Did you know that one of the former prime ministers of India went to the Imperial College of London? Well, yes Rajiv Gandhi is an alumnus of ICL where he began a course in Mechanical Engineering. Ranked among the top ten universities in the world, Imperial is known for excellence, innovation, employability, and its focus on the fields of business, science, engineering, and medicine.
Located in London, England, Imperial has more than 200,000 alumni and a powerful global network. The mutual support of alumni is, in fact, the best thing you can get if you study at the Imperial College of London. Overall, as of 2021, Imperial boasts being associated with87 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, 14 Nobel laureates, 1 Turing Award winner, 3 Fields Medallists, 74 Fellows of the Royal Society, and 85 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Now, lets find out the most notable Imperial alumni.
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Top 10 Notable Alumni of Imperial College London
The institution is proud of its distinguished alumni and letsus know the famous personalities who studied at ICL:
In 1966, Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, was admitted to a course in mechanical engineering in the famous Imperial College of London but did not complete his degree. He was the son of Indira Gandhi and the sixth Prime minister of India. He holds the record of being the youngest prime minister of India at 40 in the year 1985. Gandhiworked under the aegis of the Indian National Congress butwas a pilot by profession. He faced the turmoil of Sikh massacres when the Sikhs were being persecuted in India. The Bofors scandal and the Bhopal gas tragedy also happened to take placewhen he was in office. In 1991, the most unfortunate thing happened. Like his mother, Indira Gandhi, he too was assassinated by a suicide bomber while he was campaigning for the elections. Gandhiwas awarded Bharat Ratna in the same year posthumously by the Indian Government.
Herbert George Wells, the prolific writer of science fiction in English Literature and a born storyteller was an alumnus of the Royal College of Science which is under the Imperial College of London. Here, his subject of study was Biology. He became the first president of the association named Royal College of Science Association in 1909 and hisnovels have been referred to as scientific romances and are important documents of a new kind of genre. Wells'acclaimed works are "The Invisible Man", "The Time Machine", "The First Men in the Moon", "When the Sleeper Wakes", "The Island of Doctor Moreau", "When the Sleeper Wakes", "Tono Bungay", "Kipp", etc. Though he is the Shakespeare of science fiction, his later works were less of science fiction and had more ofvictorian influences where he wrote about the conditions of the society.
An astrophysicist by education and musician by profession, Brian Mays alma mater is Imperial College of London where his studies were in mathematics and physics. He gained popularity for his rock band Queen where he functioned as the lead guitarist and songwriter. His skills helped his rock band achieve great heights in later years. He had been an enthusiastic guitarist since his college days and performed in the band Smile. The album A Night at the Opera is one of the most popular among his works and the song Bohemian Rhapsody became an instant hit. Maygave many masterpieces to the world which include Save Me, Flash, We will rock you, "Long Away, Long Away, Sleeping on the sidewalk and The Prophets Song. His band Queen received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2018.
Cyrus Mistry, the business magnate of Indian origin, was awarded the Bachelor of Engineering degree (B.Eng) in civil engineering from the Imperial College of London in the year 1990. After completing his graduation, he joined his family business in 1991 as the managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji group. In 2013, he was appointed as the chairman of Tata Sons. He was the sixth chairman of the Tata group which included Tata Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Service, Tata Steel, Tata Teleservices, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, and Tata Global Beverages. He was also a member of the National Integration Council. Later, he got Irish citizenship and becamea global citizen. Mistry was declared as the most important businessman in India and Britain by The Economist in 2013.
In the year 1907, Arthur Holmes was enrolled in the Royal College of Sciences, ICL where he took lessons in Physics. After attaining his Doctorate of Science, he joined as a geologist in an oil company inBurma (modern-day Myanmar). He has made two landmark contributions to geology - the first was in the use of uranium-lead radiometric dating of minerals and secondly,he becamethe first scientist to understand the thermal and mechanical dimensions of mantle conventions. This led to the gradual acceptance of the Plate Tectonic Theory. Additionally, he pioneered geochronology which is the determination of the age of rocks, soils, and fossils by making use of hints from them themselves. Holmes further published the book The Age of the Earth in 1913 where he voted for radioactive methods and has been hailed as The Father of Geochronology ever since.
Marc Garneau is an astronomer-turned-politician with origins in Canada. atImperial College of London, he did his PhD in electrical engineering where his doctoral thesis was on The perception of facial images. He served as a naval officer first. He was then a commander and later was promoted to the rank of captain. Garneau was also selected in a team of astronauts in the 1983 NRC group tobecome the first Canadian to be in outer space and bepart of two space shuttle missions later. He flew the space shuttle Challenger and alsobecame the president of the Canadian space agency. Garneau'spolitical career started asa cabinet minister which he served for 6 years from 2015 to 2021. Earlier, he was the minister of transport and then he was appointed as minister of foreign affairs in Canada.
An English historical author, David Irving left his Physics degree incomplete atthe Imperial College London. He later studied Economics at University College London. He was the editor of his college magazine named the Carnival Times which became an issue of controversy when he secretly added a supplement to it. He failed to join The Royal Airforce as he was medically unfit. He further worked in Germany and Spainasa denier of the Holocaust and has written on the political and military history of World War II. His main focus of writing is Germany under Nazi rule after which hecreated a controversy by claiming that Adolf Hitler was not aware of the extermination of the Jews. His notable historical pieces of works are "The Destruction of Dresden", "Hitlers War", "Churchills War", and "Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich".
Neil Turok was a doctoral student in physics at ICL where his specialisation wasmathematical physics and early universe physics. His work revolves around the presence of cosmological constant and cyclic models of the universe. Later, he gained the Maxwell Medal from the Institute of Physics for his path-breaking contributions to theoretical physics. In the early 1990s, he showed the correlation between the polarisation and temperature anisotropies of cosmic background radiation. The idea of the Ekpyrotic Universe which is a cosmological model was introduced by Turok himself. The physicist has been the founding father of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Muizenberg which is a centre of education that supports the development of mathematics and science across the African subcontinent. He was awarded the 2008 TED Prize accepting which he spoke about the talented young Africans who are starved of opportunity.
William Henry Perkin
William Henry Perkin was a British chemist and business innovator. At the tender age of 15, he started studying in the Royal College of Chemistry in London which has now been a part of the Imperial College of London. He is the first discoverer of synthetic organic dye which could be used commercially. He also made the discovery of mauveine which is made from aniline. Perkin found that when extracted with alcohol, aniline produced the purple colour substance aniline. It helped in dyeing silk. He even attempted to synthesize quinine which was used for the treatment of malaria but he was unsuccessful in his attempt. He then established a factory that produced dyes industrially. The fashion world was revolutionized by him. The industrial revolution was at its peak and his discoveries helped in the advancement of the textile industry.
John Ambrose Fleming
John Ambrose Fleming was a professional electrical engineer and physicist. He studied chemistry at the Royal College of Sciences which is now known as the Imperial College of London. Fleming was appointed as an electrician in the Edison Electrical Light Company and laterjoinedthe University College Londonas a professor. He was the one todesignthe worlds first radio transmitter which helped in the first transmission across the trans- Atlantic. Additionally, he invented the thermionic vacuum tube which came to be known as the Fleming valve for which he received a patent. These two electrode diodes were used in radio receivers and radars. Fleming also authored a few books including "Electric Lamps and Electric Lightning, "Magnet and Electric Currents, "The Principles of Electric Wave Telegraphy, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, etc.
Also Read:List of Notable Oxford Alumni (Oxonians)
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