Author: Sara West

Rachel Williams, Strategic Implementation Manager, Commercial Operations

Rachel Williams

“I am a lifelong learner. I look beyond my everyday world, seeking inspiration from diverse resources, other managers, and colleagues across Imperial. One day, I’d like to set up an organisation which helps people from diverse and less privileged backgrounds to reach their best potential within the hospitality, events, and tourism industry.”

I started my career in auditing before transitioning first to global banking, then into the hotel, venue and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) industries. I’m passionate about business strategy and really enjoyed the diverse experiences that working in hospitality provided – from building multimillion pound venue facilities from scratch, to creating and developing Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

In my current role as Strategic Implementation Manager, I lead the development of the growth strategy and long-term plans for Commercial Operations. Our team transform the student accommodation and teaching spaces into a residential venue for the Easter and summer vacation periods to generate additional income for Imperial. We also deliver Imperial’s flagship Global Summer School (GSS) which feeds into the student recruitment journey – over 350 GSS students have become undergraduates and postgraduates at Imperial.


Sandra Roscoe, Student Wellbeing Adviser, Department of Bioengineering

“The majority of my time is spent having one-to-one wellbeing meetings with Bioengineering students. I also liaise with colleagues and student representatives in the department and advocate for students if needed.”

I joined the Department of Bioengineering in September 2019 as their Student Wellbeing Adviser. Prior to that, I spent eighteen years working as an NHS doctor. Most of this time was spent in General Practice, with additional work in Palliative Medicine and Medical Education.

The student wellbeing adviser roles at Imperial were very new when I joined in 2019. It was both exciting and slightly daunting to be told I could lead on developing the role for the department. The majority of my time is spent having one-to-one wellbeing meetings with Bioengineering students. These cover a wide range of issues including mental health, personal relationships, family situations, academic, financial and accommodation issues. Depending on the needs of each student, I might continue to meet with them myself or signpost to other services. I also liaise with colleagues and student representatives in the department and advocate for students if needed. The lighter side of the role is arranging wellbeing events such as therapy dog visits and craft sessions.


Kamilla Rekvényi, Research Associate, Department of Mathematics

“As a child I wanted to make an impact on the world, and as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial I feel I am getting closer to fulfilling this dream.”

I arrived at Imperial in 2019 as a PhD student, after completing an MMATH degree at St Andrews. In 2023 I began an EPSRC Research Associate in Pure Mathematics. As a child I wanted to make an impact on the world, and as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial I feel I am getting closer to fulfilling this dream.

My role mainly involves research but I am also lecturing a first-year course this term. My research is on the intersection of group theory, which is an abstract way of thinking about symmetries and combinatorics, which is the art of counting. I always like to be involved in university life in as many ways as possible, so I am now a Postdoc Representative. I am also passionate about supporting and inspiring women to pursue maths research through outreach and being on scholarships panels. I am a co-founder (with Eoghan McDowell) and organiser (with Zain Kapadia and Bob Dabson) of the Junior London Algebra Colloquium, a seminar series aimed at PhD students


Sanjeevani Panditharatne, Research Postgraduate, Department of Physics

“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this generation, and a deeper understanding of it is vital for our planet’s future.”

After graduating with a degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Bristol, I started a PhD in the Space and Atmospheric Physics research group, as I’m determined to work in the field. Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this generation, and a deeper understanding of it is vital for our planet’s future.

My research is focused on the Earth’s Radiation Budget, the difference between incoming radiation from the sun and the loss of energy to space through the reflection of solar radiation or the emission of thermal radiation – the kind of radiation that keeps us warm. Because of human activities, more thermal radiation is being trapped in our atmosphere, leading to a rise in the average global surface temperature. Models suggest that around half of the thermal radiation reaching the top of our atmosphere is in a region called the far-infrared.


Eleonora Moratto, Research Postgraduate, Department of Life Sciences

“Imperial has been an incredibly supportive environment for both my scientific and artistic pursuits. The framework here has allowed me to thrive and grow in both areas.”

I am currently pursuing my PhD in the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial. I have been a part of the Imperial community for several years, having completed my Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences here. During my undergraduate studies, I became captivated by the world of fungi and its role in plant evolution. This fascination led me to pursue two MRes degrees, one in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences and the other in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

My research as a PhD student is focused on plant-pathogen interactions. I am investigating the impact of electric fields on these interactions. With the world’s growing population and the challenges of climate change, food production needs to be increased. However, pathogens and pests pose a major threat to crops. I am exploring alternative ways to combat these threats, without resorting to chemical pesticides. My research is focused on a tropical pathogen called Phytophthora palmivora, which is responsible for damaging crops such as cocoa and oil palm. I am studying how this pathogen responds to electric fields and whether this response can be exploited to keep it away from plant roots.


Madiha Sajid, Learning and Development Manager, People and Organisational Development

“My main responsibility is to ensure that all managers and supervisors across Imperial have the right skills and tools to support their teams.”

My journey has taken me from the beautiful landscape of Pakistan to the vibrant life of London. I studied at the prestigious UCL Institute of Education where I completed a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Gender and International Development. This was one of the best educational experiences of my life. One thing led to the other and before I knew it I was working in higher education in the UK – something that I greatly enjoy!


Liz Scholfield, Public Relations and External Communications Specialist, ICT

“The great thing about working for Imperial is that they support you to learn and move roles easily, enabling you to gain knowledge and skills in many areas.”

I have worked at Imperial for 17 years, in many different roles and departments. I started in the ID Card Office in 2007, acting as the point of contact for many new starters, then from 2009 moved to supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students with course administration. My career took a change of direction in 2012 when I reignited my passion for the creative arts and moved to a role as a Digital and Creative Media Assistant with the Communications Division.

Prior to working at Imperial, I studied a degree in Fine Art at the University of Reading. I was proud to be the first in my immediate family to go to university, having grown up in a working-class family on a council estate in the East End of London during the 80s and 90s, where university wasn’t the norm. It was a very exciting and new experience for me to move away and I loved meeting new and different people who positively influenced my life. After graduating, I eventually returned to London which is where I found Imperial and my husband Karl Scholfield, who also works for Imperial. We met 11 years ago over PG administration coursework and a love for Tina Turner records.

The great thing about working for Imperial is that they support you to learn and move roles easily, enabling you to gain knowledge and skills in many areas. This ease of movement, be it on a secondment or through job interviews, has made me a well-rounded member of the community, and a go-to person for advice and direction.

In my current role I lead, direct and manage the public relations (PR), marketing and external facing communications support for ICT, which includes the Realising our digital ambitions blog. I support the Chief Information Officer (CIO) with promoting Imperial and ICT as a world-class university with a world-class IT department.  This role includes communications activities with external media organisations partners, industry experts and the public sector with the aim of showcasing ICT’s tech talent and equality, diversity and inclusion, as a way to encourage recruitment from all areas and backgrounds.

One of the most impactful pieces of work I have completed so far, and one in which I have felt a great purpose, has been embedding the Imperial Values within the ICT community. I led a campaign to introduce and embed the values through a variety of means, including staff meetings, newsletters, identifying dedicated champions, and creating sustainable merchandise. Part of the campaign involved introducing our quarterly ICT Awards, which recognise staff who demonstrate the Imperial Values.

I have been recognised with several ICT Awards myself, including the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award for my work on the Women in ICT campaign. This campaign has not only recognised our current amazing people working in tech, but is driving our commitment to recruiting an inclusive, gender-balanced work force.

In my spare time I enjoy painting and drawing, so I’m looking forward to making more time for the ICT sketch club. I enjoy exercising, but I have knee arthritis and I am currently looking for new ways to work out – I am loving aqua aerobics at my local gym, spin class, and I am now on the Move More programme at Ethos.

Bouquette Kabatepe, Digital Accessibility Officer, ICT

“Even before it was called digital accessibility, I was involved with making things more user-friendly.” 

I have been the Digital Accessibility Officer at Imperial since 2020, where I coordinate our digital accessibility compliance efforts. Reporting to the Head of Governance in ICT, my role involves policy and risk management, raising accessibility awareness, digital accessibility compliance approvals, stakeholder engagement, and providing advice and support on accessibility compliance. 

By engaging with high-level decision-makers, including digital teams across the university, ICT product line teams, student support services and teaching technology staff, I have been working towards embedding best practice in inclusive digital design throughout the institution. 


Professor Eiman Kanjo, Provost’s Visiting Professor, Department of Computing

“My extensive network within international tech companies and community groups enables me to foster collaboration and advocate for change in the broader engineering community.”

My primary mission as Provost’s Visiting Professor in the Department of Computing  is to fully immerse myself in the academic community and contribute significantly to the research and teaching efforts of Imperial. I firmly believe that this role will provide me with the resources, support, and collaborative environment I need to take my research to the next level and make a meaningful impact. I am committed to sharing my extensive connections with end-user organisations and industry by mentoring PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers, helping them bridge the gap between academia and the professional world for real-world impact and knowledge exchange.  (more…)

Suzy Ford, PA and Administrator, Department of Surgery and Cancer

“My school governor role has given me a wealth of experience and has widened my remit within my role working here at the College.”

I have been working in the Division of Cancer for over twenty years in cancer research administration. I am a Unison steward and have previously served as Chair, and I am currently Treasurer for the Committee. Previously, I have taught adult education in ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), functional skills, family learning and have taught a range of fitness related classes from dance fitness to Pilates. I have also taught accredited fitness qualifications and have experience in assessment and internal verification.

The team I work with carries out research in a translational laboratory which focuses on detection of micrometastatic disease (cancer cells which have escaped from the original tumour and have spread to other parts of the body) and applies this to the treatment of breast cancer.