The Dr Theo George Wilson Lecture is the flagship event in IMSE's calendar of activities. It draws together a diverse audience from across Imperial’s student and staff body, as well as from our community of friends and stakeholders. Our objective is to inspire and engage the IMSE community by increasing its awareness of wider challenges and activities. This lecture is open to all.

Dr Theo George Wilson

The IMSE Annual Lecture is sponsored by Dr Theo George Wilson. Imperial alumnus Dr Wilson completed his PhD in the Department of Chemistry in 1952, and is now based in the US. True to IMSE’s spirit of collaboration, Theo decided to use his legacy gift to the College to help gather experts from different disciplines and from around the globe to deliver a prestigious series of lectures. Explaining his decision, Theo said: “I want to play a part in furthering the tradition of great scientific advances by Imperial. I hope my gift will be of great benefit to students in the future.”

For questions about accessibility, email

Our distinguished speakers

2022: Sossina Haile: Electrochemistry for Green Energy Technologies

The 2022 Dr Theo George Wilson Annual Lecture was by Professor Sossina Haile. Professor Haile’s research broadly encompasses materials, especially oxides, for sustainable electrochemical energy technologies. Her work in fuel cell science and technology has pushed the field to new insights and record performance metrics. In parallel, she has created new avenues for harnessing sunlight to meet rising energy demands.

Watch Sossina Haile's lecture on YouTube


Sossina M. Haile is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, a position she assumed in 2015 after serving 18 years on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and spent two years, 1991-1993, at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, first as a Fulbright Fellow then as a Humboldt Fellow.

Amongst her many awards, in 2008 Haile received an American Competitiveness and Innovation Fellowship from the U.S. National Science Foundation in recognition of “her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels.” In 2010 she was the recipient of the Chemical Pioneer Award (American Institute of Chemists), in 2012 the International Ceramics Prize (World Academy of Ceramics), and in 2020 the Turnbull Lectureship (Materials Research Society). She is a fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramics Society, the African Academy of Sciences, and the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and serves on the editorial boards of Annual Review of Materials Research, MRS Energy and Sustainability, and Joule. Her professional service includes past membership on the board of the Materials Research Society and current membership on the board of Ethiopia Education Initiatives.

2021: Teresa Lambe OBE: COVID-19 vaccines


The 2021 Dr Theo George Wilson Annual Lecture was by Professor Teresa Lambe OBE. Professor Teresa Lambe is a Principal Investigator/Group leader based at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford. She was at the forefront of the development of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

After the annual lecture there was an online "fireside discussion” with Professor Lambe and Imperial experts Professor James Moore JrDr Zoltán Kis and Dr Maria Papathanasiou

Watch Teresa Lambe's lecture on YouTube

2020: Saiful Islam: Making a Material Difference to Green Energy

Professor Saiful Islam

The 2020 Dr Theo George Wilson Annual Lecture was by Professor Saiful Islam. In 2020, Saiful was Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Bath. He became Professor of Materials Modelling at the University of Oxford in 2022. He gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 2016 for BBC TV. He sits on the Public Engagement Committee of the Royal Society and is a Patron of Humanists UK

Watch Saiful Islam's lecture on YouTube




2019: Tony Wood: Science and technology challenges in modern drug discovery and development

Science and technology challenges in modern drug discovery and development

Tony Wood gave the inaugural IMSE Annual Lecture in June 2019. At the time he was Senior Vice President for Medicinal Science & Technology at GSK. As of 2022 he is GSK's Chief Scientific Officer. He was elected a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2018 and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the British Pharmaceutical Society.

Read a news article about Tony Wood's lecture