London is the place to be if you’re a fan of culture and arts. Theatre, cinema, art galleries, museums, concerts, stand-up shows – you name it! It’s difficult to keep up with London’s vast cultural schedule, yet many students can’t take advantage of living in the capital of theatre, art, and fashion as the ticket prices are out of their budget. Having lived in London for almost four years, I was painfully aware of how many world-class shows I am missing out on, but where there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve learned some hacks that keep my cultural cravings satisfied and allow me to regularly visit memorable shows and unique exhibitions without sacrificing all my savings.
As a student ambassador, I can apply for a variety of work opportunities, but one of my personal favourites is working at Makerspace. If you’re not familiar with the place, you can check it out here, but think of it as a creative design space combined with a crafting workshop where you can do anything from woodworking to 3D printing and laser cutting to electronics.
Activities that I support at Makerspace
One of the regular events that take place at the Makerspace is the ‘Maker Challenge’ – a programme for Year 10 to Year 13 students during which they can learn a range of skills and work on a project idea of their choice.
Imperial is world renowned for its cutting-edge research output, which became all the more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the MBBS programme has research skills embedded throughout its curriculum in order to instil the importance of evidence-based clinical practice within us as future doctors. This year, I am undertaking an intercalated BSc, a mandatory component of the Imperial Medicine course with my subject area being Pharmacology. While this is certainly the most research heavy year of my degree so far, I have been fortunate enough to take part in numerous projects during my earlier years as well.
The first substantive research initiative I was involved with stemmed from the project I undertook during my Clinical Research and Innovation (CRI) module in second year.
To give you an insight into the fascinating world of Materials Science and Engineering, here are 5 essential skills we apply during the course:
What is true innovation? It’s when you take action and implement your brilliant ideas. During the Design Study project in the first year, we had the opportunity to innovate. Once we gained the foundation abilities involving engineering drawings, SOLIDWORKS, and Arduino in the autumn term, we were introduced to the brief: ideate, design, test, and fabricate a working rheometer. Many of us had no idea what a rheometer was (a machine that measures viscosity).
Last year, when I first applied for the position of the Year Wellbeing Representative (‘rep’ for short), I only had a vague idea of what it involves, and there was a lot that I had to learn in the process. Yet here I am, having decided to stand and been elected for the second time as a Wellbeing Rep. If running for the Academic or Wellbeing Student Rep is something that has crossed your mind, read on to learn more about my experience as a rep, what kind of skills you can gain, and what you actually do in this role.
Having been in Imperial for four years, I’ve never previously attended Summer Ball before. It doesn’t help that the event had to be cancelled two years in a row due to the pandemic. Back in my first year, I decided not to attend Summer Ball as ticket prices were quite high, and being a fresher, I was more conscious about my expenses and decided that I have many more years to head to the ball if I were to change my mind. As I was living right opposite the college, I distinctly remember seeing a bunch of people with suits and dresses strolling across Exhibition Road, ready for a night to celebrate the end of the academic year.
During the start of the pandemic, I like most other students, started going about finding new hobbies and new events to keep myself occupied while being confined in my own room. Some people decided to join new clubs and societies, while some decide to pick up a new skill. I found an advertisement from the college regarding joining their Recruitment and Outreach Student Ambassador team. This stuck out for me as part of the job scope focused on working with students from ages 6-18 to capture their interest and help develop their passion for studying STEM. As I have previously tutored peers and students back when I was studying for my A-Levels, I always enjoyed finding different methods to break down complex topics into fun and engaging ways to help people understand them better.
My perception of Mechanical Engineering has changed so much from before entering University, and after finishing my final paper of the course. A huge part of my inspiration to study Mechanical Engineering came from my father, who works in the manufacturing industry producing and delivering boiler plants. However, coming to Imperial has opened up my mind to so much more, regardless of it being content within my course, or experiences gained elsewhere.
What did I learn in the course?
Some expectations were aligned with what I thought University life would be like. Lectures are still mostly delivered in lecture theatres, and we definitely have more group work and assignments compared to A-Levels.
Written by Sulayman Hussain, second-year Materials Science
I first came across Materials Science in my sixth form at a guest lecture discussing Formula One cars. Why is it that some materials will deform lots under force, like a carbon fibre chassis, and others remain rigid? Why do we use nickel single crystals in the fiery core of a jet engine and aluminium alloys elsewhere? And what is the process of digging rocks out of the earth and transforming them into these high-performance structures?
As is often the case, having been exposed to Materials Science once, I started seeing them everywhere. It seemed like every week; Materials scientists made a breakthrough.
Written by Susannah Lea, PhD Student, Department of Materials
Whether you have heard of Materials Science or not there are often key misunderstandings about what it’s actually all about. While the concept of studying how to improve and even make new materials may start to sound like alchemy or even magic I can assure you that it is very much grounded in scientific principle (and it may well be the next best thing to the Hogwarts letter you waited for). Having studied Materials for my undergrad and continued on to do a PhD I’m hopefully in a good place to help dispel some of the myths and let you know what a degree in Materials is all about.