Katerina Tsangari

Katerina Tsangari (MEng Chemical Engineering 2008) believes that an Engineering degree is "the best degree one can have" as it teaches a certain way of thinking. Katerina works for Coca Cola Hellenic and attributes her degree to this. She captained the women's volleyball team from 2006 to 2008 and has fond memories of her time here at Imperial. Katerina discusses the impact of Imperial on her and her advice for anyone thinking of studying STEM subjects.

Why did you choose Imperial as the place to follow your interest in STEM subjects?

"It is one of best ranked Universities in the world and one of the most accredited too."

How did you find life at Imperial as a woman?

"There’s no difference at Imperial if you’re a woman or man. Even though our classes were predominated by men (usually 1:3 ratio), I never felt inferior or less motivated in any way."

What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?

"That you can use process analysis (first year class in ChemEng) to solve ANY problem in ANY field of your life."

Who did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?

"Professor Stephen Richardson. He inspired me to go for forensic engineering and health and safety related fields."

What is your fondest memory of your time here?

"My fondest memory is the first time we were given control of the CO2 plant inside the ChemEng building, and we almost blew it up because we forgot a valve closed!"

Please tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now...

"I am currently working for Coca Cola Hellenic (the world’s second biggest bottler of Coca Cola) and my role is Group Public and Regulatory Affairs Manager. I work with 28 countries helping them with regulatory advocacy with a strong focus on packaging aspects and packaging recovery. I also help with setting up and maintaining proper systems of packaging recovery collection in order to not only achieve legal compliance but also company commitments."

How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?

"I think that an engineering degree is the best degree one can have, regardless of whether you will follow it as a career or not. Studing engineering at Imperial taught me a thinking process/mentality, call it what you will, that enables me to solve problems on a daily basis, to not be confined by what I know and to seek out new solutions to be more effective. It also taught me to sift through a clutter of information in order to get to the result I need."

What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about studying STEM, particularly at Imperial?

"Go for it! Make the most of what you learn. It won’t be easy, you will want to pull your hair out and while you are doing a full 45 hour week your friends may be having 4 lectures a week, but you will gain so much that it will be the best time of your life. Take that internship during the summer, try your luck at the best placements, take that year abroad, do that extra language, do as much as you can during your time there! The world will be your oyster and I expect you to crack it wide open, because you, at the end of it all, will be an Imperial graduate."

Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

“Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it”