practices in laboratory spaces. I led the My Green Lab certification for our lab spaces, tackling reduction of energy use and recycling of plastics. It was a fantastic experience bringing people together and making positive changes. And that is exactly why I was drawn to the position of Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator at Imperial. 

My job is about the resource management section of Imperial’s Sustainability Strategy, and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Our labs and offices at Imperial are quite energy intensive, and it’s my job to understand how we can reduce our energy consumption to reach Imperial’s Net Zero target by 2040. This involves engaging with lab, and office users, to understand current behaviours, and where savings can be made through adjustments in usage. For example, warming up our Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers from -80C to –70C, saves approximately a whole home’s worth of energy every day.  (more…)

Rhea Samra, Sustainability Officer, Office of the Provost

Rhea Samra
“Sustainability Fortnight, the annual celebration of sustainability at the university started last week. This year, we’re excited to host a range of workshops, exhibits and seminars.”

I’m based in the central Sustainability function, working to support the delivery of the university’s Sustainability Strategy, and it’s been great to see the momentum build around sustainability over the past few years at the university.

I’m lucky to work with a wide range of colleagues at Imperial – from academic experts to help draft the upcoming Sustainable Business Travel Policy, to operational leads who attended our pilot staff climate literacy course. I also work with communications experts to help amplify the great work going around on campus, such as sustainable lab practices, such as closing fume cupboard sashes completely when not in use. This reduces their energy consumption by 40% or more. (more…)

Amber Yitong Liu, MSc International Management, Imperial College Business School

“I hope every individual will no longer be entangled with the question of who they are, no longer fear their differences, and with joy, accept themselves and others, and accept this world that is inherently colourful like a rainbow.”

I was born and raised in China until I came to Canada at 13 and discovered I was genderfluid and bisexual. You can’t imagine my ecstasy upon realising that the ostracisation from school wasn’t because of my “weirdness” in my boyish behaviours, but rather a lack of understanding from those around me. One day, my high school finance teacher praised me, noting I was different from others, in a good way. Being the simple person I am, I decided finance was my favourite subject (the alluring world of finance also attracted me, of course).

After completing my undergraduate degree in finance and marketing, I decided to pursue a deeper understanding of the business world, and leverage my knowledge to assist those in need. Therefore, I joined the MSc International Management program at Imperial College Business School. It is the most exciting master’s program in business. I have opportunities to engage in worldwide projects in Cape Town, the US, Europe, and so many incredible places. It completes my UK experiences and makes this year of journey an unforgettable milestone in my life. (more…)

Dr Stephanie Hodeib, Teaching Fellow, Department of Immunology and Inflammation

“Celebrating LGBT+ History Month is crucial to acknowledging and appreciating the diverse contributions of the community throughout history.”

As a recently appointed Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, my professional journey has been a blend of education and career growth. I embarked on this journey by completing a PhD in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial. There I developed the skills that paved the way for my current role, principally by teaching fundamental lab skills. During my PhD I gained experience in teaching by working with taught courses and providing teaching support. This allowed me to successfully achieve the Fellowship of Higher Education.

In my current role, I focus on developing wet laboratory skills in students, and evolving their ability to critically think about the scientific method in an objective manner. My teaching is also about bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world applications. It’s about making science come alive in the laboratory, but with a strong focus on immunology and infection. The impact of my work is evident in the growth and proficiency of students. Witnessing their progress is immensely rewarding, and their feedback informs me of how transferrable, and important, the skills they develop are in their future education and careers. (more…)

João Cabral, Professor of Soft Matter Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering

Prof Joao Cabral

I am an incredibly lucky married gay man, with two children, and Imperial has provided me with a great supportive environment.” 

I am a professor of soft matter in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Associate Director of the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE). I also co-chair our Equality, Diversity & Culture Committee in the department. I hold a research chair co-sponsored by Procter & Gamble, and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Our team collaborates closely with industry to understand and redesign the thermodynamics and performance of ‘complex fluids’, to enable a sustainable transition of the sector. 

I grew up in Portugal, between Lisbon and the countryside of Alentejo, where my family comes from and runs a cattle and cork farm. At school, I somewhat resented having to accept and memorise concepts and formulae in chemistry and physics. Perhaps my stubbornness led me to study physics at university, and I attended the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, where I had some amazing mentors. I became fascinated by atomic and molecular physics and, for the first time, appreciated the humility and tentativeness of scientific discovery. I was lucky to spend time at KTH Stockholm, and a year at a nuclear laboratory Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, just outside Paris, before doing my PhD in polymer thermodynamics at Imperial. I then moved to Washington DC as a postdoc at the National Institute of Science and Technology, and learned the importance of articulating the significance of our research to funders in industry and government, before returning to Imperial as a lecturer.

LGBTQIA+ History Month is a time to remember and celebrate the many contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals to society. This requires some research, particularly in science and engineering, where so little is known about these individuals. (more…)