Blog posts

Dr Stefano Sandrone, Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Brain Sciences

I enjoy mentoring the next generation of neuroscientists: respect, knowledge, enthusiasm and experience are essential in creating an excellent learning environment.” 

I am aItalian neuroscientist, a Senior Teaching Fellow and a Principal Investigator within the Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (C3NL).  Before joining the College, I was a Teaching Fellow at King’s College London, where I completed my PhD and a brief postdoc.   

I am a very social person with several interests, ranging from art exhibitions to football, from going to the Royal Opera House to travelling. All things I could not do during the lockdown, which I also spent away from my family.   (more…)

Shafina Vohra, Research Postgraduate, Dyson School of Design Engineering

“My study is looking at hands-on learning in education and whether this enhances teaching and learning.” 

My freelance graphic design experience in the Middle East turned into curiosity about what happens in the brain in creative people, and this led me to completing a BSc in Psychology. After publishing my undergraduate dissertation as a research fellow, I turned to training as a teacher at the Institute of Education at UCL shortly after and fell in love with educating. I never wanted to become a teacher and dreaded the thought of teaching teenagers! But little did I know that one day, the very teens I taught would become the centre of my world.     (more…)

Richard Baughen, Instrument Engineer – Space, Department of Physics

“The instrument was shipped off to the Netherlands and set up for us by colleagues at the European Space Agency. I was able to remotely log in to our instrument and control it from my living room…” 

I work as part of a team building a scientific instrument called a magnetometer that will be sent on a spacecraft to Jupiter and its moons in 2022.   

When the pandemic started, we found ourselves stuck at home alongside the rest of the country. After a couple of weeks tidying up documentation, we knew that to make real progress we had to get back into the lab. You cannot build a magnetometer in your kitchen… or can you?  (more…)

Lacky Ahmed, Executive Assistant (Principal Gifts), Advancement

The entire Advancement Division have all worked incredibly hard despite all the hurdles during COVID-19. I am very proud to work for Imperial, a university at the forefront of research and developing the COVID-19 vaccine.” 

Before joining Imperial, I worked as a Legal Assistant for five years at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a US law firm based in the City of London, where I assisted lawyers with advising US and international insurers on a range of insurance and regulatory and corporate matters.   (more…)

Joanna Plested, Administration Officer, Security Services 

“Balancing the apprenticeship with my day job wasn’t too challenging in the end. My manager was very supportive and helped me to find time to work on it when I needed.” 

My current role involves overseeing the administrative side of the Security team’s office. This involves booking annual leave, registering sickness, plus ordering and invoicing. More recently, I have also become a ‘training champion’ which involves helping other members of the team with any training needs.  (more…)

Wunmi Agunbiade, Finance Manager, Library Services 

“Since the start of lockdown there have been over 160 items ordered and distributed to our colleagues’ homes, as well as plentiful supplies of PPE ordered in preparation of the Library’s reopening.” 

I was Fees Supervisor at Scope for three and a half years where my section was responsible for bringing in 45 per cent of Scope’s £100 million annual income. I then moved to UCL Union where I was the Deputy Finance Manager for 7 and a half years before moving to Imperial in March 2009 as the first Finance manager for Library ServicesI was in this post until 2014 when I was also made the Finance & Facilities Manager – now covering finance, facilities and being the departmental safety person.  (more…)

Stephanie Ludwig, Learning and Development Administrator, Human Resources

“We have just launched our new LDC course programme for 2020-21 and our workload has really picked up as we’ve been planning and organising the teaching.” 

In January I started as an Administrator in the Learning and Development Centre (LDC) where I support the admin and organisation of the programmes run by the centre. This is mostly processing bookings for courses, answering enquiries and liaising with internal and external course tutors. 

After I left school, rather than going to university I decided to start working. While studying for my A-levels I found there wasn’t a subject I wanted to study at university, and I knew I definitely didn’t want to go to university just for the sake of it. Initially I didn’t even think about an apprenticeship and just wanted to get a job, but without experience finding one was very difficult. Eventually, I looked into apprenticeships and found that I could study for a Level 3 qualification in Business Administration while working at Imperial’s Graduate School. I started the apprenticeship in September 2018 and after receiving a distinction, I started my new role in the LDC in January this year.   (more…)

Promise Ahante, Taught Postgraduate, Department of Earth Science & Engineering

“The pandemic was initially very disruptive, but Imperial really helped to reduce the negative impact.” 

I’m a Master’s student in Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. I did my first degree in Petroleum and Gas Engineering in Nigeria, which is where I’m from. The major resource we have in Nigeria is petroleum so I was influenced by my surroundings.  

When I graduated in 2016, I worked for a short while, but I wasn’t able to get a job directly in the energy industry. I decided to go back to university to build some skills. As an international student the fees were very expensive but fortunately, Shell sponsored me for my Master’s. Imperial is a fantastic university and particularly well-regarded in the industry, so it was a great opportunity for me.   (more…)

Leon McFarlane, Research Technician, Department of Infectious Disease

“We started with animal studies and in June, began human clinical trials – that’s the quickest we’ve ever been able to move a vaccine candidate from the lab to the clinic.”

I’m currently working in Professor Robin Shattock’s lab. My background is in biomedical science, but I made the transition into infectious diseases research when I completed an internship with the Sanjeev Krishna group at St George’s, looking at malaria drugs and inhibitors.  

I worked there for a year and a half, but I knew I was more interested in the immunology side of the research. I completed my MSc in the Immunology of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Following this, I started an internship at Imperial at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative working on HIV clinical trials, which connected me with Professor Shattock.  (more…)

Naveeta Bhatia, Social Media and Campaigns Officer, Student Recruitment and Outreach

“Amplifying student voices, particularly those of our EU and International students, is a key part of my work and I didn’t want this to stop because of the pandemic, so I’ve had to find different ways of finding and talking to students.” 

I always wanted to work in marketing or communications, so when I finished university I started working as a copywriter. I had a couple of different jobs in marketing and communications over the next few years. I worked for the British Transport Police as their Social Media and Campaigns Officer for a while – that was a great job! After I changed roles, I found I missed social media and content creation. That’s when I applied for my current position as Social Media and Campaigns Officer in Imperial’s Student Recruitment and Outreach team.   (more…)