Established teams, promising new faces and vital research support staff have been recognised in the President's Awards for Excellence in Research.
The awards recognise excellence in five categories: outstanding research team; outstanding early career researcher; research support excellence; external collaborations and partnerships; and innovation and entrepreneurship. Within each category, those awardees judged to have made particularly exceptional contributions are selected to receive the President’s Medal.
I’d like to offer my warm congratulations to this year’s winners, who all embody Imperial’s mission to achieve excellence in research for the benefit of society. Professor Nick Jennings
These are one of three sets of awards given to Imperial staff as part of the President’s Award programme with similar prizes being given for education and societal engagement. The recipients will receive their awards from Imperial’s President, Professor Alice Gast, at the Imperial Garden Party in June.
The selection panel for the awards was overseen by Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise).
Professor Jennings said: “I’d like to offer my warm congratulations to this year’s winners, who all embody Imperial’s mission to achieve excellence in research for the benefit of society. They have truly helped shape the College’s world-class research environment and the breadth and depth of their research shows what Imperial can deliver.”
29 years of partnerships: the Centre for Process Systems Engineering
The President’s Medal winner in this year’s Excellence in External Collaboration and Partnerships is the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE), headquartered in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
CPSE is a multi-institutional research centre of world-class departments at Imperial College London and University College London.
CPSE develops methods and tools to help engineers design and operate manufacturing processes better and more sustainably, in terms of economy, environment and safety. They work with industry partners to understand the real issues they face and propose long-term solutions based on fundamental research.
They have been producing widely applicable software and specific solutions for 29 years – streamlining everything from seed allocation in the agrichemical industry (with partners Syngenta) to water usage in oil refineries.
CPSE Director Professor Claire Adjiman said: “It is an honour to get this award, which recognises the work of our dedicated team across Imperial and University College London, who have been working with companies for nearly 30 years.
“The award recognises the symbiotic relationship between those partners, driven by the understanding of issues in industry and our research results that feed into industry successes.
“I am also very proud of our culture of working closely with partners, which has been transmitted down through all 29 years of our existence.”
Immunology through the ages: Dr James Harker
Winning one of the President’s Awards for Early Career Researcher this year is Dr James Harker, from the National Heart & Lung Institute.
Dr Harker’s research focuses on understanding the role of our immune systems in determining the outcome of infections and inflammatory diseases. In particular, James is dissecting how our immune system changes between birth and adulthood, and how events in early life, such as severe respiratory infections or allergen exposure, can shape the long-term health of our lungs.
Dr Harker said: “It’s an honour to be nominated and selected for this award by a panel of peers representing the full breadth of Imperial’s world class research activities. No successful research project is done in isolation and this award gives me the opportunity to thank my mentors, collaborators, colleagues, students and lab members that I’ve worked with over the last 10 years.
“I hope one day I will be able to inspire the next generation of future leaders in biomedical research at Imperial.”
Full list of winners
Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Dr Stefan Leutenegger, Department of Computing
Excellence in External Collaboration and Partnerships
- Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE), Department of Chemical Engineering
- Professor Mark Girolami, Department of Mathematics
Outstanding Research Team
- Dhillo Research Group, Department of Medicine
- MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, School of Public Health
- Human Tissue Team, National Heart & Lung Institute
- Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre, Department of Earth Science & Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering
Outstanding Early Career Researcher
- Dr Kim Jelfs, Department of Chemistry
- Dr James Harker, National Heart & Lung Institute
- Dr Eva-Maria Graefe, Department of Mathematics
- Dr Marc Deisenroth, Department of Computing
- Dr Jun Jiang, Department of Mechanical Engineering
- Dr Marc Stettler, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Research Support Excellence
- Andy Thomas, Department of Mathematics
- Mica Tolosa-Wright, National Heart & Lung Institute
- Sarah Willis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Christian Wright, Faculty of Engineering
- Allison Hunter, Department of Life Sciences
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