Imperial College London

Staff awarded for their efforts with the Bioengineering Thank You awards

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The Bioengineering COVID-19 awards were developed to recognise the extraordinary efforts of students and staff in the Bioengineering department.

Staff in the department were invited to nominate their colleagues and students for a Bioengineering Thank You Award. In their nomination, staff had to state why they felt the work and actions of their nominee were so exceptional. These reasons could be: delivering critical departmental services despite challenging circumstances, working additional hours to ensure new processes were delivered, being involved in activities outside their role to support staff or students, or contributing to College and national COVID-19 related efforts.

The nominations were then reviewed by a Departmental panel and successful nominees received awards ranging from gift baskets to one-off pay awards.

Here is a small sample of the over 40 outstanding staff and students that were awarded a Thank You Award!

Bioengineering Teaching Technician Joel Eustaquio, received nominations that praised him for being an essential source of assistance during lockdown, especially on weekends. Despite Joel’s role primarily being a teaching one, he was keen to offer help to the technical team by troubleshooting issues in labs while also being a point of liaison between the technical team, students and researchers.

Joel says that his wife and son were very supportive and kept him going during lockdown, especially during the process of transitioning to working from home and then back to being on campus. He also commended the entire Bioengineering Technical team for their hard work during lockdown, asserting that they deserve just as much credit for their efforts.

[Read Joel’s full interview here]

De-Shaine Murray, a PhD student in the Boutelle Lab was nominated for a Thank You Award for his working with Bioengineering’s Equality and Departmental Culture Committee and Imperial As One, Imperial’s network for ethnic staff and students to create the Imperial Black Doctoral Network. All this while still carrying out his PhD research during lockdown. Additionally, the summer months were a time when many Black people across the world felt despair and fatigue due to the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by continued systemic racism, and the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Despite the difficult adjustment period to working from home and a family bereavement, De-Shaine continued to travel into Imperial to carry out his research. He also continued to travel to the lab at Cambridge University where he is also a PhD student.

De-Shaine has also been involved in the incredibly popular #BlackInNeuro campaign on Twitter which aimed to highlight the numbers of Black scientists working in Neuroscience and to create an online community among Black researchers. #BlackInNeuro has now inspired other #BlackIn Networks that create safe spaces for Black scientists around the world to share their knowledge, experiences, and receive support.

De-Shaine states that the Imperial Black Doctoral Network was birthed after receiving a “detailed and thoughtful” email sent to the department by Department Head, Professor Anthony Bull regarding Black Lives Matter. Using the experience gained from setting up other networks such as the African-Caribbean Research Collective and with the department’s backing, he decided to create a network that will provide counselling for Black students. De-Shaine also hopes the network will actively support PhD and postdoctoral members of Imperial who “fall beyond the scope of undergraduate societies and are not fully recognised as staff”.

[Read De-Shaine’s full interview here]

CBIS’s Historian in Residence, Dr Emily Mayhew was nominated for a Thank You Award for her fantastic “History of the Potato” education series for children. Going well beyond her usual field as a Military Medical Historian, Emily's teaching entertained and educated many of the department’s children during lockdown.


Whilst recalling the motivation behind the Potato Project, Emily states that she was inspired by her Imperial College colleagues and wanted to support them in any way she could while they continued to carry out their crucial work in these challenging times.

Emily says, “I realised that homeschooling was challenging and that what families really wanted was face to face learning at a regular time each week, rather than downloadable resources.”

As Emily was in the last stages of writing and editing her new book, the Potato Project allowed her to carry out research that gave her some respite from the immersive work she was carrying out to complete her book.

In the end, the Potato Project comprised of twelve learning sessions that went from the evolution of the potato in the Andes, to the causes of the potato famine in Ireland in 1845, to industrial production of potatoes for mash and crisps!

[Read Emily’s full interview here]

The Department of Bioengineering would like to thank every member of its staff and students for their tireless work. Their collective efforts in keeping the department running smoothly whether working from campus or from home, contributing to Coronavirus research efforts, and reaching out to colleagues to check on their welfare has ensured that the community spirit that has always been celebrated within our department remains strong.

For interviews with other Bioengineering Thank You Awardees, please click the links below.

-Joel Eustaquio's interview
-Julie Hoang's interview 
-Emily Mayhew's interview 
-De-Shaine Murray's interview
-Joseph Sherwood's interview 
-Julia Sun's interview 
-Reiko Tanaka's interview 
-Edit Toth's interview


For a full list of Bioengineering Thank You Awardees, please see the below: 

Kemi Aofolaju, Department of Bioengineering
Nana Asante Asamoah-Danso
, Department of Bioengineering
Emma Bergstrom, National Heart and Lung Institute
Marta Broto Aviles, Department of Bioengineering
Emanuel De Abreu, Department of Bioengineering 
Manos Drakakis, Department of Bioengineering 
Paschal Egan, Department of Bioengineering 
Joel Eustaquio, Department of Bioengineering
Tom Ellis, Department of Bioengineering 
Mary Ewumi, Department of Bioengineering 
Jennifer Frattolin, Department of Bioengineering 
Nicole Harbert, Department of Bioengineering 
Miguel A Hermida Ayala, Department of Bioengineering 
Claire Higgins, Department of Bioengineering 
Andy R Hitchman, Finance Division
Julie Hoang, Department of Bioengineering
Martin Holloway, Department of Bioengineering 
Ken Keating, Department of Bioengineering 
Angela Kedgley, Department of Bioengineering 
David Labonte, Department of Bioengineering
Sylvain Ladame, Department of Bioengineering 
Chiu Fan Lee, Department of Bioengineering 
Warren Macdonald, Department of Bioengineering 
Michael Madekurozwa, Department of Bioengineering 
Yasmin Mallu, Department of Infectious Disease
Spyros Masouros, Department of Bioengineering  
Omar K Matar, Department of Chemical Engineering
Emily Mayhew, Centre for Blast Injury Studies
Emma McCoy, Office of the Provost
Laura McKay, Department of Bioengineering 
Jimmy Moore, Department of Bioengineering 
De-Shaine Murray, Department of Bioengineering
Maria Parkes, Department of Bioengineering 
Ian Radcliffe, Department of Bioengineering 
Courtney Richards, Estates Division
William Shaw, Department of Bioengineering 
Joseph Sherwood, Department of Bioengineering
Airida Siaule, Security Services
Julia Sun, Department of Bioengineering
Reiko Tanaka, Department of Bioengineering
Edit Toth, Department of Bioengineering
Christina Vagena-Pantoula, Department of Bioengineering 
Tim Venables, Faculty of Engineering
Ji Young Yoon, Department of Bioengineering 
Bioengineering Technical Team 
Bioengineering Student Office

Reporter

Miss Kemi Aofolaju (she/her)

Miss Kemi Aofolaju (she/her)
Department of Bioengineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5179
Email: a.aofolaju@imperial.ac.uk

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