Imperial College London

“Esteemed and valued”: Imperial honours long-serving staff


woman speaking at lectern

Imperial's president addresses staff

Long-serving staff members were thanked for their contribution to “Imperial’s continuing excellence” at a special event.

Following the reception for staff marking 20, 25, and 30 years of service in May, last week staff who reached 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of service attended a dinner hosted by Imperial’s president, Professor Alice Gast.

Congratulating staff on their achievement, Professor Gast said:

“It is an honour to be here tonight among such esteemed and valued members of our community.

“You have played an important role in shaping the College we know today. You are, and have been, heads of departments, divisions and teams. You have gone above and beyond in your roles, for example, representing the College externally and providing outstanding support for your colleagues and students. You have contributed to Imperial’s continuing excellence.”

Below, we talk to two of the honorees about their careers at Imperial.

Professor Susan Eisenbach: “I could make a real difference to what nearly a thousand students learnt each year.”

Currently Professor of Computing in the Department of Computing, Susan started her career at Imperial in 1983 as a lecturer.

a woman shakes hands with another woman

She says her career highlight has been her role as Director of Studies for 15 years, and being the Head of the Department for nearly six years: “I loved having responsibility for the department’s teaching provision. I could make a real difference to what nearly a thousand students learnt each year.

"Computing degrees are very different around the country and our students are the most sought after for good reason. It was very rewarding to be able to run engineering degrees that were both rigorous and timely."

Susan adds: “I also loved having the responsibility as department head because I had the opportunity of hiring the most wonderful new academics. The transition from researcher to academic is difficult and I tried to nurture new academics through it.”

As she looks to the future, Susan says she will be spending more time travelling for pleasure and continuing her research in programming languages: "Blockchains provide a new paradigm for programming and currently I am working on languages that are suitable for modelling contracts on the blockchain.”

Dr Simon Archer: “Working with students was always a high point.”

Dr Simon Archer, Visiting Researcher of the Department of Life Sciences, has worked at Imperial for 40 years, starting out as a lecturer in 1978.

a man shakes hands with a woman “A highlight for me has been working with people cleverer than myself, and seeing some of my research students take up senior positions in their careers," Simon says. "Working with students was always a high point.”

Reflecting on what he likes about Imperial, Simon said: “The ethos of the place, and the quality of fellow staff. Everybody is here because they want to be at Imperial, and people help each other as much as they can here.”

Simon says he is keeping himself busy: “As a plant scientist, I keep up my interest in horticulture and the environment generally, and also my own garden. With more time on my hands, I can fill in parts that I missed out on during my working life.”


Martha Salhotra

Martha Salhotra
Communications Division

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