Outstanding staff were awarded President’s Medals for their achievements at this year’s Imperial Garden Party.
Medal winners for this year’s President’s Awards for Excellence were announced at the prestigious event, which was hosted by Imperial’s President, Professor Alice Gast. Staff who won a President’s Medal were revealed live at the President’s Awards ceremony.
“You make Imperial an exciting place to study”
President Alice Gast commended the contributions of staff, saying: “You make Imperial an exciting place to study, a rewarding place to work, a valued partner, a great neighbour and a beacon of hope for the future. You are what makes Imperial the excellent institution it is.
“We depend upon one another to do our jobs and do them well. But too often in our busy days, we don’t find the time to thank one another. It is important to pause to reflect on what we do, and to recognise what we have accomplished together. This afternoon is an opportunity to do just that.”
Creating positive work environments
The President’s Medal for Excellence in Culture and Community was awarded to Professor Martin Liebeck, Head of the Pure Mathematics Section in the Department of Mathematics. Martin was nominated by lecturers in his section, who said: “Perhaps his greatest asset is that he is a really great listener, who is always more interested in others’ opinions than his own.”
Professor Uta Griesenbach, of the National Heart and Lung Institute, won a President’s Medal for Excellence in Research Supervision. She has been supervising PhD students since starting her postdoc at the College in 1997.
One of Uta’s students said: “She is able to help me think through difficulties and I always come out of meetings with a positive plan where before I was overwhelmed.” Another added: “She made the laboratory a comfortable, friendly and supportive environment to work in and inspired me to follow a career path in research.”
The President’s Medal for Societal Engagement was awarded to Professor Lord Robert Winston, President’s Envoy for Outreach. His nomination notes: “Robert’s vision of bringing STEM to life in the classroom, using our own students and academics as mentors and teachers, led to the creation of Imperial’s Wohl Reach Out Lab in 2010 which he continues to champion today.”
Dr Thomas Ouldridge, Department of Bioengineering, won a President’s Medal for Outstanding Early Career Researcher. Tom developed the first models that capture the complex interplay of kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanics in nucleic acids. These models are now widely used in nanotechnology for designing DNA or RNA dynamic systems. Alongside his research, Thomas’ nomination notes: “Tom is a caring and responsible personal tutor and mentor working together with the Senior and Academic Tutors in support of individual students who need help.”
Please see the sidebar for the full list of medallists.
Celebrating the achievements of our community
As well as the winners of the President’s Awards for Excellence and other College awards, the Garden Party also celebrates staff and students who have supported important projects, provided excellent service, and taken on new challenges.
Olive Thomas, Course Administrator (Undergraduate Programme) in the Department of Medicine, was nominated for working tirelessly on behalf on the course leads and students to contribute to the smooth running of the courses. She has also taken on the voluntary roles of Mental Health First Aider and Staff Supporter.
“Attending the Garden Party is a charming way to be thanked for the work that I do at Imperial,” Olive says. “I am proud to have been nominated – it makes me feel valued and I really appreciate that.”
She said: “Being nominated is an honour. I’ve always enjoyed working at Imperial and I’m always impressed by the dedication of my colleagues, who always give their best. The Imperial Garden Party is a wonderful event to attend and I’m grateful to those who have put in the time and effort to organise it. It’s been great to socialise and meet with colleagues from other departments.
“There are many people in the College who provide an excellent and valuable service, and it’s good to see them being acknowledged.”
View some highlights from the Garden Party below.