Outstanding research projects and people recognised in 2018 President’s Awards


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Members of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering, one of the Medal winners

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.

Group of people in front of a Christmas tree
Current Centre Director Professor Claire Adjiman (centre) with founding Director Professor Roger W.H Sargent and academics and industry partners

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 James HarkerDr 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

Standard Award:

Excellence in External Collaboration and Partnerships


Standard Award:

Outstanding Research Team


Standard Award:

Outstanding Early Career Researcher


Standard Award:

Research Support Excellence


Standard Award:


Hayley Dunning

Hayley Dunning
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2412
Email: h.dunning@imperial.ac.uk

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