Teaching in the Chemical Engineering Department

Rewarding excellence and promoting courageous and innovative ideas in research and teaching

The College’s Strategy 2020-25 encourages us to act courageously and innovatively when pursuing new partnerships and opportunities and sets out our intention to invest funds and pursue the new and the risky.

The President, Professor Alice Gast, has dedicated one million pounds per year to reward excellence, while promoting courageous and innovative ideas in research and teaching.

Half of this has established the Excellence Fund for Learning and Teaching Innovation which is used to support educational initiatives that will challenge our students to fulfil their potential. Those receiving funds help to form a community of excellent and innovative teachers who play a key role in promoting good practice and helping the College to deliver a world-class educational experience for all of our students. The funding is designed to give our staff the time and space to be bold, to take risks, to investigate and to learn.

The Excellence Fund for Learning and Teaching Innovation is currently closed. Please check back in early 2023 for future application dates. 

Excellence Fund Recipients

Excellence Fund Recipients 2020-2022

Supporting the Identity Development of Underrepresented Students (SIDUS) 

Tiffany Chiu and Jo Horsburgh, Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship 

Award amount: £85,000 

Length of project: 3 years 

The Supporting the Identity Development of Underrepresented Students (SIDUS) project is a two-year study (2020-2022) aimed at promoting inclusion and supporting success for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) students from underrepresented groups at the university. 


Developing an Online Course in A Level Physics and Chemistry 

Paul Franklyn and Priya Saravanapavan, Department of Materials 

Award amount: £107,000 

Length of project: 2 years 

Developing an online course Physics and Chemistry A-level course intended to ensure all students have the same foundational knowledge, support widening participation efforts and offer life-long learning opportunities. 


Building a sense of belonging and a more inclusive culture in the School of Medicine 

Faculty of Medicine BMA Charter Finishing Group and Faculty Education Office Welfare Team 

Award amount: £62,660 

Length of project: 3 years 

Supporting students in speaking out in response to harassment and building a sense of belonging by improving communication between staff and students on their experiences of inclusivity and diversity.


Embedding equality, diversity and inclusivity in the medical curriculum 

Chioma Izzi-Engbeaya and Trisha Brown, School of Medicine 

Award amount: £134,279 

Length of project: 2 years 

Embedding equality, diversity and inclusivity in the medical curriculum and fostering a culture that understands and embodies the values of diversity and inclusivity within the curriculum and application of knowledge to real-life health-related problems. 


Addressing the impact of gender and ethnicity on professional identity and practice 

Jo Horsburgh, Órla Murray and Kate Ippolito, Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship 

Award amount: £60,000 

Length of project: 1 year 

Exploring and addressing the impact of gender and ethnicity on the professional identity development and practice of teachers at Imperial College 


Related news stories  

Supporting Inclusion, Diversity and Success for STEMM Students, Jan 2022 [hyperlink: https://blogs.imperial.ac.uk/learning-and-teaching/2022/01/20/supporting-inclusion-diversity-and-success-for-stemm-students/] 

Excellence Fund Recipients 2017-2019

CHEMTRACK - Personalised journeys through chemistry 

Oscar Ces, Joao Malhado, David Mountford and Laura Patel, Department of Chemistry 

Award amount: £100,000 

Length of project:  2.5 years 

The aim of CHEMTRACK is to create a programme of chemistry education, placing students at the centre of the design and implementation of the laboratory activities. 

CHEMTRACK will ultilise a series of practical challenges to enable students to realise their potential as scientists and inventors during their undergraduate studies. 


Imperial College Concept Collaboratory (ICCC) 

Klaus Hellgardt, Bradley Laedwig, Clemens Brechtelsbauer, Umang Shah and Andreas Kogelbauer, Department of Chemical Engineering 

Award amount: £50,000 

Length of project: 4 years 

The ICCC will utilise inquiry based activities, interactive virtual labs and innovative learning materials such as comics and games that can be accessed by staff and students across a range of courses and disciplines. 

Students will be able to monitor their development and achievements through the ‘Concept Passport’ which will collect marks as they work their way through different levels of activity within the platform. 


Making tomorrow's doctors today’s teachers 

Ged Murtagh, Department of Surgery and Cancer 

Award amount: £80,000 

Length of project: 2.5 years 

This project will use third year medical students in the process of course and curriculum design, utilising students’ educational experience and use it as a driver for learning and teaching innovation. 

Utilising the principles of the College’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science led by Professor Roger Kneebone, students will use high realism simulation, realistic prosthetic materials and professional actors to simulate learning scenarios. 


Online interactive visualisations – ImpVis 

Caroline Clewley, Department of Physics  

Award amount: £115,000 

Length of project: 3 years 

The team will create a suite of online interactive visualisations for explaining key concepts within Physics and other STEM subjects. 

Tackling key concepts which students struggle to gain a deep conceptual understanding such as vector algebra or calculus, the visualisations will be used in lectures and tutorials as well as allowing students to explore concepts in advance of flipped lecture format teaching. 



Katie Stripe and James Moss, Faculty of Medicine 

Award amount: £80,000 

Length of project: 3 years 

IMPLEMnT is a digital platform incorporating a toolkit to empower teachers to create original resources that support blended learning. The project will build on existing technological infrastructure developed by the Faculty of Medicine. 

Incorporating tools that support development of pre-recorded content, case and team based learning, IMPLEMnT will democratise access and promote the independence of teaching staff. 


Data analysis of online learning 

Mauricio Barahona, Sophia Yaliraki and David Lefevre, Imperial College Business School 

Award amount: £53,000 

Length of project: 2 years 

This project will bring together existing data analysis expertise and technologies in Mathematics and Chemistry with data created through the Business School’s online learning platforms. 

The aim is to generate knowledge and techniques that enable teachers to enhance students’ experience of online courses and specifically identify approaches that lead to increased student performance and satisfaction. 


Robust & inclusive teaching for socially relevant problems 

Mike Tennant, Centre for Environmental Policy 

Award amount: £25,000 

Length of project: 1 year 

Students are getting the chance to incorporate their individual voices, experiences and differences into learning materials and collaborative work thanks to a new initiative from the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP). 
The project is delivering small-scale pilot lectures and a useful inclusive teaching handbook that can be shared with Teaching Fellows and academics across the College.


IMPACTS: an Inclusive Module for Professional And Critical Thinking Skills 

Wayne Mitchell, Sophie Rutschmann, Katie Stripe, and Jeffrey Vernon, Faculty of Medicine 

Award amount: £42,000 

Length of project: 3 years 

Inspired by the daily practice of the scientific community, IMPACTS has been developed to strengthen Imperial students’ presentation and critical thinking skills by exposing them to tasks such as assessing what makes a research paper 'good' or 'bad'. 
It's hoped it will be especially helpful for those students with specific educational needs who were born outside the UK, or those coming from non-research intensive undergraduate programmes. 


Culture, gender, and robotics education 

Thrishantha Nanayakkara and Petar Kormushev, Dyson School of Design Engineering 

Award amount: £65,000 

Length of project: 3 years 

This project allows final year MEng students taking a new module - Robotics 2 - to propose projects that address the gender and cultural diversity of users and designers. 
The project not only promotes inclusivity and gender balance in robotics teaching, but also stimulates research to explore how culture and gender can be part of the diversity and relevance of robots among different user groups. The module will also aim to develop students’ skills so they can understand the needs of users from cultures and genders other than their own.   


Developing evidence-based inclusive methodologies to make teaching at Imperial more accessible for students with specific learning differences 

Sara Rankin, Kate Ippolito and David Mooney, NHLI, EDU and Disability Advisory Service 

Award amount: £50,000 

Length of project: 3 years 

This project is empowering students to recognise the value of diversity and to use the most effective study strategies for their situation, while equipping teaching staff to develop inclusive and accessible curricula. The team are focusing on helping those with learning differences such as dyslexia and asperger’s. 


Pride and Prejudice in Higher Education 

Matthew Harris, School of Public Health 

Award amount: £10,000 

Length of project: 4 years 

Research by Dr Harris’ team demonstrated conclusively that, under tightly controlled conditions, English clinicians rated research from low-income countries worse compared to the same research presented as if from higher-income countries.  

The project is conducting a root and branch review of the reading lists in Imperial’s Masters in Public Health course and is working with module leads and external speakers to ensure that diverse sources are included as much as possible in the curriculum. 


Developing a sustainable approach to support students from under-represented groups in FoNS and Medicine

Sue Smith, Kevin Murphy, John Seddon, Margaret Callan, Trisha Brown, Ben Russell (ICSMSU), Alistair Ludley (ICSMSU).

Award Amount: £73,574

Length of Project: 3 Years


Related news stories 

Innovative projects receive funding thanks to new Excellence Fund, March 2017 

Transformational teaching ideas get green light from Excellence Fund, May 2018 

Diverse teaching boosted by additional investment from Excellence Fund, September 2018 

Teaching teams lead the way on diversity, April 2019 


Visualising the geographic diversity of authors in Imperial reading lists, July 2022