UCL Engineering


Race at the intersection | LGBTQ+ and Race | Online panel discussion

26 May 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Two people embracing at an LGBTQ outdoor event

This series of UCL Engineering panel discussions look to explore how certain protected characteristics have shaped our speakers' experiences as engineers, and whether they have presented any barriers in education and career development.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Dr Chika Nweke and Dr Mike Sulu


Zoom webinar
Torrington Place

In our "Race at the intersection" event series, we will explore how the impact of gender, sexual orientation, disability and socioeconomic background is magnified when one identifies as a Black and Ethnic minority individual.

How do class, gender, sexual orientation and disability intersect with one another and how are these intensified by the addition of race?

Come and hear from our panel of guest speakers from an array of cultural backgrounds who identify with one or more of the protected characteristics. They will reflect on their experiences on how their background has shaped their education and career in Engineering.

This second event will focus on how race intersects with the experience of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Our panel of speakers consists of:  

  • Chairs - Dr Mike Sulu, Lecturer (Teaching), UCL Biochemical Engineering, and Dr Chika Nweke, Lecturer (Teaching), UCL Biochemical Engineering; 
  • Dr Fiona Truscott, Lecturer (Teaching), Faculty of Engineering Sciences; 
  • Patrick Murray, Head of Systems Engineering and part of the Senior Management Team for Turck Banner Ltd in the UK;
  • Dr Izzy Jayasinghe, Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leeds. 

These panel discussions will take place in May and June 2021 and are open to all UCL staff, students and alumni.

Visit UCL Engineering's EDI website section for further information on equality, diversity and inclusion. 

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About the Speakers

Dr Mike Sulu

Lecturer (Teaching) at UCL

More about Dr Mike Sulu

Dr Chika Nweke

Lecturer (Teaching), UCL Biochemical Engineering at UCL

More about Dr Chika Nweke

Dr Fiona Truscott

Lecturer (Teaching), Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL

Fiona Truscott has a BA/MSc in Natural Science (Chemistry) from the University of Cambridge and a DPhil in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford. Following her PhD, she conducted postdoctoral research on the interface of Biology and Chemistry at the ICSN, part of the CNRS Delegation Ile-de-France Sud. She then moved to conduct postdoctoral research in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London (UCL), working on the application of automation technology to Biochemical Engineering. Currently she is a Lecturer (Teaching) at UCL in the Faculty of Engineering. She is the Engineering Challenges Module Lead, a cross faculty team project module, and is a member of the Centre for Engineering Education (CEE). She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her current research interests are interdisciplinary teaching, teamwork and the embedding of social factors in Engineering Education. She is also active in outreach activities at UCL including creating and running programmes such as the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) Summer School and a workshop at the Science Museum for International Women in Engineering Day 2018. 

More about Dr Fiona Truscott

Patrick Murray

Head of Systems Engineering and part of the Senior Management Team for Turck Banner Ltd in the UK. at Turck Banner Ltd

Patrick Murray is the Head of Systems Engineering and part of the Senior Management Team for Turck Banner Ltd in the UK. Turck Banner is a Joint Venture company owned equally by Hans Turck GmbH and Banner Engineering Corp., who have a combined turnover of over €1bn. Turck Banner is an engineering manufacturer/supplier who work with companies from many industries, from automotive and pharmaceuticals to oil and gas and the food and beverage industry. 

Patrick studied a BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies at the University of Liverpool, and after taking some time out to volunteer in Cambodia and Chile worked briefly in Engineering-specific recruitment for the Oil and Gas sector before getting a job within Automation and Control Systems Engineering, having worked as an Industry Specialist for ifm electronic in the UK before securing a role in Senior Management for Turck Banner. Patrick is currently working towards an MSc in Engineering Management and holds a number of accreditations with the IET, IMechE and CMI. 

On the issue of the intersection between race and LGBTQ+, Patrick is clear that being a black, queer engineer working in a industry with proven toxic masculinity issues alongside predominantly white, straight colleagues has had its challenges, and though some of these challenges aren't an issue now due to the seniority of the position that Patrick holds, it can also be said that these challenges still persist when dealing with the wider engineering industry.

Dr Izzy Jayasinghe

Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at University of Leeds

Izzy Jayasinghe is a Senior Research Fellow and a UKRI Future Leader Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology in the University of Sheffield. Her research has focused on developing new optical microscopy techniques for studying the organisation of the molecules of life, particularly proteins, within the heart. Prior to moving to Sheffield, Izzy completed a PhD in Physiology in Auckland (New Zealand) and two postdoctoral fellowships in Queensland (Australia) and Exeter where she established a track record in developing and applying new optical imaging methods. Her current research focuses on developing more accessible, faster and higher resolution imaging methods for imaging optically-thick (and biologically more complex) samples. Aside from her academic work, she works to improve equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in academia via organisations such as Advance HE (as an Athena SWAN panel reviewer), LGBTQ+ STEM (as one of the co-leads), TIGER in STEMM, the strategic advisory team of the EPSRC and other professional organisations such the Royal Microscopical Society. As a trans woman of colour, she is particularly outspoken about the marginalisation of queer colleagues and students who also belong to ethnic minorities in the UK.

More about Dr Izzy Jayasinghe

Other events in this series