Blog posts

Kam Chaggar, IT Service Management Lead, ICT 

“I really enjoying being part of a team that puts customers first and allows a better customer and student experience.”

I joined Imperial College’s ICT department in March 2019 as a Customer Services Manager for Support Services, I met some talented and inspiring people and made some friends along the way. The best part of this role was being able to help, guide and provide solutions quickly to my customers, especially during the COVID19 pandemic. 

In 2020 I took on the role as IT Service Management Lead looking at a customer-focused approach to delivering information technology. Having worked in this industry for over 13 years and being fortunate enough to be guided by one of the co-authors of the globally recognised framework ITIL, I am passionate about being able to focus on providing value to customers and building customer relationships.  

Some frequently asked questions and issues from customers are “Where do I find information? What services do ICT support? I don’t have access, or it’s expired. I’m unable to log in.” My role involves reducing these types of issues by designing processes that underpin and drive efficiencies for the services ICT deliver. This includes looking at areas where a lot of time and manual effort is being spent and exploring how this can be digitally transformed by levering technology to automate recurring tasks that deliver better customer experiences.  

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Nicole Pires, Content Marketing Manager, Business School

“With such a varied and busy workload – it’s safe to say there’s never a quiet or dull day in my role!”

I studied journalism at university before working for a fashion brand in Australia where I discovered a love for digital content.  After moving to the UK four years ago I started working at the Business School in the Programmes Marketing team. 

I lead the Content Marketing team to create and produce inspirational and practical content for prospective MBA, Master’s PhD and Summer School students. We target all stages of the student recruitment journey, from deciding whether to apply, the application process and receiving an offer.  

Our content comes in many formats, including blog posts, videos, photography and student profiles. We recently produced our first podcast series and our Student Content Creator scheme, which allows students to share their authentic Imperial experience, has helped increase our blog users by 20%.  

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Dr Violeta Cordón Preciado, Research Technician, Life Sciences 

“I am optimising growth conditions and working out how to maintain and store the different species of cyanobacteria”

I am a molecular biologist and the Research Technician for the newly stablished Molecular Evolution Lab. Our group is studying the origin and evolution of photosynthesis using cyanobacteria as a model system. Cyanobacteria are carbon-fixing oxygen-releasing microorganisms of major ecological impact. They played a significant role in Earth’s history by enabling the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere and the appearance of more complex life. 

My project aims to better understand the dynamics of genome evolution in diverse cyanobacteria. We have planned a long-term evolutionary experiment in which we aim to gather experimental data of the speed and process of their evolution under stable lab conditions. For this, four species of cyanobacteria will be grown under constant light and growth conditions and their genomes analysed using next generation sequencing techniques.  

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Dr Giovanni Fantuzzi, Imperial College Research Fellow, Aeronautics 

“I am developing a completely new type of computer-assisted technique that combines tools from different areas of mathematics with the latest advances in numerical optimisation”

I joined Imperial as an undergraduate back in 2010 to study Aeronautical Engineering. I found myself so much at home that after graduating I decided to stay, first as a PhD student and now as an Imperial College Research Fellow. 

My work explores new ways in which optimisation – the science of doing things as well as possible – can help engineers design technology that performs at its best, and is robust to changes in its operating environment. This is key to making industries such as energy and transport sustainable. 

To meet this ambitious goal, one must be able to answer questions like, “How much energy can a wind turbine generate?” or “In which conditions does it operate safely?”. High-fidelity computer simulations and machine learning methods can only provide partial answers because, for engineering systems of such complexity, the number of scenarios that one can simulate accurately and use to train artificial intelligence is typically very limited.  

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Tamanna Kabir, Research Nurse, National Heart and Lung Institute 

“I’m now part of the Grenfell Firefighters Study team, examining the physical health outcomes of almost 800 London firefighters who attended the Grenfell Tower fire.”

I’m a Research Nurse at the National Heart and Lung Institute, currently working with firefighters all day!  

My journey here was a bit like crossing a bridge and tunnel to reach the same destination. Intrigued by human behaviour, I completed a psychology degree but couldn’t see myself adopting its indirect approach. I then worked in charities and enjoyed building more therapeutic relationships with people, so trained as a nurse. I rarely saw people like me in either field. But when I discovered nurses could be researchers, I suddenly thought – why not me? 

I’m now part of the Grenfell Firefighters Study team, examining the physical health outcomes of almost 800 London firefighters who attended the Grenfell Tower fire. It’s undoubtedly a sensitive topic which I’m fortunate to gain insight into. I support firefighters to take part in the study, perform heart/lung function assessments and blood tests, then discuss their results. In the future, we’ll monitor medium and long-term health outcomes by reviewing their health records. 

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Dr Robin Lamboll, Research Associate in Climate Science and Policy, Centre for Environmental Policy 


“C
OP26 was about a month after I got a call informing me that I’d been matched with someone who needed bone marrow” 

After doing my undergraduate course in Natural Sciences, I continued at the University of Cambridge to get a PhD in the physics of solar cells. I enjoyed being a student, but not particularly my actual research, so I left academia for two years to work as a consultant to pay off my student loan before becoming a more interdisciplinary scientist, working on climate change.

Currently I do a variety of programming and statistical analyses on emissions data, for instance working out relationships between different types of air pollution. People often want to think only about carbon dioxide emissions, but the other gases we emit can make a big difference too.  

I calculate the amount of carbon we can afford to produce while still staying below certain temperature limits for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – something that has to take account of these other gases and also contribute to estimating the impact of recent climate pledges in the UNEP emissions gap report. You may have read in the news when we updated our conclusion during COP26 to show that if all governments stick to their promises and long-term goals, we might see less than 2C warming. It’s a significant progress milestone, though there’s still a lot of work to do. 

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Emma Pajak, Undergraduate, Chemical Engineering


“I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity”

Being an openly gay woman in engineering, I am passionate about representation. A phrase that sits with me is, ‘you can’t be it if you can’t see it’. I feel it is important, for those who feel comfortable doing so to share experiences and support those around us. I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity. 

When I was applying to university, I was really keen to base my decision on where I wanted to apply on a logical, methodical thought process – criteria like great facilities. I decided to attend an open day here at Imperial and, whilst it ticked off a lot of these criteria, it was the overall vibe and atmosphere that hit almost instantaneously – I knew I could see myself studying here. Fast forward to now, and I’m in my third year studying Chemical Engineering here at Imperial.  

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Dr Marko Aunedi, Research Fellow, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering 

“One focus of my work projects us into the near future where smart appliances help us look after the climate.”

After completing my degree and Master’s in Croatia, where I grew up, I arrived at Imperial to start my long-desired PhD. My research focuses on how best to integrate technologies with a low carbon footprint into the electricity network.  

The jury is still out on what mix of energy technologies we will need to deliver affordable low-carbon energy. Should we get our electricity by building more nuclear plants, or from renewables, such as offshore wind turbines, supported by energy storage? Should we heat our homes using electricity, hydrogen or something else? How and when should we charge the batteries of our electric vehicles? 

One focus of my work projects us into the near future where smart appliances help us look after the climate. For example, smart fridges, dishwashers and washing machines could switch themselves on at night when energy demand tends to be low. This would enable more low-carbon electricity generators such as wind turbines to be plugged into the network. Due to their variable output, this is currently hard to do when half the country puts the kettle on at 1700. 

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Suzanne Hoy, Technology Delivery Manager, ICT 


“I am currently studying a degree apprenticeship in Project Management to further my knowledge”

I currently work as a Technology Delivery Manager in ICT having previously worked in the external events team. I never saw myself working in ICT as I thought it was too technical, however I have surprised myself with how much of a geek I am! I love learning about how things work “behind the scenes” and seeing that transposed on a client facing system. I now work with staff across the College on projects which improve student administration and experience. 

I am currently studying a degree apprenticeship in Project Management to further my knowledge on areas I have had little exposure to thus far. I’m formalising my current work experience into a recognised qualification as part of my career development. 

So far, the degree has not only provided taught content, but a network of colleagues from different industries who offer insights into project control and management in other workplaces. It has also provided a great support network as deadlines loom and panic sets in!  (more…)

Louis Reitmann, Export Control Support Officer, Research Office  


“With so much LGBT+ visibility on campus, I felt empowered to be true to myself”

Having recently binged ‘And Just Like That’, a spinoff of the 90s hit show ‘Sex And The City’, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw writing this blogpost. So, let me begin by borrowing Carrie’s iconic phrase. I couldn’t help but wonder: What is it like to work at Imperial as a young, gay man? 

As Export Control Support Officer in the Research Office, I help Imperial’s academics protect their research from being misused, for example, in human rights violations or weapons development. My team and I train researchers on export control regulations and help them collaborate with overseas colleagues and funders safely. I’m very proud of the contributions to national security we make together with our researchers. 

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