Imperial College London

Imperial pays tribute to Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi


Tributes paid to Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi

Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi, a PhD student in the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation, died in a plane crash in Tehran last week.

Saeed, along with the other victims, will forever be in our hearts. Shirin Hakim President, Iranian Society

Saeed and his wife, Niloufar Ebrahim, were passengers aboard the Ukranian International Airlines flight when it crashed near the Iranian capital on 8 January 2020.

Imperial staff, students and alumni came together to express their deep shock and sorrow at a memorial event organised by Imperial College Union’s Iranian society on Monday 13 January.

Staff and students paid tribute to Saeed at a memorial organised by the Iranian society
Staff, students and alumni paid tribute to Saeed at a memorial organised by the Iranian society

A highly respected engineer, Saeed worked for the global construction company Laing O’Rourke while completing his part time PhD at Imperial. His research that has the potential to help change the way large construction projects are designed and delivered, and he played a leading role on projects including high rise buildings, railways, airports and Ministry of Defence installations, both in the UK and internationally. 

Humble and generous

SaeedSaeed’s friends and colleagues at Imperial have paid tribute to his warm and humble nature, his generosity, and his outstanding academic work.

Jennifer Whyte, a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Saeed's supervisor, said: "As well as being an excellent researcher, Saeed was a friend to many in our community. He brought to the team a wealth of experience as a practicing engineer.

"His PhD focused on the design and delivery processes that support offsite construction, and how these could be improved from a systems engineering perspective, by better tracing requirements through the process.

"We were overwhelmed by shock and sadness to hear about the loss of him and his wife".

PhD student Shirin Hakim, co-President of Imperial College Union's Iranian Society, said: "The loss of students on the Ukrainian airline crash, like our colleague Saeed, has brought immense sadness to the Iranian community globally. His story embodies the dedication and struggle Iranian students around the world experience while advancing their careers abroad. He, along with the other victims, will forever be in our hearts. "

Tributes to Saeed at the Queen's Tower
Tributes to Saeed at the Queen's Tower

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London said: “Staff and students from across the College have spoken of Saeed with great warmth and respect. He was extremely well-liked within his close-knit team, who have told me of his humble and generous nature, as well as his academic talents. It is clear that he was a dear friend to many within our community, and will be greatly missed. 

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Saeed’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.”

UPDATE (29 January): Imperial has established a student support fund in Saeed’s memory called The Saeed Tahmasebi Prize for Iranian students in Civil and Environmental Engineering to carry his legacy at Imperial forward through future generations of students.

Anyone who would like to make a gift in his memory can contribute by visiting the page on the College website.


Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications Division

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