Author: Nikita Rathod

Fatima Sheriff, Taught Postgraduate, Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication 

“My advice to women in quiz is to not be intimidated by the male-dominated space, just learn what you love, do what you do best, and you’ll fit right in.”

Having studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sheffield, I did work experience at the Wellcome Trust and The Royal Society before getting onto the Science Communication Master’s course at Imperial.  

My course is what it says on the tin: a humanities course exploring all the ways science can be communicated to the public. We start with a foundation of ethics and media studies, then look into its applications. The highlights for me have been a placement at the British Science Festival and doing academic modules in museums and documentaries. For the latter, I got to write about one of my favourite filmmakers, Agnès Varda, which was a joyous essay experience (not a combination you hear very often).  

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Dr Michael Paraskos, Evening Class Manager, Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication 

“Adult education is not just about giving the general public a second chance to study, it’s also about exposing Imperial’s own students and staff to new experiences” 

I am the manager for adult education in the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication at Imperial, and I also teach art history in the Centre. As a manager I select what evening classes we offer and I’m also involved in the promotion and organisation of the classes. As an art historian, I teach everything from medieval architecture to modern art, but my own academic research focuses on twentieth-century British art.  (more…)

Phebe Ekregbesi, Research Technician, National Heart and Lung Institute

“There’s such a welcoming group of people with a healthy attitude to lunch –and the idea that breaking bread builds communities.”

I completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bath in 2018. This included a placement at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where I published a paper. That experience was pivotal in deciding to be an immunologist. 

In 2019, I joined Imperial as a research technician. I mainly characterise immune cells in different diseases, and also now contribute to imaging within the Inflammation Repair and Development (IRD) Section. 

Outside of the laboratory, I volunteer with organisations promoting STEM fields to underrepresented groups, including mentoring young girls and non-binary people through the Stemettes and celebrating Black voices with the Black in Immuno Hub. 

Since 2021, I have been the technician for the Lloyd laboratory where I teach users how to operate some imaging equipment, assist members with their experiments, and offer wider technical support and some general laboratory administration.  (more…)

Dr Giovanni Fantuzzi, Imperial College Research Fellow, Aeronautics 

“I am developing a completely new type of computer-assisted technique that combines tools from different areas of mathematics with the latest advances in numerical optimisation”

I joined Imperial as an undergraduate back in 2010 to study Aeronautical Engineering. I found myself so much at home that after graduating I decided to stay, first as a PhD student and now as an Imperial College Research Fellow. 

My work explores new ways in which optimisation – the science of doing things as well as possible – can help engineers design technology that performs at its best, and is robust to changes in its operating environment. This is key to making industries such as energy and transport sustainable. 

To meet this ambitious goal, one must be able to answer questions like, “How much energy can a wind turbine generate?” or “In which conditions does it operate safely?”. High-fidelity computer simulations and machine learning methods can only provide partial answers because, for engineering systems of such complexity, the number of scenarios that one can simulate accurately and use to train artificial intelligence is typically very limited.  

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Tamanna Kabir, Research Nurse, National Heart and Lung Institute 

“I’m now part of the Grenfell Firefighters Study team, examining the physical health outcomes of almost 800 London firefighters who attended the Grenfell Tower fire.”

I’m a Research Nurse at the National Heart and Lung Institute, currently working with firefighters all day!  

My journey here was a bit like crossing a bridge and tunnel to reach the same destination. Intrigued by human behaviour, I completed a psychology degree but couldn’t see myself adopting its indirect approach. I then worked in charities and enjoyed building more therapeutic relationships with people, so trained as a nurse. I rarely saw people like me in either field. But when I discovered nurses could be researchers, I suddenly thought – why not me? 

I’m now part of the Grenfell Firefighters Study team, examining the physical health outcomes of almost 800 London firefighters who attended the Grenfell Tower fire. It’s undoubtedly a sensitive topic which I’m fortunate to gain insight into. I support firefighters to take part in the study, perform heart/lung function assessments and blood tests, then discuss their results. In the future, we’ll monitor medium and long-term health outcomes by reviewing their health records. 

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Dr Robin Lamboll, Research Associate in Climate Science and Policy, Centre for Environmental Policy 


“C
OP26 was about a month after I got a call informing me that I’d been matched with someone who needed bone marrow” 

After doing my undergraduate course in Natural Sciences, I continued at the University of Cambridge to get a PhD in the physics of solar cells. I enjoyed being a student, but not particularly my actual research, so I left academia for two years to work as a consultant to pay off my student loan before becoming a more interdisciplinary scientist, working on climate change.

Currently I do a variety of programming and statistical analyses on emissions data, for instance working out relationships between different types of air pollution. People often want to think only about carbon dioxide emissions, but the other gases we emit can make a big difference too.  

I calculate the amount of carbon we can afford to produce while still staying below certain temperature limits for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – something that has to take account of these other gases and also contribute to estimating the impact of recent climate pledges in the UNEP emissions gap report. You may have read in the news when we updated our conclusion during COP26 to show that if all governments stick to their promises and long-term goals, we might see less than 2C warming. It’s a significant progress milestone, though there’s still a lot of work to do. 

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Emma Pajak, Undergraduate, Chemical Engineering


“I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity”

Being an openly gay woman in engineering, I am passionate about representation. A phrase that sits with me is, ‘you can’t be it if you can’t see it’. I feel it is important, for those who feel comfortable doing so to share experiences and support those around us. I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity. 

When I was applying to university, I was really keen to base my decision on where I wanted to apply on a logical, methodical thought process – criteria like great facilities. I decided to attend an open day here at Imperial and, whilst it ticked off a lot of these criteria, it was the overall vibe and atmosphere that hit almost instantaneously – I knew I could see myself studying here. Fast forward to now, and I’m in my third year studying Chemical Engineering here at Imperial.  

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Nnaemeka Anyamele, Undergraduate, Aeronautics 


“I’ve worked on the improvement and development parts of wind tunnel systems, and built and launched rockets”

I am a young adult who still looks up at the slightest sound of an aircraft, and gazes at them as they cross the sky. I like to think most people find it at least a little bit cool that these objects, which weigh hundreds of tonnes each, are able to gracefully float for hours non-stop at speeds just shy of the speed of sound. This really is an amazement that has stuck with me from a very young age – so studying Aeronautical Engineering was the obvious way to go! 

The course is a fun but hefty challenge! You learn in significant depth the interesting maths and theory behind breakthroughs in knowledge that have paved the way for various developments throughout aviation history. That being said, once you start the degree you realise that there is more to aeronautics than just planes. 

Since I started at Imperial, I’ve worked on the improvement and development parts of wind tunnel systems, built and launched rockets (with Imperial College London Rocketry), and have recently been exploring the aerodynamics of rotating deployable heat shields to facilitate the safe re-entry and return of spacecraft. None of these are directly related to planes, but the skills and knowledge-base that the degree has equipped me with have enabled me to accomplish a great deal on these extra-curricular projects.  

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James Scott, Research Postgraduate, Mechanical Engineering

“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. 

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Kwaku Duah-Asante, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine    

“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.  

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