We Are International

What does being international mean to you? Our staff share their experiences of international collaboration and partnerships.

Imperial represents everything that's most exciting about science, engineering, medicine and business. It's a place where engineers work alongside clinicians, scientists rub shoulders with designers, and mathematicians collaborate with business experts.

It’s no surprise then that Imperial has been home to so many pioneers over the years, from Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, to Dennis Gabor, inventor of holography.

The College is a truly global community, attracting the best people from around the world to work with us. Our researchers collaborate on a wide range of international projects and partnerships with institutions across the globe.

Research-led teaching

Many of our researchers are directly involved in undergraduate teaching so you get to experience their expertise first hand in your lecturers, seminars and reading materials.

The sheer breadth of our research allows us to offer you a wide range of advanced modules in the later stages of your degree.

Cross-departmental links

The close links between our departments mean your choice may include modules from outside your subject. This gives you access to an even bigger pool of research, as well as greater freedom to follow your own interests. For example, final-year engineering students can take part in our Inter-Departmental Exchange (IDX) scheme to gain knowledge and experience in other engineering disciplines.

Understanding the value of different perspectives is a core part of how we work. Many of our research projects connect researchers from different faculties and departments across the College – as well as from other institutions across the world – who contribute their specialist expertise to finding solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges, from climate change to disease.

We begin preparing you for this way of working early on in your degree. Many of our courses build projects into the curriculum which bring together students from different disciplines. Examples of this are the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge in the Faculty of Engineering and the FoNS-Make-a-Difference: Impact Challenge in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

We also place a lot of emphasis on analytical and problem solving skills, encouraging you to develop as an independent thinker who can formulate their own theories and ideas. This is why our degrees have been designed to give you increasing freedom as the course progresses. This allows you to tailor your education to your own interests and career plans with the support of staff who are leaders in their field.

World leading staff

Our staff include:

  • Professor John Burland in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who oversaw an 11-year project to straighten the Leaning Tower of Pisa, saving it from collapse
  • former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health and UK Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences, Professor Lord Ara Darzi
  • Fields medallist Professor Simon Donaldson in the Department of Mathematics, who received the
  • Professor Michele Dougherty, a Principal Investigator on the Cassini spacecraft, orbiting Saturn, and on the JUICE spacecraft, due to reach Jupiter’s largest moon in around 2030
  • Professor Vernon Gibson, visiting Professor in the Department of Materials, who took up the appointment of Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence on 2 July 2012
  • Dr Eva-Maria Graefe from the Mathematical Physics research group, one of four scientists from a list of 280 promising female scientists to be awarded a fellowship from cosmetics firm L’Oréal for her work in quantum mechanics
  • former president—now a vice-president—of the Royal Meteorological Society, climate physicist Professor Joanna Haigh
  • Professor Dame Julie Higgins, Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who pioneered the use of a technique called neutron scattering to investigate materials, particularly polymers
  • Emeritus Professor Sir Peter Knight, Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Physics, who was until December 2010 chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council at the UK Ministry of Defence, remains a Government science advisor and was a Council member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council until 2012
  • Professor Sir John Pendry, known for his work on the 'invisibility cloak' and the perfect lens, who was awarded the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience in honour of his contributions to nano-optics
  • Professor Molly Stevens, who received the 2012 EU40 award for best materials scientist in Europe under the age of 40 and is developing new biomedical materials to help the body repair itself
  • Regius Professor Chris Toumazou, developer of one of the world’s first cochlear implants, enabling deaf people to hear
  • Professor Tejinder (Jim) Virdee in the Department of Physics, who is best known for originating the concept and overseeing the construction of Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider
  • Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, known for his many TV documentaries like the BBC's Child of our Time
  • Sir Magdi Yacoub, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, who established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world and developed novel operations for a number of complex congenital heart anomalies

Explore current examples of the impact of our research.