“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.
“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.
“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.
“I recently completed COVID-19 vaccination training and have joined other healthcare professionals in vaccinating the nation.”
I’m a qualified pharmacist with experience of working in an NHS Trust and a community pharmacy. During my pharmacy career, personal and academic experiences exposed me to the different health challenges faced by populations around the world. This sparked my interest and led me to pursue a Master’s in Public Health – the global health stream.
I have learnt about the principles of public health and policy development as well as different global health challenges. I have also learnt about the significance of global governance, health economics and other disciplines such as statistics and epidemiology – which are all essential for improving global health. I am looking forward to working with my supervisors on my summer project, which will utilise data from the Improving Health in Slums Collaboration to explore migration.
“No matter how far away your work is from the clinic, there is nothing more motivating than bringing patients and the public into your research bubble.”
After completing my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and a Master’s degree in Cancer Biology, I chose to undertake a PhD at Imperial. Imperial is all about research, but being a researcher is not all about lab coats, hypothesis testing and data analysis.
Although most of my time was lab-based (pre-pandemic) I have really enjoyed taking opportunities to gain insight into the clinical impact of research through patient and public engagement activities. I have helped to deliver charity lab tours and taken part in clinical trial design discussions with clinicians, scientists, patients and the public. I’ve found that no matter how far away your work is from the clinic, there is nothing more motivating than bringing patients and the public into your research bubble and talking to them about what you do!
“We looked at how the NHS could best manage capacity during peaks in infection, as well as how to optimally schedule elective care for non-COVID-19 patients”
“I came to Imperial in 2017, after completing my undergraduate degree in Biology. During my undergrad, I’d really enjoyed learning about infectious disease evolution, so the Imperial 1 + 3 PhD programme on the epidemiology, evolution and control of infectious disease seemed ideal to me.
“After completing a Master’s in my first year, my PhD now focuses on antibiotic resistance, looking for patterns in how it evolves and spreads through different bacterial species. In particular, I’ve focused on how interactions between species, particularly with those that don’t tend to cause disease, can be important drivers of antibiotic resistance spread.
“I was never ashamed of my background at school, but there weren’t many of us and I wouldn’t always be outgoing about being Tamil and from Sri Lanka. I just knew I was different.
“My parents are both immigrants from Sri Lanka, but I was born and brought up in East London. My surname has thirteen letters in it – lots of Sri Lankan people have long names – and teachers have always struggled with it or avoided it full stop. Things like that make you realise you’re different. Even my first name, some people have difficulty with it. But nowadays people want to learn how to pronounce your name properly, even more so at Imperial where there are people from so many cultures. Everyone’s welcoming. (more…)
“Back in the Emirates and Pakistan, there is a disparity between how men and women are treated, but my mum is one of the most powerful and inspiring women I know. She left home to pursue her education and get a PhD. Marrying my dad was not the done thing – she was probably expected to marry a local, which a lot of my aunts did do. (more…)
“When I was in primary school, I always felt different. A lot of other people thought I was weird because I knew Arabic/Algerian. There’s very much the stereotype in France that if you speak Arabic or Algerian Arabic you haven’t adapted enough to French society or can’t speak French very well. As a result, I felt quite alone a lot.
“In France, you are allocated a high school based on location, but I was able to choose my high school because I had good results. But I felt different as most of my fellow students were the sons of politicians and doctors, and my background was completely different. (more…)
“Working with my peers to overcome the inevitable challenges we have faced during the pandemic has made my student experience the best it could be.”
I recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Neuroscience and started my Master’s degree in Translational Neuroscience in the autumn. I am fascinated by several areas of neuroscience, including psychedelics and dementia care, and technology. I hope to carry out my Master’sthesis in psychedelic research, and I aspire to continue my studies with a PhD in this field. One of my life goals is to combine science and technology to massively improve the quality of life of those suffering from debilitating neurological diseases. (more…)