Stuart is a final year PhD student in Chemical Biology. This profile was produced for Diverse@Imperial 2018.
Who inspires you?
The Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Professor Tom Welton, was the first openly gay academic that I had ever met and has been a great inspiration to me. I also really appreciate the work of people like David Attenborough for bringing science to a really popular position and raising awareness for our research.
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
My PhD office is the best environment that I've found I can work in, it's quiet with lots of light, and looks out onto the Queen's Lawn at South Kensington. I have a network of intelligent people I can simply just turn around and ask questions of, which is extremely valuable when you come across a problem you can't solve.
When I desperately need time to think I just go sit out on in Prince's Gardens or Hyde Park. It's nice to have a quick break from a computer screen from time to time so that you can think.
If you could improve one thing at Imperial, what would it be?
PhD salaries can be difficult as they are lower than the London Living Wage; I have often found myself looking for teaching or demonstrating work just to be able to afford to live. Imperial is attempting to solve this problem, but obviously it will take some time.
"I have a network of intelligent people I can ask questions of, which is extremely valuable when you come across a problem you can't solve."
What's your favourite piece of music?
I'm a big fan of video game orchestral scores, I've been to several performances of music from these games, which twin the emotive feeling of the music with the amazing orchestra. I'm also a huge musical nerd and am currently obsessed with the musical Dear Evan Hansen.
If you were the College Provost for a day, what one thing would you do to make Imperial more diverse and inclusive?
I'd order some rainbow lab coats for lab work to make it easier for people to see that there are many LGBT academics around and bring it to the forefront of peoples’ minds. It would also show students and visitors that Imperial is a really diverse place, encouraging more people to be out and open about themselves.