Imperial College London

Imperial academics recognised with 2017 promotions

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Professor Guillermo Rein from Imperial's Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Guillermo Rein from the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Imperial has recognised a total of 130 staff from across the College who have been promoted in the 2017 round.

The promotions recognise the achievements and expertise of staff across the faculties and the Business School – as well as creating the College’s first ever Professor of Education, Professor Martyn Kingsbury.

Professor Nigel Gooderham, Assistant Provost (Academic Promotions), said: “I’m delighted to offer my congratulations to everyone who has been promoted – the process is thorough, rigorous and based on merit; these promotions are all hugely well-deserved.

I am absolutely thrilled to have been promoted now, in 2017, 200 years after the medical women’s federation was formed to be treated equally and afford women doctors the same privileges as men.

– Professor Sonia Saxena

School of Public Health

“Yet again this year’s list of successful applicants demonstrates an inspiring breadth of talent in the College across all levels and academic areas. The work of our academics continues to push the boundaries of research, innovation and practice in their respective fields. I look forward to seeing the impact of this activity as our newly promoted colleagues progress in their careers.”

The full list of promotions can be seen here [pdf] and below we meet four of the newly promoted staff: Dr Rocio Diaz-Chavez from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Professor Markus Perkmann, Imperial College Business School, Professor Guillermo Rein, Faculty of Engineering, and Professor Sonia Saxena, Faculty of Medicine.

Dr Rocio Diaz-Chavez

Dr Rocio Diaz-Chavez, from Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy, has been promoted to Senior Research Fellow. Her research has taken her all over the world, which has allowed her to build up a large global network and work on applied research, broadening her understanding of global development.

“My work focuses on sustainability assessment, particularly on socio-economic issues, such as job generation, gender, income, and other wider sustainability aspects including biodiversity and ecosystem services within the bioenergy and bioeconomy sectors. I explore how to make use of resources such as crops, residues and waste, to produce high value products” she said.

“I’ve interviewed farmers and other stakeholders on subjects related to feedstocks produced, and the possibilities of using them for energy, the bioeconomy and food production. The area of development is attractive and provides possibilities to do practical research in the field.”

Dr Diaz-Chavez emphasises the importance of collaboration to early career researchers: "Teamwork is important to build a career, but has to be done in a respectful form; you have to be open to learn from others who have more experience."

Professor Markus Perkmann, Imperial College Business School

Markus Perkmann has been promoted to Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His work explores the interface between the worlds of science and industry, and how individuals and science organisations manage their commitments across these domains.

I have been very privileged in finding Imperial an extraordinary place to do research as well as great place to study science.

– Professor Markus Perkmann

Prof Perkmann is Head of the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and has collaborated with organisations including GlaxoSmithKline, Syngenta, Shell, Rolls Royce and Imperial Innovations and was previously head of innovation at start-up firm Greychip.

Prof Perkmann said: “Science plays an important role in our economy and society, with both businesses and consumers calling for science to be more impactful and relevant to people’s lives. My research explores how scientists and businesses can work together to make science more impactful and how to preserve the pioneering research undertaken by scientists and its benefits to society. I have been very privileged in finding Imperial an extraordinary place to do research as well as great place to study science.”

Professor Guillermo Rein

Professor Rein leads the Imperial Haze Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which aims to reduce the worldwide burden of accidental fires and protect people, their property and the environment.

I am planning to celebrate my promotion with my research and family

– Professor Guillermo Rein

Among his many research interests, Professor Rein has developed prototype technology that uses controlled burning to partially reveal landmines buried in peat soil so that they can be safely removed, which could benefit countries recovering from conflict. He and his team are also carrying out research to understand in more detail the world's largest smouldering mega fires, which blight many regions of the world so that their impact can be reduced.

Professor Rein said: “Many people do not know there is a branch of science fully dedicated to understanding fire, so fatalities can be avoided and damage to property minimised. There are only a handful of full professors in fire science worldwide. So I am delighted that through me Imperial is now one of them. I am planning to celebrate my promotion with my research and family, who have been so supportive of me and my work."

Professor Sonia Saxena

Sonia Saxena, from the School of Public Health and who is now Professor of Primary Care, balances academia with being a practicing GP in a London clinic. Her research is focused on reducing the burden of childhood illness, particularly influencing current trends in early cardiovascular risk and other long term conditions diagnosed in childhood.

“It’s a huge honour for me as a migrant to the UK, jobbing general practitioner and probably most of all as a woman of science,” said Professor Saxena. “I came from pretty humble origins in India, and although my parents struggled a bit when they came to England, if they had stayed behind, I could not have imagined getting to this point in my life and career.

“Primary care is so short of senior academics compared with our consultant colleagues, so I am proud to bear the flag for my discipline. And I am absolutely thrilled to have been promoted now, in 2017, 200 years after the medical women’s federation was formed to be treated equally and afford women doctors the same privileges as men.”

Offering tips for early career researchers, she added: “It helps to have an open mind, generosity of spirit, and willingness to learn from others. Imperial has fantastic opportunities for personal development and I would advise identifying a great mentor. Lose any pride and ask your peers for help, focus on questions that are important to you and above all have fun.”

Reporters

Claudia Cannon

Claudia Cannon
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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Ryan O'Hare

Ryan O'Hare
Communications and Public Affairs

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Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton
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Colin Smith

Colin Smith
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Thomas Angus [Photographer]

Thomas Angus [Photographer]
Communications and Public Affairs

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