Imperial College London

Graduates, prizewinners and a very special medal.


Graduation ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall

The Commemoration Day graduation ceremonies on Wednesday 16th October saw around 2,400 undergraduates receive their degrees.

Alongside this year's science, engineering and medicine ceremonies at the Royal Albert Hall, one long-serving member of staff was awarded one of Imperial's highest honours, and we also celebrated the achievements of the department's students at our own Prizegiving.

Prizes are awarded annually for exceptional academic achievements, excellent project work and outstanding contributions to the student community.

Among our prizewinners were Sara Mainiero and Wendy Lu-Chen, who both won the 2019 Dennis Gabor Prize for their contributions to student life in the Department.

Sara and WendySara (left) worked hard in her final year to revitalise the Women in Electrical Engineering Society (WIEE), organising several productive events throughout the year. Wendy was instrumental in ensuring our students on the MEng with Management degree course were able to take the Business School options they needed.

David Shah won the Sir Bruce White Prize in Electrical Engineering for the best final year project.

David ShahHis project work is a continuation of his existing work in developing open-source hardware development toolchains. The idea of open hardware is to democratise creation of hardware solutions, and to support sustainable infrastructure projects for those who can't afford traditional development tools.

Dr David Thomas, his project supervisor said: "before the project David was the main developer in an open-source PaR (place-and-route) tool called NextPNR, which is already used by a number of hobbyist and academic users. During the project he has added two complex features, both of which are worthy of academic publication, involving substantial technical ability. The most impressive part of the project work is that it delivers research level features in a product that other people can use."

David (pictured above with Professor Eric Yeatman, Dr David Thomas and Dr Kristel Fobelets) has already given presentations about his work at the British Computing Society and two international venues, and won the prize for best short paper at one of the leading international conferences in the field.

Photographs of the Prizegiving ceremony taken by Danny Harvey.

Peter Cheung Professor Peter Cheung – former Head of Department and Director of Undergraduate Studies – was among those staff honoured at Commemoration Day for their contributions to the College, research and wider society with honorary degrees and Imperial College medals.

Professor Cheung was presented with the Imperial College Medal for his exceptional and long-standing impact on education, research and leadership during his 38 years at Imperial.

Peter is Professor of Digital Systems in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the Dyson School of Design Engineering. He is one of the Faculty of Engineering’s most outstanding lecturers, consistently achieving the highest student feedback scores.

For ten years he served as Deputy Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, during which time he fostered a culture of commitment to educating undergraduate students, not just a duty, but also an opportunity. 

As Head of the Department, he created a highly collegial atmosphere that encouraged world-class scholarship and collaboration.

While serving as Vice Dean, he was still able to create two modules for the newly founded Dyson School of Design Engineering, which received excellent feedback from students. His efforts do not only contribute to the rising quality of education for his students - many of whom have made significant contributions to the field – but have inspired other staff members to strive for excellence in their own teaching.

All this has been achieved while simultaneously establishing himself as one of the world’s leading authorities in Field Programmable Gate Arrays and Reconfigurable Systems.

Our congratulations to Professor Cheung, and to all our prizewinners and new graduates. We echo the words of President Alice Gast at the ceremony, and hope that your experience, and your ability to share ideas and build communities provide lifelong assets as you join a network of 200,000 alumni worldwide.


Jane Horrell

Jane Horrell
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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