Imperial College London

Celebrating excellence across FoNS


Physicist Isabel Rabey explores the periodic table. Photo credit: Alice Underwood

Physicist Isabel Rabey explores the periodic table - part of the Elemental Dancers outreach project. Photo credit: Alice Underwood

Awards season continues! As well as the President's and Provosts awards, we celebrate excellence across FoNS with a series of prizes.

It’s wonderful to be able to meet staff and students at the awards ceremony. I send my congratulations to all the winners! Thank you for your important contributions to our Faculty. Professor Richard Thompson FoNS Vice Dean (Education)

Our Faculty of Natural Sciences Prizes for Excellence are organised by the FoNS Education Committee and recognise individuals whose work and dedication has made a major contribution to their department, or our Faculty community, across six varied categories. Each award is worth £300.

Prize winners were were honoured at a reception on 1 June 2022. FoNS Vice Dean (Education), Professor Richard Thompson, who presented prizes along with FoNS Dean, Professor Richard Craster, said: “We initiated the FoNS Prizes for Excellence to highlight some of the fantastic work happening across the Faculty in a broad range of areas, in addition to the College’s President’s and Provost’s Awards. It’s wonderful to be able to meet staff and students at the awards ceremony, and I send my congratulations to all the winners! Thank you for your important contributions to our Faculty.”

Huge congratulations to this year's winners!

This years FoNS prize winners photographed at their awards ceremony

FoNS awards for excellence in Outreach, Public and Community engagement

This year saw FoNS introduce a new prize category to recognise and celebrate excellence in Outreach, Public and Community engagement. Faculty Outreach Manager, Dr Simon Foster, said of the new award: "It's our aim to develop an environment that helps encourage and foster outreach, public and community engagement amongst members of the Faculty as well as helping to bring through the next generation of outreach specialists from amongst our community.

"We received a great many excellent nominations and are delighted to announce the winners in the four categories!"

Team award

Elementals dances is a collaboration between artists Geraldine Cox, Professor Mike Tarbutt (Physics) and members of the Quantum Optics and Laser Science (QOLS) group along with dance artists from the renowned dance theatre The Place. The group developed dance workshops and videos to help primary school pupils understand the quantum world via non-traditional methods. Find out more about this creative collaboration

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Staff award

Dr Catherine Mansfield (Life Sciences) leads and participates in a number of Outreach activities such as the Life Sciences scholars summer school, WP student shaper project, Saturday science club and the Great Exhibition Road Festival, to name but a few.

Postgraduate award

Faysal Farah (Chemistry): for his extensive efforts at addressing the underrepresentation of Black students in Chemistry, including leading the development of a placement and mentoring scheme for sixth form students. Read Faysal's blog post: A Day in the Life of a PhD Student

Hollie Folkard-Tapp (Life Sciences): for translating science into action through engagement with primary children through to pub-goers through events such as the ‘Unloved animal club’, Pint of Science and art-science projects investigating eco-anxiety.

Meriame Berboucha (Physics) is passionate about widening participation in Physics and science across society. She co-founded the Women in Physics group and founded the Minority Squared movement as well as working as outreach ambassador for several LASER based research projects. On top of all this, she uses social media, especially Instagram to highlight her career through Physics and also gives career guidance to budding scientists.

Undergraduate award

Sydney Lo (Life Sciences) has shown a sustained commitment to engaging with young people and students from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as acting as a role model and ambassador for STEM.

Hilary Meng (Chemistry) has, for more than three years, been tutoring disadvantaged students in Chemistry and creating content on YouTube and Instagram as @chemicalstudies to provide an insight into studying Chemistry at Imperial.

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Prizes for Excellence in Health and Safety

Given in recognition of excellence in promoting and implementing safe practices in the Faculty.

  • Academic Staff Prize: Bernadette Byrne (Department of Life Sciences)
  • Postdoc Prize: Hugh Sparks (Department of Physics)
  • Student Prize: Stanislav Piletsky (Department of Chemistry)
  • Jan de Abela-Borg prize: Erika Rosivatz (Department of Chemistry) and Richard Jones (Department of Mathematics)

Prizes for Excellence in Teaching

Available to any member of staff in the Faculty for excellence in undergraduate or postgraduate teaching and learning, including, but not limited to, lecturing; laboratory demonstrating; introducing new teaching programmes, methods and projects; supervision.

  • Alexandra Collins (Centre for Environmental Policy)
  • Fernando Bresme and Saif Haque (Department of Chemistry)
  • Jose Jimenez Zarco and Audrey Geffen (Department of Life Sciences)
  • Samuel Brzezicki and Marina Evangelou (Department of Mathematics)
  • Francisco Suzuki-Vidal (Department of Physics)

Prizes for Excellence in the Support of Teaching and Learning

Available to any member of staff in the Faculty for excellence in the support of teaching and learning activities including, but not limited to, administrative and technical support for education.

  • Raj Sandhu (Department of Chemistry)
  • Stephen Connolly and Colin Campbell (Department of Life Sciences)
  • Kamilla Rekvenyi (Department of Mathematics)
  • Yvonne Unruh (Department of Physics)
  • Joanne Harlow (Head of Student Records)
  • Matt Horsfield (FoNS Education Support Coordinator)

Prizes for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience

Available to any member of staff for excellence in the support of students, including, but not restricted to, personal tutoring; academic tutoring; mentoring; wellbeing support; the development of activities and initiatives that significantly enhance the experience of the UG and/ or PG student body.

  • William Sheate (Centre for Environmental Policy)
  • Amelia Barron and Simon Turner (Department of Chemistry)
  • Derek Huntley, Spencer Cockerell, Danai Athina Irakleidi and Ben Strain (Department of Life Sciences)
  • Valerie Nicol and Sai Yoghananthan (Department of Mathematics)
  • Victor Urubusi (Department of Physics)

Prizes for Excellence in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

These prizes, a new category for this year, recognise an individual or team who have delivered a project or initiative that significantly contributes to the enhancement of equality, diversity and inclusion within the Faculty.

  • Anna Barnard and Kim Jelfs (Department of Chemistry)
  • Charlotte Kestner (Department of Mathematics)
  • Isabel Rabey (Department of Physics)


Claudia Cannon

Claudia Cannon
Faculty of Natural Sciences