Over 150 staff across Imperial have been promoted in academic and learning and teaching roles.
Staff across Imperial are celebrating success in the annual round of academic promotions, with over 130 academics from the Business School and the Faculties of Engineering, Medicine and Natural Sciences being promoted into roles as Readers, Senior Lecturers and Professors. Over 20 staff are also celebrating progressing into Senior and Principal Teaching Fellow roles.
Provost Professor Ian Walmsley said: “Our staff are vital to ensuring the high quality of teaching and student experience that makes us one of the top universities in the world. Each year it is a pleasure to see colleagues developing in their careers and receiving recognition for their achievements. I would like to congratulate you all.”
Professor Peter Lindstedt, Associate Provost (Academic Promotions), said: “Congratulations to all staff who have been promoted this year. It is truly special to see staff across Imperial advancing in their careers – you should be really proud of your achievements.
“Academic promotions take place once a year and could not be done without a dedicated team of colleagues that serve on panels, organise interviews, and prepare individual feedback to candidates. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the process.”
Meet some of our newly promoted staff below who told us more about their careers so far.
Renáta Kosová, promoted to Professor of Economics – Department of Economics and Public Policy, Imperial College Business School
My specialties are applied microeconomics including industrial organisation, organisational economics and international economics. I focus on how firms are organised – for example in terms of ownership and how they operate – and how all of this, as well as global business environment, affects their performance. I have a particular interest in the hotel industry as I spent time at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. I often use hospitality as context when addressing the fundamental questions in my research.
Teaching is an important part of my life and my job. I was a program director for one of our Master’s programmes for almost five years and I teach master’s and MBA students. Economics affects everyone and this motivates me in my teaching. It's very important that people understand the basics and fundamentals of economics, particularly when the economy is not doing well. It has huge consequences for other aspects of society and contributes so much to the big picture of what’s going on in the world.
For me, promotion is not only being rewarded for your work in the past, but it’s also a testament to your professional expertise. I’m looking forward to the opportunities this promotion will bring, particularly as a woman in economics, for example opportunities for leadership in the academic research associations that I’m part of. I’d also like to be more involved in grant cooperations and work with more PhD students. After getting my promotion to professor I feel very motivated, energised and very committed to continue doing good work.
Billy Wu, promoted to Reader in Electrochemical Design Engineering - Dyson School of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
My research focuses on developing better electrochemical energy technologies, such as batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, which are essential for our low-carbon future. Applications range from zero-emission electric vehicles all the way to grid-scale energy storage for balancing renewables on our electricity grid.
I was introduced to this field of research during my studies at Imperial, which began in 2006 with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 2008 I completed an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) project on modelling emissions from diesel engines, with Dr. Robin North and Professor John Polak from the Department of Civil Engineering. This sparked my interest in research and led to my introduction to Professor Greg Offer, who was leading the Imperial Racing Green initiative at the time. I had the opportunity to join Nissan for a summer internship in Japan on hydrogen fuel cells, and they kindly funded my later PhD studies on hydrogen fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. I joined the newly formed Dyson School of Design Engineering in 2015 as a lecturer and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2018, followed by my latest role as reader.
I feel extremely grateful to all the people who have supported me along my journey and helped open up numerous opportunities. Imperial has a fantastic community of incredible people who really do support each other!
The students at Imperial are amazing and constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Having been a student here myself, one of my main motivators in my teaching pedagogy is to not only communicate knowledge, but to get students comfortable with handling ambiguity and asking thought-provoking questions.
My hopes for the future center around getting the global community behind the challenge of climate change and for everyone to support and inspire each other to address this multi-faceted problem. It’s one of the greatest challenges of our generation, but I believe with the collective efforts of the people at Imperial and beyond, that we can make a difference.
Vanessa Sancho Shimizu, promoted to Reader in Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases – Department of Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine
I'm interested in understanding the genetic basis of life-threatening infections and children. In my research we study children who are otherwise healthy with no overt immune deficiency, who present with sepsis or meningitis. Some of these children harbour genetic variants that may explain why they had such a severe infection. We study the patient’s samples, sequence their DNA and try to understand why this happened. This is really valuable in understanding what genes are important and can help us better treat the disease in general within the larger population.
I was always very fascinated by human genetics, starting from high school. I knew I wanted to be in the field of genetics, and the 2000s was an exciting time for genomics with the release of the human genome sequence. I also had an inherent interest in infectious disease - I did my PhD using animal models to understand the genetics of infection.
I came to Imperial in 2012 as a research fellow with the Marie Curie Research reintegration grant. I got a career development award from the Medical Research Foundation in 2014, which then enabled me to establish my own group for three years and opened up further funding opportunities.
In 2019 I was awarded my Future Leaders Fellowship, and shortly after succeeded in getting a lectureship position. In 2021 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer and now to Reader. Last year, I also began a satellite lab at the Francis Crick Institute.
I feel extremely lucky to have been a recipient of the Future Leaders Fellowship – it’s really been transformative for my career. Without it, I wouldn't have the team that I have now to enable the science that I'm doing. It was extremely valuable during COVID and meant that I had the resource to be able to contribute to the global effort.
What's different about this fellowship is that it really values the development of the person. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in leadership and development programs and interacted with other fellows from a range of fields which has been really enlightening.
Mitesh Patel, promoted to Professor of Physics – Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences
My works aims to understand what the fundamental constituents of matter are, and what forces act between them. I study exotic particles containing 'beauty' quarks and try and understand if they fall apart in accordance with current scientific thinking, or if something unexpected happens, which might tell us that there are new particles or forces that can explain many of things we don't currently understand in fundamental physics.
I’m really happy to have been promoted to Professor of Physics. It's really amazing to have your work recognised within the context of an institution like Imperial and by your international peers. I have the tremendous privilege of being allowed to explore how nature works at a basic level. It's a bit like being allowed to explore completely new terrain that no one has ever even been able to look at before. The prospect of potentially seeing something new, or understanding how things work in a new way, is really exciting.
I'm originally from London and never thought I'd end up living back here. After my PhD I went out to work at the CERN laboratory, just outside of Geneva. CERN was just bringing up its new accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, so it was a really exciting time to be based at the lab. I got a junior level research job imagining that I'd come back to the UK after a couple of years but I ended up getting a job at the next level up and stayed out there for six years. I came back to London and worked at Imperial for the first time in 2014, still doing my research on the same CERN experiment, LHCb. I've really enjoyed being part of the High Energy Physics group here and, eventually, running Imperial's LHCb group.
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