Category: Support Staff

Kalpna Mistry,  Staff Network Coordinator & Disability Advisor – Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre, Human Resources Division 

“I help staff talk more openly about their disability needs and advocate on their behalf, and I also help managers who wish to support their disabled staff.”

Since joining the College as an administrator many moons ago, my role has grown to one that helps steer the staff networks. They have been an incredible source of engagement during lockdown and I am thrilled to see them flourish and deliver topical events pertaining to inclusion. The staff networks increasingly highlight and celebrate the many intersectional elements of diversity through their activities and campaigns. I’ve even taken part myself when I was interviewed on Imperial as One’s Belonging Series. 

I love seeing people develop and thrive and so I love being a co–facilitator on the Calibre and Impact courses where I facilitate training and the one-to-ones with the delegates. Being a College coach also feeds my desire to see others progress, as does being a staff disabilities adviser and Harassment Support Contact. 

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Doris Pappoe, Postgraduate Administrator, Department of Chemistry


“I support and advise students from their initial application to their graduation.”

I have been working at Imperial for 35 years. In my role as Postgraduate Administrator in the Department of Chemistry, I am responsible for PhD recruitment and training activities.

I manage and co-ordinate all aspects of postgraduate administration. This includes processing PhD applications, making offers, and welcoming new students to the department. I work closely with the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Research Student Manager.

I like the varied and interesting aspects of my job. During a normal week, I may be answering queries from staff and students or processing applications for admissions. I also help administer the President’s PhD Scholarships.

I am there for students from the beginning and advise them throughout their time at Imperial. I become part of their journey and help them be successful, and their success is (partly!) a result of my support. It is really special to see students through their assessments and watch them pass their vivas and attend their graduation in the Royal Albert Hall.

The role offers a high level of interaction with staff and students at all levels. I lead the supervisors and students through our processes and explain our policies, rules and regulations and what is expected. As that point of contact, the staff rely on me to guide them.

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Sara West , Communications Manager, Chemical Engineering 

“I was fortunate to join Imperial’s Calibre leadership programme, which I highly recommend to anyone with a disability.”

As a communicator I enjoy mending the gaps in information transmission, to better connect people with science, or services.   

One of my proudest achievements at Imperial has been winning the President’s Award for Culture and Communication (Team Award) as part of the Chemical Engineering Student Communications Group, who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that students have remained informed and engaged during the pandemic.   

I’m regularly told: “But you don’t look like you have a disability”. My condition is largely hidden, unless you happen to catch me wincing in pain or falling asleep at my desk from fatigue. Unfortunately, this has happened. It took almost two years to receive a diagnosis, during which time my biggest fear was the future and trying to imagine having a successful career while managing my symptoms.  

I was fortunate to join Imperial’s Calibre leadership programme, which I highly recommend to anyone with a disability. The course had a profound impact on my sense of self-worth and my confidence in speaking up for myself and others with disabilities. I hope that one day the lessons from this course are embedded within training for all staff and managers, not just those with a condition. The scale of change that’s needed in society is daunting, but I have to remain optimistic that one day a person with a disability isn’t automatically faced with the question: “Are you sure you can do this job?”   

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Janice Man, Graphic Designer, Business School

“I turn ideas into visual images to communicate a message.”

I wouldn’t describe my recent career as a journey, but a two-minute walk. I was a graphic designer at the Science Museum before joining the Business School. At the museum, I could be designing for a gene editing exhibition one day, then toilet direction signs the next. Now I get to work with academics, who are as passionate about Microsoft PowerPoint as they are about digital transformation. 

I’m the Business School’s graphic designer. For anyone new to this role, I turn ideas into visual images to communicate a message. A client submits a design brief and I interpret it creatively to meet their needs, while keeping within the brand guidelines. My specialism is information design. This is the practice of presenting information in a clear and accessible way for users. 

During the week, I could be working on anything from full digital campaigns to pull up banners for the annual conference, or a 60-page report on clean energy investing. Throughout lockdown, I worked with the Student Experience team on concepts to encourage student engagement. Client feedback is really important – after a few minor edits, I usually finish jobs at around version 11.  

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Dr Albert Busza, Clinical Imaging Facility Manager, Department of Brain Sciences 

“I’ll work with the radiographer or physicist to see if I can optimise a scanning method so that we can help the researchers with their studies.”

After getting a degree and PhD in biochemistry, I worked as a postdoc in magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This led to ten years working in industry before I moved to Imperial to manage the Clinical Imaging Facility. 

We are a small department with an MRI scanner and a PET scanner supporting research performed by the College and external groups, such as the NHS and clinical research organisations. The scanners help researchers answer questions such as how the brain functions following traumatic injury. We help the researchers to develop or refine imaging techniques to address their research questions. 

Although the technologies used by the scanners are very different, they are complementary. The MRI can be used to assist many clinical diagnoses, whereas the PET scanner, which uses radioactive tracers, is mainly used for research studies, including cancer and dementia. There are numerous ways of innovating with MR images and, if the scanner is free, I’ll work with the radiographer or physicist to see if I can optimise a scanning method so that we can help the researchers with their studies. 

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John Aouad, Disability Advisory Service Administrator, Education Office 

“I love getting rid of manual processes and replacing them with automated systems – I get the computer to do all the hard work!”

I have worked in education and inclusion for most of my career. I spent ten years working in the UK, China, and Taiwan teaching English. When I returned to the UK, I worked on the National Citizen Service programme with 16/17-year-olds ensuring the programme met its inclusive targets.    

I joined Imperial’s Disability Advisory Service in January 2019, in a new role as its administrator. I have been working on operational projects to improve the service for both students and staff. This has included implementing an online booking system that allows students to book appointments directly with the team, improving our CRM database, relaunching and managing our website and leading on the transition to Office 365. I am now working on a comms project to ensure students know about what we do.   

Mostly, I love getting rid of (or reducing) manual processes and where possible replacing them with automated systems – I get the computer to do all the hard work! My colleagues have appreciated that I have made the service a lot more streamlined as I have simplified many processes. They spend less time clicking buttons and doing data entry, and more time focusing on supporting students.   

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Jinata Subba, Programme Manager for the Centre of Doctoral Training in Next Generation Synthesis and Reaction Technology (CDT React), Department of Chemistry

“I’m proud of what we have achieved in the past year, in particular how we developed our recruitment process to improve our EDI statistics.” 

“I’m the programme manager for the Centre of Doctoral Training in Next Generation Synthesis and Reaction Technology (CDT React) which opened in 2019. In addition to championing interdisciplinary projects, we actively collaborate with industrial partners to bring forth industrially relevant projects. 

“Being a programme manager means that I’m a jack of all trades and the master of them all too. I’m responsible for organising the CDT React’s programme to accommodate around 12 studentship projects each year (we will take on 60 overall) to focus on future research challenges across chemistry, chemical engineering and data science. I also oversee the development of the programme to ensure that we effectively build our researchers’ professional skills e.g. research communications and research ethics. Finally I oversee the research strategy which involves communicating with our external and industry advisory boards.  

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Nana Asante Asamoah-Danso, Bioengineering Core Facilities Laboratory Technician, Department of Bioengineering

“I volunteered to serve in the NHS COVID-19 face-shield assembly project during the first lockdown.” 

“After studying Biochemistry, I worked in a few different jobs, but one day of work experience at the UCL Molecular Virology lab helped to guide me onto a science career path. I first worked as a Science Technician in a school sixth form, before joining Imperial in 2017 as a Laboratory Technician in the National Heart and Lung Institute where I supported the Myocardial Function research groups.  

“I thoroughly enjoy working within a university research lab and being surrounded by all the equipment and chemicals. As a Bioengineering Core Facilities Laboratory Technician, I provide research support for the Synthetic Biology labs and manage the departmental utility facility. I also manage the lab coat laundry services and assist researchers and other technicians. I currently deliver safety inductions for staff and students returning to the labs after lockdown. 

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Steph Martin, Test Facilitation Coordinator, Human Resources  

“I am now responsible for the coordination of a fantastic team and the delivery of up to 25 testing sessions a week, across five campuses, and seven halls of residence.” 

Graduating in June 2020 was certainly daunting as I was faced with media headlines predicting a recession ‘worse than 2007’ or ‘as great as 1929’ – depending on who you chose to believe. What everyone did agree on was that 2020 was not a good year for job seekers!  

In September, I stumbled upon an opportunity to become a COVID-19 test facilitator – a casual worker for Imperial responsible for the running of the COVID-19 Asymptomatic Test and Trace project. I quickly applied, keen to put my newfound (and extensive) free time to some meaningful use.   (more…)

Simon Herriott, Business Transformation Manager, Enterprise 

“There is much more awareness of the power of data since I started at Imperial. Data underpins everything that Enterprise is doing…” 

I manage the business transformation function within Enterprise. I oversee the platforms that we use, such as Salesforce, and create bespoke additions to improve functionality and reporting capabilities. Before joining Imperial in 2017, I worked in project management in Higher and Further Education, the NHS, and climate consultancies.  (more…)