World leading expertise
Imperial represents everything that's most exciting about science, engineering, medicine and business. It's a place where engineers work alongside clinicians, scientists rub shoulders with designers, and mathematicians collaborate with business experts.
It’s no surprise then that Imperial has been home to so many pioneers over the years, from Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, to Dennis Gabor, inventor of holography.
The College is a truly global community, attracting the best people from around the world to work with us. Our researchers collaborate on a wide range of international projects and partnerships with institutions across the globe.
Many of our researchers are directly involved in undergraduate teaching so you get to experience their expertise first hand in your lecturers, seminars and reading materials.
The sheer breadth of our research allows us to offer you a wide range of advanced modules in the later stages of your degree.
The close links between our departments mean your choice may include modules from outside your subject.
This gives you access to an even bigger pool of research, as well as greater freedom to follow your own interests. For example, final-year engineering students can take part in our Inter-Departmental Exchange (IDX) scheme to gain knowledge and experience in other engineering disciplines.
Understanding the value of different perspectives is a core part of how we work.
Many of our research projects connect researchers from different faculties and departments across the College – as well as from other institutions across the world – who contribute their specialist expertise to finding solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges, from climate change to disease.
We begin preparing you for this way of working early on in your degree.
Many of our courses build projects into the curriculum which bring together students from different disciplines. Examples of this are the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge in the Faculty of Engineering and the FoNS-Make-a-Difference: Impact Challenge in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
We also place a lot of emphasis on analytical and problem solving skills, encouraging you to develop as an independent thinker who can formulate their own theories and ideas.
This is why our degrees have been designed to give you increasing freedom as the course progresses. This allows you to tailor your education to your own interests and career plans with the support of staff who are leaders in their field.
World leading staff
As an undergraduate student, you will be part of a highly respected research community.
Our academic staff include some of the world's most renowned scientists, medics and engineers. They come here from across the globe and contribute diverse perspectives, new ideas, and fresh approaches to solving complex problems:
Staff engineering novel solutions
- Emeritus Professor John Burland in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who oversaw an 11-year project to straighten the Leaning Tower of Pisa, saving it from collapse.
- Professor Vernon Gibson, visiting Professor in the Department of Materials, who took up the appointment of Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence on 2 July 2012.
- Professor Dame Julie Higgins, Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who pioneered the use of a technique called neutron scattering to investigate materials, particularly polymers.
- Professor Sir John Pendry, known for his work on the 'invisibility cloak' and the perfect lens, who was awarded the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience in honour of his contributions to nano-optics.
- Professor Molly Stevens, who has been appointed as a Chair in Emerging Technologies by the Royal Society of Engineering. The highly prestigious ten-year funding – given to global visionaries pioneering technologies that could have global benefits – is in recognition of Molly's work in regenerative medicine.
Staff transforming health and wellbeing
- Professor Lord Ara Darzi, former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health and UK Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences.
- Regius Professor Chris Toumazou, developer of one of the world’s first cochlear implants, enabling deaf people to hear.
- Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, who established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world and developed novel operations for a number of complex congenital heart anomalies.
- Professor Barbara Bain, who received a lifetime achievement award from the British Society for Haematology in 2017 for her exceptional contributions to the field throughout her career.
- Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Director of Imperial's Hamlyn Centre, was awarded a CBE in 2017 for his contributions to biomedical engineering.
- Professor Zoltan Takats, inventor of the iKnife, which can tell surgeons immediately whether the tissue they are cutting is cancerous or not.
Staff leading discovery and the natural world
- Professor Simon Donaldson, Fields medal winner in the Department of Mathematics, who was jointly awarded the 2020 Wolf Prize for Mathematics, one of the world’s most prestigious academic accolades.
- Professor Michele Dougherty, a Principal Investigator on the Cassini spacecraft, orbiting Saturn, and on the JUICE spacecraft, due to reach Jupiter’s largest moon in around 2030, who was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal in 2017.
- Dr Eva-Maria Graefe from the Mathematical Physics research group, one of four scientists from a list of 280 promising female scientists to be awarded a fellowship from cosmetics firm L’Oréal for her work in quantum mechanics.
- Emeritus Professor Sir Peter Knight, Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Physics, who was until December 2010 chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council at the UK Ministry of Defence, remains a Government science advisor and was a Council member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council until 2012.
- Professor Tejinder (Jim) Virdee in the Department of Physics, who is best known for originating the concept and overseeing the construction of Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
- Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, known for his many TV documentaries like the BBC's Child of our Time.
- Professor Sanjeev Gupta, a scientist and long-term Science Planner on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission, which is currently exploring Gale Crater.