New local MP visits South Kensington campus

Imperial welcomed the new MP for Kensington, Felicity Buchan MP, to talk teaching, research and innovation on campus.

President Alice Gast and Provost Ian Walmsley welcomed Ms Buchan to Imperial. They discussed world-class teaching and cutting-edge research, including recent pioneering research into air pollution and coronavirus.

Ms Buchan also heard how Imperial supports STEM teaching in schools and widening participation to university, including via Reach Out Reporter and the Wohl Reach Out Lab , as well as efforts to encourage girls and women in STEM and startups, such as WE Innovate.

Professors Gast and Walmsley explained how Imperial is forging new European and global collaborations, such as the College’s flagship partnership the Technical University of Munich and pioneering mathematics laboratory with France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Visit to Aerial Robotics Lab

Ms Buchan saw how researchers are developing the next generation of high-tech drones in the Aerial Robotics Lab.

The lab’s director Dr Mirko Kovac provided an overview of different uses for drones - from maintaining tube tunnels to delivering takeaway food. He explained how the next generation of researchers in aerial robotics are learning lessons from nature by studying the dynamics of a grasshopper’s jump or the diving techniques of gannets to improve how drones navigate their surroundings.

Dr Kovac provided several examples of how drones are increasingly being explored as a way to tackle environmental challenges. For instance, researchers at the Aerial Robotics Lab have developed a bio-inspired ‘flying fish’ which could be used to collect water samples during oil and chemical spills, and have also developed the world’s first flying drone to plug pipeline leaks. Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or Imperial College London.

Mark Condren
Communications and Public Affairs

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  • Professor Ian A Walmsley FRS
    Office of the Provost
  • Dr Mirko Kovac
    Department of Aeronautics
  • Professor Alice P Gast FREng
    Office of the President


  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • Department of Aeronautics
  • College and campus