We are delighted to receive the support of these outstanding champions of the James West Scholarship Programme.

Each champion will offer support, networking opportunities, and mentorship to our scholars as the programme develops.

For more information about our bespoke mentoring scheme or about becoming one of our champions please email james-west-scholarships@imperial.ac.uk.  

Dr Oluwalogbon Akinnola

Oluwalogbon's research career took off at the end of his undergraduate degree with a project to develop an orthotic glove. He won a PhD studentship in the Kedgley Lab at Imperial College London, to develop a musculoskeletal model of the wrist, specifically one which integrated coordinate frames and electromyography.

Oluwalogbon has made a very successful transition into the commercial sector. He works in an agricultural robotics start-up that is looking to assist fruit farmers in the management of their crops in order to reduce food waste.  Oluwalogbon is also passionate about applying science to help the underprivileged. 

Professor Nira Chamberlain

Chamberlain became President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 2020.  He has over 25 years of experience in writing mathematical models/simulation algorithms that solve complex industrial problems.  Professor Chamberlain holds the title of the 5th Most Influential Black Person in the UK. This is the first time a mathematician has made it into the Top 100 Britain’s most influential people of African and African-Caribbean Heritage.

He is one of the few British Mathematicians to feature in the Encyclopedia of Mathematics & Society. The encyclopedia highlights two of Nira’s mathematical models and their impact on the field of naval engineering.  He has contributed a huge amount to public outreach and diversity within STEM. In 2019, he gave a Maxwell Lecture at the Maxwell Society titled "The Mathematics that can stop an AI apocalypse".  His lecture "The Black Heroes of Mathematics" is popular all over the UK and repeated regularly during Black History Month

Dr Chioma Izzi Engbeaya

I am an Imperial-BRC Post-doctoral Post-CCT Research Fellow at Imperial College London and a Consultant Endocrinologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. My clinical and research interests include the endocrine control of reproductive and metabolic systems and the influence of reproductive hormones on metabolic diseases. Additionally, I am investigating the use of novel techniques such as thermal imaging to study brown adipose tissue activation and the use of aptamers (synthetic oligonucleotides) to measure hormones.

I can offer a unique perspective on successfully navigating the early stages of an academic career, whilst managing personal and professional interests and activities outside academia. I have benefitted from excellent mentorship support, which has guided my career development, and I would like to provide similar support to other people.

 Ms Sarah Fawcett

Sarah is a senior legal professional with over 20 years of experience practising at the criminal bar, including cases of police and racial injustice. Latterly, she specialises in heading complex regulatory investigations in investment banking. 

As a mentor, Sarah can provide guidance and training focussed on presentation and drafting skills, public speaking, team leadership and management, as well as the challenges of balancing a career with busy family life.

 Dr Nick Goddard 

Nick completed an engineering PhD at Imperial College in 1988 and then worked as an industrial technologist.  In 1997, he became an investment banker, raising equity for technology sector growth companies.  He left banking in 2005 to pursue a portfolio career as an investor/interim executive in multiple technology start-up companies and as a consultant to investors and government agencies.

Nick has been CFO of several successful start-ups with a particular interest in technologies that might be deployed in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 Dr Philemon Gyasi-Antwi

Philemon Gyasi-Antwi is a BBSRC Research Fellow at the Biodiscovery Institute (BDI) of the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, where he is leading a cross-disciplinary project to investigate host-virus interactions during SARS-CoV-2 infection. He holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and a Master’s degree in Integrated Immunology from the University of Oxford, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Norman and Ivy Lloyd /Commonwealth Scholarship. Philemon received the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award at the University of Nottingham, UK, which funded his PhD in Immunology. Prior to joining the Respiratory Medicine group in BDI, Philemon took Research Fellowship posts in a multidisciplinary diabetes research group to (1) develop an innovative pre-screening tool for the management of gestational diabetes in Ghana (2018-2019) and (2) to develop novel antimicrobial-polymeric formulations for wound healing applications in diabetic patients with deleterious injuries (2019-2020).

He is a STEM enthusiast and has a passion for mentoring and supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their dreams. Philemon was recognised in 2019 at the Nottingham Black Achievers Award (Learning and Skills category) organized by the Nottingham City Council because of his work as the President of the Nottingham University Ghanaian Students’ Society, mentoring A-level students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Nottingham and being one of the organisers of the maiden Africa Conference at the University of Nottingham in 2017. Philemon currently volunteers as a Trustee for TestForGhana, a non-profit scholarship scheme for brilliant-but-needy tertiary students in Ghana, West Africa.

Dr Michael Madekurozwa

Michael Madekurozwa is a research engineer at Occuity. Occuity Produces non-invasive optical devices that diagnose and assist in the treatment of diseases.

Having completed an undergraduate MEng degree in Bioengineering at Imperial College London, he pursued a PhD in Ocular Biomechanics at the same institution. His PhD involved improving non-invasive and invasive systems and methods used to assess fluid dynamics in the eye (aqueous humour). As part of his work, he also conducted studies geared toward furthering the current understanding of the ocular disease glaucoma.

He has experience working at the point at which biological systems intersect with medical technology. Further illustrations of his work and experience (ventilators, assistive rehabilitation devices, publications) are available on LinkedIn.

Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng

Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng, FREng, is the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Chair in Positioning and Navigation Systems.

As one of our country’s top scientists, he has been a stalwart supporter of EDI initiatives at Imperial College.

Dr Steven Parks

I studied for my MSci in Natural Sciences at UCL before moving to Imperial to complete a PhD. I am currently finishing my PhD in the Department of Medicine in the section of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction.

My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms which underly the progression of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) to identify targets to protect against T2D progression. After completing my PhD, I will be joining Diabetes UK as part of their Research Steering group to aid in guiding future research priorities.

Completing a PhD can often be a challenging process, requiring perseverance and an ability to navigate difficult scenarios and a variety of relationships alongside the work itself. I have been through this process recently and have gained a lot of insight which I wish that I would have had when I started. I have previous experience in mentoring, am personable and easy to talk to and am excited to help other people through their PhD journey using the understanding that I have gained through mine.

Dr Marcia Philbin

My name is Marcia Philbin, and I have spent my life breaking down stereotypes and exceeding expectations. My parents came from Jamaica and settled in Birmingham in the 1960s. I inherited their work ethic and belief in the transformative power of education. That is why I am a black female scientist with a PhD in chemistry who is now the Chief Executive of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, an influential body for doctors who develop new medicines. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Professional Member of the Association of Project Management.

Where others see challenges, I see opportunities. I want to help others to stop staring at the trees and see the forest instead because when you do that, the world opens up and you become unstoppable. 

Dr Andrea Taylor-Cummings

Andrea has over 30 years of experience as an organisation development consultant, specialising in relationship-centred behaviour change, creating inclusive cultures and “people” strategy.  She has worked internationally (UK, Japan, Korea and Jamaica) in both the private and public sectors, as a consultant with “big four” and niche consultancies, and as an entrepreneur.  She offers extensive experience in designing and delivering leadership/people development programmes for diverse, global audiences, using both live and online workshops to achieve clear business goals. 

Together with her husband Jon, Andrea is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of 4 Habits Consulting and the charity Soulmates Academy Foundation, helping leaders, teams, communities and couples change behaviours to strengthen relationships and create more thriving, inclusive cultures.  Their TEDx talk – The 4 Habits of ALL Successful Relationships - continues to resonate with millions around the globe and they co-authored and published their first book of the same name in May 2021. 

Andrea is a Rhodes Scholar, holds a First-Class Honours degree in Computer Science from the University of the West Indies, and both Masters and Doctorate degrees in Management Studies from the University of Oxford. 

Dr Gifty Tetteh 

Gifty joined Imperial College London in 2018 as a Research Centre Manager for the Musculoskeletal Medical Engineering Centre, MSk MEC. Prior to Imperial, she worked at a tech start-up, and also with the medical device company, Smith & Nephew. At Imperial, she has delivered a wide range of projects, contributed to cross-college research grant proposals and funding bids, and organised large conferences and sandpits.

She is currently the Operational and Engagement Lead for the Association of Biomedical Engineers, Medical Engineers and Bioengineers. She is also a Project Manager for a translational NIHR project that is using super-resolution ultrasound imaging to detect metastatic lymph nodes in breast cancer patients. Gifty has also been recently appointed as a Consortium Manager for the BBSRC Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Biology Programme.

Gifty obtained a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Sheffield and a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Ghana. She also has experience in teaching various biological and medical courses to students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Outside of work, she is a mother of two and enjoys baking, cooking, and sewing in her spare time.