Category: Students

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.


Adlina Zahra, Taught Postgraduate, National Heart and Lung Institute

“By being given this chance to study at Imperial, hopefully I can achieve my dream of preventing death caused by cardiovascular disease”.

I am an Indonesian medical doctor interested in cardiovascular disease prevention. I worked as a GP for three years in Indonesia and was a volunteer doctor in a floating hospital in a remote area of Indonesia (South Borneo). Before starting my Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare MSc at Imperial, I worked on the front line during COVID-19 dealing with this challenging disease, particularly in the second wave. As a doctor, I dealt with hospital overcapacity every day and it was overwhelming to announce people’s deaths on each shift.

It’s so important to prevent a catastrophic event as early as possible. The COVID-19 era has highlighted that people with no chronic diseases or comorbidity, especially cardiovascular disease, survive stronger compared to those who have these diseases. This is the main reason why I chose to study at Imperial, because the course offers complete management of cardiovascular disease from prevention until rehabilitation, complete with innovation and technology involvement as well as its implementation on an individual and population level.


Chung Yan (Crystal) Fu, Undergraduate, Department of Earth Science and Engineering

Chung Yan (Crystal) Fu, Undergraduate, Department of Earth Science and Engineering

“I love sharing science and watching people’s eyes widen in wonder as they come to appreciate the amazing ways in which nature works all around us.”

Whenever I get asked what I study, I brace myself for the two most common types of reaction: the “Geology? Isn’t that just colouring in?” and the “I thought Imperial only offers STEM degrees!” Despite often being discounted and overlooked, geology is an important science that underpins every aspect of our lives. From the soils that grow our food and the mines that produce metal for our phones and cars, to the mitigation of natural hazards and the development of renewable energy to aid the green transition, I have enjoyed learning different applications of geology that shape and improve our society.

At Imperial, I am never short of opportunities to put the knowledge and skills I gained into practice, most notably on field trips. Whether it is visiting quarries in Lake District, fossil hunting in Wales, examining folds in Scotland, or investigating volcanism in Santorini, I always have a great time observing and interpreting different environments, piecing together the clues to solve an intricate puzzle presented by Mother Nature.


Jasmine Chan, Disabilities Officer and Undergraduate, Department of Chemistry

“As a student with a hidden disability, I have felt part of a community I never knew existed at Imperial.”

I am one of the nine Liberation and Community Officers at Imperial College Union who support marginalised minority groups at Imperial. As the Disabilities Officer, I represent the disabled student community at Imperial and lead the Disabilities Network. Within this network, I try to foster a safe space for students who identify with a disability where they can feel comfortable engaging with other members of the network.

As the chair of the network, I am responsible for pushing for positive experiences for disabled students at Imperial. I work closely with the Disability Advisory Service, including Departmental Disability Officers, to fight for disabled student rights by raising issues from students to the Union and to the College. Additionally, I collaborate with the ABLE network, which supports staff with disabilities, to collect feedback from disabled staff members at Imperial.


Shyam Patel, Undergraduate, Department of Chemistry

Shyam Patel

“The best volunteering experience I’ve done is the Great Exhibition Road Festival – I’ve signed up again this year” 

I am a third year Chemistry student here at Imperial. Chemistry was always my biggest passion, and it was an easy choice when deciding what degree program to do, and what better place to do it than Imperial?  

Chemistry is vast, scary, and beautiful all at the same time. It incorporates so many aspects of modern-day life – from medicine to agriculture – and it isn’t just limited to “chemicals”. It can be used in things like fireworks, cosmetics and cooking, and it’s that diversity that is so appealing to me.   

Currently, I am on the committee of the Chemistry Society and as the first-year representative I work to help ease the first years into university life. I am also on the SwiftSoc committee (I couldn’t write a piece on myself and not mention Taylor Swift…), where a bunch of us swifties come together and just talk about the biggest artist of our generation. I am also part of Outreach, where I try to inspire younger students to get into STEM careers.  


Josh Tregale, Undergraduate, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Josh Tregale

“The interface between engineering, technology and policy is something that particularly interests me” 

I am a second-year mechanical engineering undergraduate at Imperial. After graduating, I hope to go into renewable or nuclear energy as I would like to have a tangible impact on global challenges. One of the key points for me choosing engineering was the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners in 2010. Seeing the efforts to save their lives and overcome challenges to extract them from an extremely complex location inspired me and illustrated the vast reach and importance of engineering. 

Engineering has been responsible for many of the improvements to quality of life and technological advancements that humanity has seen. At the same time, it has brought about changes that have had negative impacts on the world and the people around us. An area I am particularly passionate about is tackling the climate crisis. This has a devastating impact on some of the most vulnerable people in the world, the same people who have contributed the least to the issue. It’s this injustice that drives me to want to apply engineering to tackling problems and improving people’s lives. Africa as an entire continent is only responsible for 3% of global emissions, but faces some of the most severe climate impacts from floods to droughts and more.  


Ori Blich, Taught Postgraduate, Dyson School of Design Engineering and Royal College of Art

Ori Blich

“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…)

Ruchipat (Aim) Kumpusiri, Undergraduate, Department of Life Sciences

Picture of Ruchipat (Aim) Kumpusiri


“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.  


Devni Peramunugamage, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

Devni Peramunugamage
“Coming to university I was suddenly thrown into an environment where people were celebrated for being themselves. It was wonderful.”

I was always bothered when my peers would talk about how big the universe is and how small we are, and how because of this life is meaningless. Year nine career talks didn’t help this existential crisis – if life was meaningless, how was I supposed to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of mine? In the end, it was a poem, by Rupi Kaur, that inspired me. It talked about how in the end, while we’ll realise so many of the things we worried over were trivial and meaningless, human connection is meaningful. Between a mother and her daughter, between a couple married for five decades, between a group of lifelong best friends – I think human connection is meaningful because we feel it is meaningful. And I realised that something that made me angry was how such arbitrary things – a virus, a drunk driver, a clump of cells growing where they shouldn’t be – could end these connections. I realised that if I did medicine, if my life was about trying to stop these arbitrary things, then it didn’t matter how big the universe was. My life would be meaningful to me. And that would be enough. (more…)