Category: Students

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…)

Dragos-Cristian Gruia, Research Postgraduate, Department of Brain Sciences

Dragos-Cristian Guira
“I’m lucky to say I’m part of a very supportive lab, where I feel completely at ease being myself.”

I joined Imperial in 2019 to pursue a Master’s in Neuroscience. I got the chance to explore the brain and its intricacies in much depth, and as a result, fell completely in love with the field. I was then lucky to get a full-time position in the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial, looking at ways in which brain imaging and digital monitoring can be used to improve the quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. One aspect that really piqued my interest was how technology can be used to improve patients’ lives in a meaningful manner. Patients sometimes do things that healthy adults would never do, or react to technology in ways one wouldn’t expect. (more…)

Safia Ismael, Undergraduate student, Faculty of Medicine

Safia Ismael
“Through the experiences of my parents, I’ve understood the detrimental effect of conflict on the East African healthcare system. I’d like to contribute in helping to rebuild this system.”

I’m currently in my third year of studying Biomedical Sciences. My educational journey has been interesting as I initially wanted to study medicine. But I realised I was underappreciating the research aspect of medicine, as the two go hand in hand. So I decided I wanted to explore the research side, and then go into graduate medicine. I would rather take a longer route in academia and see aspects I won’t see in medicine. (more…)

Marina Moncayola Lobato, Taught Postgraduate (MBA), Business School

Marina Montoya Lobato

“At Imperial I have been able to improve my problem-solving and leadership skills, and meet a community with similar interests who are always ready to support those in need”

My name is Marina Moncayola Lobato and I am in my final year of the Weekend MBA (WMBA) programme at Imperial College Business School. As a part-time student, I combine my studies with my full-time job as Internal Auditor for a multinational company in the construction sector in London, assessing risks and advising and helping to implement recommendations after analysing projects and processes. I started my career as an External Auditor at EY. (more…)

Maroa-Isabell Al-Sahlani, Taught Postgraduate, Dyson School of Design Engineering

Maroa-Isabell Al-Sahlani,

“I was selected to pursue a module at the University of Tokyo to learn more about the confluence of science, technology and design thinking.”

I’m a Master’s student studying Global Innovation Design (GID) at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. I combine research, graphic design, conversational and written practices to reflect on the agency of the arts in nation building. (more…)

Valentina Neuhauser, Taught Postgraduate, Business School

Valentina Neuhauser

“My curiosity about how businesses raise the bar for sustainable development and offer hope for our future brought me to Imperial”

Growing up in Austria, I treasured the beautiful nature around me and the memories of running through beautiful fields of wildflowers as a child. Unfortunately, over the years, I saw many places in my fond memory disappear, making places for business and buildings and stimulating the consumption of more goods.

In 2021 I decided that it was time to embark on a long envisioned educational journey – to pursue an MBA. My curiosity about how businesses raise the bar for sustainable development and offer hope for our future brought me to Imperial. I had worked in tech for 15 years, and I had many opportunities to grow and take on new challenges over the years. However, I was keen to expand my horizons and learn about other industries. Imperial offered me the opportunity to continue my job while studying with a vast international cohort – and to do this online from Singapore, where I am currently based. Imperial’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment also attracted me, alongside the focus on programmes’ sustainable and ethical business approach.

Climate change, the exploitation of virgin resources, and the lack of a circular economy threaten our lives, those of future generations, the planet and animals, and our economy. Businesses seek know-how to set solid green agendas for the future, and we must ensure that students are ready for these “new” requirements. I recently connected with a variety of groups at Imperial organised to advocate on the climate emergency and to raise awareness. I am optimistic that we will have a positive influence if we use the power of our network to effect change.

I have always been active in my community, and getting involved is the best way to shape your experience. As a new MBA student, I took on a student leadership role for my cohort as Student Staff Committee Chair. This role has allowed me to work with the programme team on the MBA, and explore the Vice President for Sustainability role on the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee. In this role, I connect and work with stakeholders across the College to bring sustainability initiatives to students. It also offers the chance to address challenges and opportunities with the Business School on sustainability, while creating a programme that allows students to gain essential skills for the workplace.

It is no surprise that I am passionate about nature, and in my little spare time between work, studies, and student life, I love to be outdoors, hike, do yoga in nature, and marvel at the fantastic wonders on this planet. In addition, I love classical music, and my passion for classical ballet is my best way to re-energise after a busy week.

Laura Mereweather, Research Postgraduate, Department of Immunology and Inflammation

Laura Mereweather

“I am interested in understanding changes to blood flow within our veins, which may occur due to long term immobility such as long-haul flights or bed rest.”

Growing up in rural Dorset, I never thought I would live in a big city when I was older. Yet fast-forward 20 years, and I am lucky enough to study at one of the best universities in the world, in the best city in the world. (more…)

Elizabeth Akeju, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

Elizabeth Akeju

“Participation in our annual showcase Afrogala allowed me to celebrate my culture through dance, modelling and drama”

During the first year of my medicine degree, I was able to participate in many activities, both degree-related and extracurricular. This year has given me the opportunity to explore the basics of medicine through lectures, tutorials, projects, placements and podcasts! I loved how there were so many tools used to help us learn and collaborate with others, my favourite being podcast creation for a module called Lifestyle Medicine and Prevention. Within this same module, we explored public health.