Author: Isabella von Holstein

Water in an increasingly polluted world

How much do you know about water? It’s all around us and used in pretty much all human activities. This might be as simple as washing our face or as complex as being used in the development of semiconductors for our electronic devices. But how many of us really know the impact of our behaviours on water? What sort of water pollution do we generate? What challenges are we facing in trying to provide all enough clean water for human activity? IMSE’s latest guest blogger, Bioengineering student Naveesha Karunanayaka, explores the topic.


Interdisciplinary education leads to increased earnings

“Greater exposure to interdisciplinarity—especially for science majors—is associated with increased earnings after college graduation.” This is one of the conclusions of an article on interdisciplinary education by Han et al in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published in 2023.


Microplastics: the cost of laundry

When you think about plastic pollution, you probably think of water bottles, single-use plates and cutlery, or food packaging. “Oh well, I don’t litter, so I’m not responsible” you might think. But in fact, you probably do contribute to plastic pollution: every time you wash your clothes. The escape of microplastics from laundry is a substantial problem. This is another guest blog post from an IMSE work experience student, Rolando Charles!


Engineering agrochemicals for drone delivery

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about formulated products, how formulated products have climate impact, and what sorts of skills are needed to reformulate to make them more sustainable. In the coming weeks, I’m going to give some examples of how changing a product to adapt to or mitigate climate change also requires changing the formulation. This turns out to be a complex process. Here’s the first example: reformulating fertilizers and pesticides for drone delivery.


Talking formulations

New podcast alert!

This month I’ve been talking to three researchers at Imperial College London about their work on formulations. Formulations are a class of modern products which are all complex mixtures of many different elements. The evidence is the ingredients list on the back of the packet. These kinds of advanced formulated chemical products are everywhere in modern life: we use them daily to stay healthy, warm, dry, fed, clean and connected.


Cultural heritage science: uniting the lab and the gallery

The Science and Engineering in Cultural Heritage network of excellence (which IMSE supports) is hosting its first one-day conference on 20 September 2023, 9.30-17.30. This free conference is a forum for researchers, students and staff at Imperial College London and cultural heritage organisations in London to meet, explore current challenges, showcase tools/techniques, and build collaborations to solve problems.