Kensington MP discovers leading research and outreach work at Imperial


Felicity Buchan MP at Imperial's Energy Futures Lab with Dr Billy Wu

Local MP Felicity Buchan visited South Kensington campus this week to see some of our work on net zero, COVID-19 testing and student outreach.

Accompanied by Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice-President (International) and Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships), the first part of the visit was to Energy Futures Lab to see some of the research and activities taking place at the College related to electric vehicles. This follows previous engagement with Ms Buchan to support her work in parliament in urging for further policies to increase the manufacture and use of electric vehicles.

Felicity Buchan MP in Energy Futures Lab
Felicity Buchan MP spoke to students about their work on e-bikes

Dr Billy Wu, Senior Lecturer at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, first showed Ms Buchan around the Imperial Racing Green lab, an interdisciplinary teaching project which involves undergraduate students in designing, making, testing and racing zero emission vehicles. The lab is helping to engage and inspire the next generation of engineers in an area of technology which will be essential to decarbonising transport.

While at Energy Futures Lab, Ms Buchan spoke to students about electronic bicycles they have created which could be used as an alternative to carbon and pollutant emitting transport. She was also given a tour of the battery lab, which is helping to develop new, more efficient and longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles.

Following this, Ms Buchan was shown around our state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing centre, which has been set up to protect staff and students on campus by identifying asymptomatic cases and ensuring those people affected self-isolate.

Felicity Buchan MP in the Imperial COVID-19 testing lab
Felicity Buchan MP visits Imperial's COVID-19 testing lab

Professor Graham Taylor, Head of the Section of Virology and Imperial College London Partner Laboratory lead, gave an overview of the testing technology and explained how Imperial’s testing scheme works in coordination with the NHS Test and Trace system.

Ms Buchan then visited the Wohl Reach Out Lab to hear about the work Imperial does to offer hands-on activities which engage both primary and secondary school pupils in STEM subjects, with a particular focus on underrepresented groups. Professor Maggie Dallman explained how Imperial has continued to offer provision despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as through education packs which are sent out to pupils who are not currently able to visit campus.

"We’re all indebted to the work that Imperial has done during the pandemic." Felicity Buchan MP

Speaking after the visit, Felicity Buchan MP said: “I was delighted to visit Imperial and see how their world leading research has huge practical benefits for my constituents. It was fantastic to see Imperial’s work on electric vehicles and how researchers are developing forms of transport that reduce carbon emissions.

"I also was interested to be shown around the coronavirus testing labs – we’re all indebted to the work that Imperial has done during the pandemic.

"As part of the visit, I heard about the great outreach work that Imperial is doing with pupils and adults in Kensington and beyond as part of the Wohl Reach Out Lab. Imperial is providing excellent resources for our local community, and I look forward to visiting again very soon.”

Felicity Buchan MP and Professor Maggie Dallman in Wohl Reach Out Lab
Professor Maggie Dallman speaks to Felicity Buchan MP about the work of Imperial's Wohl Reach Out Lab


Mark Condren

Mark Condren
Office of the President

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Education, Outreach, Coronavirus, Engineering-Mech-Eng, The-Forum
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