Imperial recognises excellence in health and safety


people standing in line with certificate with wood-pannelling in background

Professor James Stirling with members of the winning team

Imperial's Provost presented the College's 2016 Health and Safety awards to staff at a ceremony last week.

The Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Health and Safety were established to honour staff at the College whose endeavours have resulted in significant improvements in health and safety over the last year.

man speaking

Professor James Stirling

Speaking at the ceremony, the Provost, Professor James Stirling, said: “At Imperial we talk about aiming for excellence in everything we do – and this is not just about our core research and education activities. It also means excellence in the support of these activities, and particularly in vitally important areas like safety.

"This year’s awards recognise just some of the outstanding contributions in the past year from our staff to health and safety at the College, and I am very grateful to all those involved in keeping our working environment safe.”

Professor Phil Parsons, Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Chemistry, received the individual category award in recognition of his commitment to training, promoting, and achieving an exemplary standard of health and safety in his department.

man holding certificate

Professor Phil Parsons

Commenting on the award, Professor Parsons said: “Really I have tried to lead by example, and I must thank the research students in my group - Dan Jones, Lewis Allen and Taniya Zaman – who are absolutely meticulous in their approach to health and safety. We just had a spot inspection from the Safety Department – and I’m pleased to say we passed with flying colours!”

Professor Parsons’ contributions include the development of a practical laboratory safety course for chemistry students of all levels, and supporting the training of a new faculty safety officer.


The team category award was presented to the Health and Safety Champions in Professor Zoltan Takats’ Group (Department of Surgery & Cancer), for their outstanding work in devising and implementing a health and safety management system. The award winners are:

  • Dr Frankie Bolt, Research Associate
  • Adam Burke, Research Technician
  • Dr Louise Gildea, Research Associate
  • Dr Verena Horneffer-van der Sluis, MS Research Coordinator
  • Anna Mroz, Research Technician
  • Pamela Pruski, Research Postgraduate
  • Dr Phyllis Quinn, Research Manager

The Health and Safety Champion approach was instigated by Dr Phyllis Quinn with support from Professor Zoltan Takats, the research group head, after the research group had grown significantly in size. Dr Quinn then worked with Neil Chapman, the Divisional Safety Co-ordinator, to put the plans into action.

four people standing

Members of the winning team, including Dr Gildea (far left) and Dr Quinn (second from right)

Dr Louise Gildea, a Research Associate who coordinates the Group’s iKnife programme, said: “In our Group, we have the challenge of being split across five campuses, including hospital sites, and working with NHS staff as well as College staff.”

Dr Phyllis Quinn added: “We needed to implement a structured approach to Health and Safety with clear lines of communication that was robust across a diverse and cutting-edge multi-site research programme, bearing in mind the diverse training requirements of the group. We strategically identified Health and safety Champions aligned with the key areas of Prof Takats’s research programme and all the team are very proud of their achievements. It’s a real honour to have this recognised in this award.” 


Elizabeth Nixon

Elizabeth Nixon
Communications Division

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