Our Previous Programmes


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Events held in 2014-2015

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Behind-the-Scenes @ CERN, Geneva

Thursday 18th September 2014
to Sunday 21st September 2014

Thursday 18th September 2014
to Sunday 21st September 2014

Members from Professor Sir Tejinder Virdee's team, Department of Physics and CMS experiment at CERN

Guided tour of the Large Hadron Collider, CERN with a privileged visit to the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment which identified the trace of a Higgs Boson in 2012.

The many facets of Time

Wednesday 1st October 2014

Wednesday 1st October 2014

Nobel laureate, Professor Brian Josephson with Professors Nick Bingham, Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen and Fay Dowker from Imperial College London

This full-day 09:00 to 20:00 workshop aims at bringing together experts from diverse fields to a public discourse on the concept of time.

Behind-the-Scenes @ Bletchley Park

Saturday 4th October 2014

Saturday 4th October 2014

John Sanderson, Friends committee member and past President of the Royal College of Science Association

Guided tour to Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing housing the largest collection of historic computers in Europe. Witness the reconstruction of EDSAC - the first really useful programmable computer.

Research and art - taken to heart

Wednesday 15th October 2014

Wednesday 15th October 2014

Professor Peter Kohl, Chair in Cardiac Biophysics and Systems Biology, Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute

The perpetual motion of a fist-sized muscle in the chest, synonymous with life itself, has been at the heart of countless works in the arts and the sciences. We explore some of the models that have been drivers of imagination and thought and illustrate the state of the (he)art.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

The Random Universe

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Andrew Jaffe, Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology, co-investigator on ESA's Planck Satellite

Hear about the oldest light in the Universe, and how it teaches us about the formation of structures on the largest scales, gravitational radiation, and what it might teach us about the multiverse.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Creating matter from light

Monday 10th November 2014

Monday 10th November 2014

Professor Steven Rose, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Theoretically matter can be created from photons in a pure demonstration of Einstein’s equation E=mc2. Find out how it can be done.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Friends Soiree: Moon Symphony

Tuesday 18th November 2014

Tuesday 18th November 2014

Paul Gladstone Reid MBE, Composer in Residence at Imperial College London

Moon Symphony is a collaboration between leading scientists, philosophers and artists in which the myth, science and our lunar future is explored through the medium of music. Hear the story and the premiere performance of the Prelude.  

Behind-the-Scenes @ University of London Observatory

Friday 28th November 2014

Friday 28th November 2014

Dr Mike Dwortsky, Former Director of University of London Observatory

A private tour to one of the best-equipped astronomical facilities in the UK with introductory lecture followed by a full tour of the telescopes.

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Roderick Rhys Jones, Chair John Little, Deputy Chair Bill Blackburn, Treasurer  

Please note revised date.

The solar revolution

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Emeritus Professor Keith Barnham, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Physics  

The sun can supply all our electricity using existing technology and future developments could see solar power replacing petrol.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Landing on comets and moons

Thursday 8th January 2015

Thursday 8th January 2015

Professor David Southwood, Senior Research Investigator, Department of Physics, former Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, European Space Agency      

Ten years after the European Huygens probe landed on Titan and a few weeks after Philae’s landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we review what we are learning from space missions and the latest from Rosetta.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Stuff Matters: Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

Wednesday 4th February 2015

Wednesday 4th February 2015

Mark Miodownik, author of Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World.

The new date of this lecture replaces the earlier published date of 27 January 2015.   Through our close relationship with Winton, we have been able to secure a unique chance to hear from the winning author of this prestigious prize celebrating outstanding popular science books from around the world.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

The Quantum Showcase: a journey through time

Wednesday 11th February 2015

Wednesday 11th February 2015

Dr Simon Foster and students from the Controlled Quantum Dynamics group, Dept. of Physics, Imperial College London

Come join us for a peek into the minds and the worlds of the Quantum physicist.    

Blue Green Dream for bright future cities

Thursday 26th February 2015

Thursday 26th February 2015

Professor Cedo Maksimovic, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Preparing cities to adapt to climate change by optimising the management of water and green spaces so that they complement each other, thereby reducing exposure to natural disasters, whilst improving local environmental conditions.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Why twins differ: what it means for us

Thursday 26th March 2015

Thursday 26th March 2015

Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, Kings College London

Twenty years of research with twins reveals the subtle interplay between nature and nurture, our genes and our environment.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Behind-the-Scenes @ Photonics Group

Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Professor Michael Damzen, Head of Photonics Group

Explore the fundamental science underlying optical technologies and see how this knowledge is being used to develop novel technologies for real-world applications.

Bio-inspired aerial robots

Thursday 30th April 2015

Thursday 30th April 2015

Dr Mirko Kovac, Director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory

Aerial robots are being developed with unique abilities, inspired by the biomechanics and movements of insects, birds and animals.  

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Meet the science authors at the Imperial Festival

Saturday 9th May 2015

Saturday 9th May 2015

Friends present the inaugural science books strand of the Imperial Festival programme in collaboration with the College.

Make a date with discovery and enjoy the livelier side of science at the 2015 Imperial Festival this May, bringing you ground-breaking research, music and art, talks, dance and workshops. If you've ever wondered what your brain waves look like, how bacteria move around or what would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth, then we've got the Festival for you. This free event is now in its fourth year, and opens over an entire weekend for the first time – no booking necessary. Open to all, come and enjoy a packed programme of talks, tours, workshops, performances and hands-on activities. Find the full programme details here. The Imperial Festival is open: Saturday 9 May 12.00 – 18.00 Sunday 10 May 12.00 – 17.00

Behind-the-Scenes @ Silwood Park

Wednesday 13th May 2015

Wednesday 13th May 2015

Prof. Vincent SavolainenDeputy Head, Department of Life Sciences

Due to the low demand for coach travel to this event, we will not be running this option. Bookings can only be taken now if you will be organising your own transport. Silwood Park, Imperial's postgraduate campus set in a 100 ha parkland near Ascot, is one of Britain’s foremost centres for research and teaching in ecology, evolution, and conservation.

Understanding photosynthesis - Apologies CANCELLED

Thursday 21st May 2015

Thursday 21st May 2015

Unfortunately, due to illness, Dr Laura Barter, Royal Society Research Fellow has had to cancel

Plants capture light energy and convert it into stored chemical energy, which is used to drive reactions that convert water and carbon dioxide into the materials that almost all organisms need to live and grow. Understanding these mechanisms could unleash a revolution in the production of food, energy and carbon sequestration.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Creating artificial cells and studying single cells

Thursday 4th June 2015

Thursday 4th June 2015

Dr Oscar Ces, Co-Chair of the Institute of Chemical Biology (ICB), Director of the ICB Centre for Doctoral Training

The ability to study and manipulate biological systems at the single cell level is leading towards the possibility of manufacturing artificial cells that are capable of performing user defined functions such as sensing and responding to their environment. In addition it allows us to increase our understanding of rare cells such as stem cells and circulating tumour cells.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).

Friends Summer Party

Wednesday 24th June 2015

Wednesday 24th June 2015

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London

Places for this event are on a complimenary basis so do register through Rebecca Jenkins below as soon as possible.   Members are invited to the Friends of Imperial College Summer Party hosted by Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London and Roderick Rhys Jones, Chair of Friends of Imperial College on Wednesday 24 June from 18.30 - 20.30.