Imperial celebrates newest graduates


Royal Albert Hall filled with spectators as graduates process across the stage

This week sees Imperial celebrating its students’ achievements with two days of graduation ceremonies.

The ceremonies on Wednesday 19 October will see over 2,700 undergraduate students receiving their degrees, while Thursday 20 October’s ceremonies will celebrate over 1,500 students who missed their in-person celebrations due to the pandemic. Friends and family of graduates around the world can watch the ceremonies online

Speaking to the new graduates, Imperial’s president Professor Hugh Brady said: “I hope you continue to nurture your love of learning, research, exploration and innovation over the years ahead. 

“It will truly enrich your lives in so many ways; it can make the lives of others so much better, and you can have great fun doing so.” 

Honorary degrees 

One honorary degree will be conferred as part of the graduation ceremonies to Dr Malcolm Weir. 

Malcolm completed his undergraduate postdoctoral degrees in biochemistry at Imperial College London and has subsequently built an impressive reputation and career in the pharmaceutical sector. As Visiting Professor of Biochemistry at the College since 1997, Malcolm has contributed extensively to research and student teaching. He has also leant his expertise to the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and continues to advise the UK Government on biotechnology issues. 

Imperial College Medals 

Eleven Imperial College Medals will be awarded as part of the graduation ceremonies. 

Professor Peter Barnes 

Peter is Senior Research Investigator at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial, and Honorary Consultant Physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, London. 

Peter is a world-leading respiratory pharmacologist and clinician with expertise in the mechanisms and treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). His research discoveries have had a major impact on patient care globally, including the now widespread use of exhaled nitric oxide to monitor asthma control and the use of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilator therapies in asthma and COPD treatment. 

Professor Charles Coombes 

Charles is Professor of Medical Oncology at Imperial, and Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist at Imperial College Healthcare Trust. He was the first Director of the Imperial Cancer Research UK Cancer Centre and initiated the work that resulted in the CRUK Convergence Science Centre at Imperial. 

Charles has been developing methods to effectively treat patients with endocrine-resistant breast cancer for more than 40 years. Alongside his ground-breaking research, Charles has led teams of scientists at Imperial and beyond, including through his work as Chair of the International Collaborative Cancer Group; a multinational trial centre focusing on phase II and phase III studies in breast cancer. He takes a special interest in education and training, influencing the next generation of cancer researchers. 

Professor Sian Harding 

Sian is Emeritus Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology at Imperial, having recently retired from the National Heart and Lung Institute. 

With a career spanning four decades, Professor Harding is an expert in changes to cardiac function in the failing heart. She pioneered the study of the single cardiomyocyte and discovered underlying pathways of neurohormonal dysfunction in heart failure and Takotsubo syndrome (commonly known as ‘broken heart syndrome'). This led her to establish the UK’s first human gene therapy trials in patients with severe heart failure. More recently she has explored how embryonic stem cells could be used in cardiac repair, tissue engineering and drug discovery. 

Kenneth Keating 

Ken Keating is Technical Operations Manager in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial. 

Ken joined the department in 2009 and has been instrumental in supporting its growth by developing vital technical and safety infrastructure. The work and commitment of Ken and his team to this strategic growth has been vital to its success at ensuring research and teaching excellence throughout. Alongside this work, Ken is also a member of both the College’s Technician Commitment Steering Group and the Technician Apprentice Scheme Steering Group, as well as several College health and safety groups. He is dedicated to developing talent across the College, providing career support, mentoring and guidance to junior technical faculty. 

Ann Kelly 

Ann Kelly is Deputy Director of Human Resources for Employee Relations and Policy at Imperial. 

With a College career encompassing nearly 30 years, Mrs Kelly has risen through the College’s Human Resources team to become a key member of its senior leadership. Between 2003 - 2019, she was primarily responsible for leading the human resources function for the Faculty of Medicine. More recently, she has implemented a College-wide ‘resolution approach’ for dealing with conflict and re-building effective relationships. 

Professor Jaspal Kooner 

Jaspal is Professor of Clinical Cardiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial, and Consultant Cardiologist at Imperial College Healthcare and London North West Hospitals Trust. 

Jaspal has attained global recognition for his contribution in areas of scientific research, clinical cardiovascular medicine, and training and development of others. Alongside this highly influential research, Jaspal has mentored over 1500 junior doctors in cardiovascular medicine, many of whom are now in senior NHS consultant posts in UK, and overseas. He has established and leads structured education and clinical skills training courses for trainees, with over 25,000 doctors attending to date. 

Professor Sir John Pendry 

John is Chair in Theoretical Solid State Physics and was previously Head of the Department of Physics at Imperial. 

John has made seminal contributions to the theory of low energy electron diffraction (LEED), surface science, photonics and transport through disordered systems. However, he is best known for his discoveries of metamaterials, the perfect lens, transformation optics and invisibility cloaks. This is widely acknowledged as the most significant work in the field of electromagnetism since its foundation. It has led to the manufacture of lenses that beat the diffraction limit, enabling manipulation of light in a way that renders objects invisible.  

Professor Peter Sever 

Peter is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Physician at the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust.  

Peter is one of the world’s leading clinical pharmacologists. His research has informed national and international guidance for the best treatment of hypertension and optimal risk prevention in cardiovascular disease. Peter has also championed the College’s clinical pharmacology training and continues to lead clinical trials investigating new approaches to reduce the incidence and impact of cardiovascular disease. 

Professor Robert Spence 

Robert is Emeritus Professor of Information Engineering and Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial. 

Robert is one of the world’s leading authorities on human-computer interaction whose pioneering research has led to many inventions and new concepts in the field. His early research culminated in the world’s first interactive-graphic system for circuit design, which was made commercially available in 1985. Other significant inventions include the focus+context technique, known as the Bifocal Display, which later led to fisheye views being used in information visualisation.  

Patricia Watson 

This is a posthumous award which will be received by Patricia's daughter Nicole. Patricia Watson was Student Advice and Accommodation Centre Hub Adviser in Campus Services at Imperial. 

Patricia started working for the College’s accommodation team in 1990. Throughout nearly three decades of service, she provided the best possible experience for students in the College’s halls of residence and private sector housing. As a result of her dedicated commitment, campus services successfully adapted to changing landscapes and evolving student expectations for a world class institution. Patricia was highly skilled in linking different departments and services to ensure a student’s needs were being prioritised. More recently, she was appointed as one of the Sexual Violence Liaison Officers for the College. 

Professor Tom Welton 

Tom is Professor of Sustainable Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial. 

Professor Welton is a leading expert in sustainable chemistry, which aims at enabling the sustainable production and use of chemicals. His focus is on replacing unsustainable and dangerous solvents used in chemical processing with alternatives, mainly ionic liquids. Alongside his scientific work, Professor Welton is a champion of diversity in academic science. Under his leadership, the Department of Chemistry was awarded an Athena SWAN Gold Award in recognition of efforts to promote women in science.  


Elizabeth Nixon

Elizabeth Nixon
Communications Division

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