Polyxeni (Xenia) Kleniati
Dr Polyxeni (Xenia) Kleniati (MSc Advanced Computing, 2004), (PhD Computing and Mathematical Optimisation, 2010) is a Senior Software Developer for Process Systems Enterprise.
Tell us about your time at Imperial
Studying at Imperial was hard. It required much devotion, focus, and sacrifice. This journey though, no matter how challenging, equips you for life, both personally and professionally. At Imperial, I met the smartest people. Not only were they smart, but they were also friendly and inspiring. I made best friends, I met my future husband who I married ten years later and have two wonderful boys with. Imperial shaped my life! Not to mention how thankful I am to Prof. Berc Rustem, my MSc and PhD supervisor. I would not have achieved the same without Berc’s continual support. And the amazing location - I still remember my relaxed walks to the V&A, where the beautiful designs refilled my creativity.
Why did you choose to study at Imperial?
I always knew that I wanted to pursue postgraduate studies beyond Greece, specifically at one of the leading universities in London. When the time came, I narrowed down my choices to Imperial and UCL. There was a family preference towards UCL because of my older brother being a UCL alumnus. However, Imperial was my dream. I could not miss the opportunity to study at such a reputable and exceeding-in-science institution, and I have not regretted it once. Interestingly, even before I travelled to London, Imperial sent me a letter that made my father cry from joy. I was awarded the Masters Training Award to cover full tuition fees proving how supportive Imperial is to its students.
Can you tell us what you’ve done since Graduation?
After completing my Masters, I spent some time working in the industry but I soon realised I wanted more of Imperial life. I came back for a PhD in Computing and then postdoctoral research in Chemical Engineering. This is the beauty of Computing; the skills you gain allow you to enter any field, from bioengineering, to finance, chemical engineering and beyond. Anything is possible. I was lucky to work with Prof. Claire Adjiman who has been an inspiring mentor. The research we initiated at the time, remains active and is being published in international journals. I am currently a Senior Software Developer for Process Systems Enterprise, the leader in modelling solutions for the process industries, that was also founded by great Imperial minds. I have the pleasure of working on advanced numerical methods, solvers and algorithms. Life is never boring when you are an Imperial alum!
How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?
To Imperial I owe my meticulous approach and problem-solving skills. More importantly, Imperial taught me how to be resilient and never give up.
Do you have any advice for current Imperial students?
Study hard, always persevere, trust yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help, work in teams, make friends for life. Above all, enjoy it!