Imperial College London

Staff honoured at Commemoration Day


Royal Albert Hall

Three members of the department's staff received honours alongside our students at Imperial's graduation day.

The Commemoration Day graduation ceremonies on Wednesday 17th October saw around 2,400 undergraduates receive their degrees in science, engineering and medicine at the Royal Albert Hall. 

Alongside the 164 graduands from our department, three members of our staff were among those honoured for their contributions to the College, research and wider society with honorary degrees and Imperial College medals.

Bob SpenceProfessor Bob Spence was presented with the award of Imperial Doctor of Science (DSc) for his work on Interactive Visual Artifacts, including his seminal work on Rapid Serial Visual Presentation - the digital equivalent of riffling the pages of a book, perhaps in search of an image.

The Imperial DSc, established in 2009, is awarded for a body of published work of an exceptional standard that contains original contributions to the advancement of knowledge and learning, which has given the candidate international distinction in their field of study.

Bob has been on the staff of our department since 1962. His early research on circuit design led to the award of a DSc (Eng) by London University in 1983, and was followed by pioneering work on human-computer interaction recognised by another higher doctorate from the Royal College of Art in 1998. 

Bob's longstanding interest in how people interact with computers is reflected in his development of the first commercially available interactive computer-aided circuit design system (MINNIE) in1985 and his co-invention of the Bifocal Display, currently exploited as a diary in the hand-held device for diabetes management he helped to develop.

Tony ConstantinidesProfessor Tony Constantinides received the Imperial College Medal, in honour of his service to the College. The Medal was established by the College Council to recognise a longstanding contribution to the College that enhances its reputation, mission and objectives.

Throughout his 45-year career at Imperial, Tony has made exceptional contributions to the field of digital signal processing. Well known for his pioneering research, he is considered to be one of the founders of the field. His life’s work has been included in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ collection, Pioneers of Signal Processing, along with video and audio recordings of conversations and lectures, which are stored in the Institute’s archives.

Tony's work is included in all modern products in our society that use digital means to represent, store, transmit and process information. He has made crucial contributions to the development and implementation of techniques used by the Ministry of Defence, in particular in applications for underwater systems.

Clare DrysdaleMrs Clare Drysdale was presented with the President's Medal for Excellence in Education: Supporting the Student Experience. Students, colleagues and industrial partners have all praised Clare for her dedication, guidance and leadership in bringing industry and academia together.

Clare joined the department in 1991 from the competitive world of recruitment consultancy. As Industrial Liaison and Undergraduate Teaching Manager, she co-ordinated our industrial advisory group and was able to build up an extensive network of industry contacts.

Her great interests in providing the best experience for students, and equipping them with the skills that industry needs, saw Clare become the driving force behind the success of our Six Month Industrial Placement: an integral part of the MEng degree, in which students are employed to work on an industrial project directly relevant to their studies, providing hands-on experience and insight into the industrial and commercial challenges of modern business.

Clare’s extensive knowledge is vital when advising the students about their placements, she also dedicates significant time coaching individual students, preparing them for interviews for scholarships, internships and helping them with applications. She has also been an active promoter of women in STEM, and encouraged and supported our students in setting up SparkEE Ladies – the Electrical Engineering Society for Women.

Our warmest congratulations to Bob, Tony and Clare on their magnificent achievements; and to all our graduands - the next generation of leaders and innovators. We look forward to hearing of your successes, and seeing your impact on the world.


Jane Horrell

Jane Horrell
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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