Author: Sara West

Abu Bakarr Bangura, Hall Supervisor, Campus Services

“My primary responsibility is to ensure the residents have a safe and secure environment in which to live.”

I am one of the Hall Supervisors at Wilson House and I have been at Imperial College London since 2011. Before that I worked in sanitation management for King’s College, the Royal Free Hospital and for Carilllion. I came to live in the UK in 1991 from Russia, then the Soviet Union, which led me to study Russian and German at the University of Westminster. I’ve worked in several different halls at Imperial over the past 12 years, including Pembridge, Beit and Silwood. My primary responsibility is to assist in the general management of the hall and ensure the residents have a safe and secure environment in which to live. Checks are carried out daily and any maintenance issues are logged in terms of priority.


Jacyra Da Silva Baptista, Staffing and EDI Coordinator, National Lung and Heart Institute

“As a Black woman working in education, I understand that there are many barriers to women of colour taking up leadership positions. I want to help dismantle not just race, but disability and gender-based biases, making NHLI’s working environment as inclusive as possible.”

When I graduated from Aston university with a degree in Management and Strategy in 2010, I didn’t have a clear vision of what my career would lead to. During that time, the economy was just recovering from a recession, it was a huge struggle to find graduate level jobs, and I felt overwhelmed and lost. I applied for a great number of jobs and eventually stumbled into the wonderful world of education.

I worked as a student support officer at an independent education provider and then I moved on to another role in a contemporary music college as a wellbeing adviser. I felt like I had finally found my feet, but three years later I was made redundant. I knew I wanted to stay in education as I really enjoyed helping students and working within a learning-focused environment.


Professor George Constantinides, Professor of Digital Computation, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

“Outside of my role at Imperial, being a school governor has been transformational for me. I got to learn the very different skills of a non-executive director and gained a huge amount from working with a diverse group on strategic planning.”

I first joined Imperial as an undergraduate in 1994 on the Information Systems Engineering course (now called Electronic and Information Engineering), and I’ve been here ever since! As an undergrad I encountered an inspirational lecturer, Peter Cheung, who convinced me to stay as his PhD student (jointly supervised by Wayne Luk), and I’ve never really looked back. I became a lecturer in 2002, and over the last two decades I have had various roles including director of the undergraduate course I took as a student, research group head, and currently I am Associate Dean (Academic Workload) for the Faculty of Engineering.


Aabida Patel, Senior Business Analyst, Registry

“I am always looking to continue developing my professional skills and knowledge so that I can ensure the projects and processes I work on are as inclusive as possible to all students and staff in the College.” 

After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Law in 2016 and a Masters in 2017 I joined the NHS through a graduate scheme in Leicester, moving on to my first full operational management role in January 2020. In September 2020 I moved to London and continued to build on my operational management experience in the NHS.  

In late 2022 I came across the position of Senior Business Analyst with the Transformation Team in Registry at Imperial College London. I see my biggest responsibility as supporting people through change. My role focusses on digital improvement of the student and staff digital journey through the Student Lifecycle Administration Board (SLAB) with the College strategy and values in mind. SLAB focusses on ensuring continuous improvement to the student experience at Imperial. 


Arianna Olivelli, Research Postgraduate, Earth Science and Engineering

Arianna Olivelli

“At Imperial I found fantastic laboratory facilities and a thriving research environment, where excellence and integrity are at the core of everything we do.”

As a child I was fascinated by space and planets and my dream was to become an astronaut. However, as it is often the case, perceptions changed, and by the time I had to enrol at university I realised I cared more about our own home planet than what surrounded it.

I studied Geology at the University of Milan – Bicocca, in Italy, and during my second year I had a fantastic opportunity to attend a marine ecology workshop in the Maldives, where the university has a laboratory outpost. It did not take me long at all to realise I wanted to dedicate my career to studying and protecting the ocean.


Angela Arkandhi, Taught Postgraduate, Business School

Angela Arkandhi

“Being at Imperial has opened doors to many new opportunities and experiences that I believed were impossible.”

Back in 2021, in between finishing pharmacy school and getting into my apothecary program, I found an interest in public health, specifically in the area of environmental health. My interest and passion intensified after spending a year interning at different pharma jobs (pharmacy, community clinic, hospital, and industry) because through that experience I saw how the environment is being severely damaged and affected by healthcare practices. I was motivated to build a better healthcare system for Indonesia by initiating sustainable healthcare ideas, for example encouraging proper medical waste management, reducing energy consumption, and increasing awareness of the impact of climate change on health. Seeing Health and Environment listed as one of the modules for the International Health Management MSc was what led me to Imperial College Business School.


Professor Julie Makani, Provost’s Visiting Professor of Haematology, Department of Immunology and Inflammation

“As a Provost’s Visiting Professor, I hope to work with colleagues here to develop a platform for coordination, health, advocacy, research, and training in Africa.”

I trained in medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, graduating in 1994. During my medical training, I did a student elective at the Royal Free Hospital in London. While at this placement I decided that I would like to specialise in internal medicine. At that time in Tanzania there were limited opportunities for specialist training as people were encouraged to go into public health. There also were no active haematology  specialisation programmes because there were only two haematologists in the whole country.


Luke McCrone, Research Associate, Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship

Luke McCrone

“My research has directly informed and shaped the redesign of several transitional learning space redesign projects across Imperial’s campuses, all of which were driven by students and staff under the StudentShapers scheme.”

I studied Geology (BSc) and Petroleum Geoscience (MSc) at Imperial in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. Following my MSc, I was elected to the role of Deputy President (Education) at Imperial College Union for a sabbatical year which nurtured my interest in the student experience and exposed me to how the College is governed. The connections and knowledge I acquired in that sabbatical year, whilst reflecting on my own time as an Imperial student, afforded me the exciting opportunity to undertake the first full-time PhD in the Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship (CHERS). I am now a Research Associate in CHERS building upon this context and experience.


Jacklin Kwan, ‪Digital Communications Officer, Natural Sciences‬

Jacklin Kwan

“Bouncing from a Physics degree, to a journalism qualification, to an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial, I now do what I love most: telling stories about science.”

The ‘aha’ moment came to me during a summer internship, just before I entered the final year of my Physics degree, when I was sitting alone in an empty newsroom at midnight. I was exhausted but I had to wait copyeditors to finalise my article before I could go home. Yet, it was the happiest I had ever been.

I’m the Digital Communications Officer at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. I came into this role after I completed a Master’s degrees in Physics and Science Communication. When I first moved to the UK to pursue Physics, I spent my time outside of classes continuing with clubs that I did in high school, namely writing for the student newspaper.


Salvador Acha, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Chemical Engineering

Salvador Acha

“I model and analyse how new technologies perform in buildings or in urban areas and then provide recommendations on how to maximise their impact or improve their performance, which is a very exciting line of work”.

I did my undergraduate engineering degree at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and then an electrical engineering PhD at Imperial. I was very lucky in being able to secure scholarships to cover the costs, as a result of being dedicated in my studies and thanks to the example my family set at a young age.

I am an energy and sustainability researcher in the built environment, advising Sainsbury’s supermarkets on their Net Zero Strategy. This means that I model and analyse how new technologies perform in buildings or in urban areas and then provide recommendations on how to maximise their impact or improve their performance. This is a very exciting line of work as I advise a commercial organisation on how to become more sustainable and efficient in the way they use energy and other valuable resources. All advice needs to be practical, cost-effective, and replicable to ensure high impact, and converting technical expertise into sound practical advice is an art in itself!