Shell EcoMarathon team

Imperial Racing Green Shell EcoMarathon team members with their team principal Laura Cattaneo (Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student)

Composites group

The Composites research group led by Dr Soraia Pimenta

Zixuan Wang

MechSoc chair Zixuan Wang performs an aria from "Tosca" at a student showcase event

Sina Stapelfeldt Sailing

Sina Stapelfeldt (Research Associate) enjoying her sailing hobby

Catrin Davies

Dr Catrin Davies (Senior Lecturer, Mechanics of Materials), third from left, with her research group

Aimee Morgans

Professor Aimee Morgans (Thermofluids) with her children on a mountain trip

Maria Charalambides

Professor Maria Charalambides (Professor in Mechanics of Materials) enjoying a swim

Sophie Campen

Dr Sophie Campen (Research Associate, Tribology group) during a photoshoot for National Women in Engineering Day

Undergraduate students

First year undergraduate students in the department's teaching workshops

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is dedicated to providing equal opportunities to all of our students and staff. We strive to nurture an environment of diversity and inclusion in order to best support our research and teaching activities. We celebrate the achievements of the individuals and groups within the Department and in 2018, we will be applying for an Athena SWAN Bronze award to recognise our achievements in improving the support that helps to underpin the success of our female students and staff.

The percentage of female students in our undergraduate courses compares favourably to the national average for Mechanical Engineering:
National Benchmark (Heidi data)
Academic year
Female Percentage
(H3) Mechanical engineering, FPE, First Degree, Female %








Percent female students expected in first year






Meet a few of the women working in our department, and find out what they do, what their hobbies are, what they're most proud of and what inspires them:



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Aimee Morgans
Aimee Morgans

Professor of Thermofluids

My research uses fluid dynamics to make energy generation and transport more environmentally friendly.  The most rewarding part of the job is the intellectual stimulation involved in research.

My hobby is spending time in the mountains, both summer and winter, with my family. 

Inside of work, I am most proud of the fact that I have been awarded two ERC grants. Outside of work, I'm proud that I still manage to enjoy a range of sports. 

My childhood trips to "Techniquest" (an interactive, hands-on science centre in Cardiff) were a big inspiration for me. 

Catrin Davies
Catrin Mair Davies

Senior Lecturer, Mechanics of Materials division

I test and simulate materials failure behaviour to prevent them breaking in e.g. power plants. The best part of my job is seeing a positive change in my students and tutees lives. 

Outside of work, I enjoy music concerts of a few artists I love, I also occasionally go to see Swansea City AFC play. 

I am most proud of my (past and present) research group of PhD Students and post docs. They are a joy to be around. We laugh a lot, but are serious about our work. Meeting hard working, dedicated people (often from humble backgrounds)  who have succeeded due to their passion inspires me. I've met some very well known, successful people and have noted how humble, kind and caring they are. 

Tribo UK
Harriet Stevenson

PhD student, Tribology group

I research how and why artificial joints wear down over time. I am a practical person, so being able to go into the lab and find answers very rewarding.

I have played hockey since I was little and I play for a team every Saturday. Last summer I had tennis lessons, which I will start again once the hockey season is over and I am also training for a half marathon in May. I am not a runner, however, my competitive side came out when both my sisters signed up!

I am proud of being part of a five women team who organised TriboUk, a two-day conference for and by students. There were 100 delegates from around the UK and Europe and it required a huge amount of hard work. We had a real sense of team work and accomplishment, and the conference was a great success. It was also potentially the first engineering conference with an all-female organising committee! I feel inspired by my sisters, my parents, my friends, my supervisor- everyone and anyone who is motivated, hardworking, and can make time to go for drink.

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Helen Stoneham
Helen Stoneham

Departmental Resources Administrator

I facilitate staff recruitment and keep the personnel processes running smoothly. I enjoy helping individuals with their career development & progression, as well as nice things like helping to organising parental leave and solve more unusual queries/problems.

 My passion is travelling to remote and exotic places with historical, ecological or cultural significance, dabbling in photography as I go. I enter sporting events such as mud runs and this year I am running a half marathon, fundraising for Tommy’s baby charity. I occasionally participate in life drawing events and am an avid supporter of Rugby Union.

I’m quite proud of my ability to always (touch wood) land on my feet. I am inspired by mother, who raised two children as a single parent, whilst battling multiple jobs. She took this in her stride, and the difficulties that I witnessed her face, and that we faced together, inspire me to be a stronger and more resilient person.

Jinghua Zheng
Jinghua Zheng

PhD student, AVIC Centre for Structural Design and Manufacture

My research helps solve problems in the fabrication of aircraft structures. It gives me the opportunity to make use of my knowledge and research work to practically help develop better industrial manufacturing processes and, in some way, make the world better.

I love everything related to music, such as piano, zither, singing, and I enjoy going to concerts and to the opera. I also like travelling and computer games.

I won the prize for best Bsc and Msc projects and I am proud of my work efficiency. I am also proud of making so many friends at Imperial, who shared my happiness and sorrow. My PhD supervisors inspired my attitude toward research work. More importantly, I learned to enjoy life and a better life-work balance.

Julia Easton
Julia Easton

Experimental Services and Safety Manager, Technical  Head of Thermofluids division

 I enjoy the variety of my role. Every day is different; there is always something new to deal with.

 I’m an enthusiastic walker, and a fanatic knitter. I enjoy gardening, spending time with my family and the occasional day fly fishing if I get the chance of it.

 I am most proud of my curiosity and enthusiasm to try new things. I remember as a child there were always reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something – so now I get satisfaction out of trying new things and taking on new challenges.

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Maria Charalambides
Maria Charalambides

Professor of the Mechanics of Materials, Head of the Mechanics of Materials division

I research the material behaviour of soft solids such as paints, foods, adhesives, polymer composites, gels. I also teach Mechanics and Stress Analysis. Publishing or presenting new research is very rewarding, and so is teaching challenging courses and interacting with students and postdocs.

I love swimming, especially when I am on holiday  in Cyprus which is where I originate from. When sea swimming is not an option, I try to use the swimming pool at College as often as I can during lunch times.

I am most proud of my two children, Nicholas, 17 and Melina, 14. My parents were both engineers (civil and mining) and inspired me from an early age, as did my high school Physics teacher. Later on, I was inspired by Gordon Williams (my PhD supervisor) and Roger Fenner in terms of  scientific rigour,  both leading Professors in our Department.

Nadia Barbu
Nadia Barbu

Communications Officer

I help promote the department, its people and work through web, print and multimedia. The most rewarding part of the job is that I get to find out and tell the world about innovations that make me feel more hopeful about the future.

I love cinema (particularly animation), comics and illustration. I’ve written and/or directed several short films, some of which played in film festivals, and I occasionally write for an animation-focused film website. I also illustrated a children’s book last year.

I’m fairly proud of how quickly I can learn new skills, and I feel most inspired by people who manage to suceed in multiple fields. I went to a Tove Jansson exhibition recently and I was amazed by her many talents, she was truly a Renaissance woman.

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Rebecca Rahman
Rebecca Rahman

Research Operations Officer

My work consists of setting up departmental proposals, monitoring project expenditure, keeping finance records up to date, and managing general finance issues for department. 

My hobbies are running, watching films, and reading. 

I am proud of finishing my accounting qualification whilst having two kids, more proud of this than my degrees!  The person who most inspires me is my mum, who raised two children on her own. 

Sina Stapelfeldt
Sina Stapelfeldt

Research Associate

I research making aircraft engines safer, and I find it very rewarding to share my research at conferences. 

My hobbies are sailing and swimming; I am most proud of completing a 40m dinghy race around the Isle of Sheppey. 

I am inspired by the amount of work and effort put into editing Wikipedia content by volunteers. 

Soraia Pimenta
Soraia Pimenta
I analyse how carbon-fibre composites break, and develop models to help us design better composites and more efficient structures. The most rewarding part of the job are those moments (both in research and teaching) when something complex finally becomes clear and easy to explain.
Outside of work, I love taking classical ballet classes, which I started doing when I was 5 and never really stopped. I also love travelling and hiking, which I have been able to do in some pretty exotic places thanks to my work.
I am most inspired by, and proud of my students – they are bright, hard-working, enthusiastic, and kind. They give a very human dimension to an otherwise very analytical job.