Excellence, commitment and ambition – we have a lot to be proud of

My first year at Imperial has been truly inspirational. Our dedicated community seeks to answer some of the world’s toughest questions, and this issue shines a light on the fascinating and important work of our students and staff.

As you’ll read further, they are investigating new ways to prevent preterm births and how to create sustainable new catalysts. You can also see inside our state-of-the-art Facility for Imaging by Light Microscopy, where scientists are using the very latest imaging technology to investigate malaria parasites, cancer treatments, brain neuron biology and nanoparticles, to name but a few applications.

We have a lot to be proud of. Earlier this year, Imperial rose to eighth in the world in the Times Higher Education world rankings, complementing our sixth place in the QS World University Rankings, and was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. These accolades are testament to the excellence, commitment and ambition of our entire community.

You’ll remember from experience, as I do, that university is about more than formal education and research. It provides a wonderfully rich and exciting environment for students and staff to try new things and make new friends. At Imperial we have student clubs, societies and projects, such as cheerleading and inline skating, that add to our spirit of community and collaboration. I am proud to celebrate their successes alongside our academic achievements.

Our dedicated community seeks to answer some of the world’s toughest questions"

We love hearing stories from your time at Imperial. In this issue there are some fascinating anecdotes from alumni who managed to get down in the underground service tunnels – including Alun Kimbur who was there in 1980 when the nearby Iranian Embassy was stormed by armed men. Today, these tunnels are inaccessible to students and are the site of a transformative decarbonisation programme for the South Kensington campus.

I’ve enjoyed meeting many of our alumni around the world this year. Your success stories serve as an inspiration for our current students, and I thank you for your continued advocacy and support for Imperial. In this edition, you can read more about three inspiring alumni who are using their experiences in STEM to engage, educate and empower others. Lean In are empowering women in male-dominated sectors to build a sustainable future; BBSTEM are campaigning for balance and representation of Black individuals in STEM; and Native Scientists are connecting scientists and children, particularly children from underserved communities.

Imperial is a future-focused university looking to solve the major challenges facing humanity and our planet. Our overarching ambition is to build on Imperial’s past achievements and impressive current international positioning to realise our full potential as a force for good in the UK and wider world. Imperial’s star is rising with great momentum, and we have a powerful story to tell the world as we launch our ambitious long-term strategy in the first quarter of 2024.

Professor Hugh Brady is President of Imperial College London.