Spotlight on... Dr Michael Sulu
16 July 2020
This week we meet Dr Michael Sulu, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Biochemical Engineering and Co-Chair of the Race Equality Steering Group. Here, Michael chats to us about the new educational project he has been working on.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am currently a Senior Teaching Fellow in Experiential Engineering in the Department of Biochemical Engineering. I only started in June so currently my role mostly involves changing the way we teach and assess our students, with the change in the way we operate, but it will also have a focus on developing new activities that enhance engineering education but linking theory to practice.
I am lucky as it gives me specific time dedicated to equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives and to outreach and science communication.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have been at UCL for nearly seven years, and my previous role was an unconventional hybrid between a PDRA and a technician.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I think this is a really hard question to answer! I don't feel that much pride in anything I have done – most of the pride I have is for the students I've helped, contributing to their growth as engineers and people, who probably know more than I do, and will definitely go on to achieve more! I hope that helping others fulfil their potential ends up being my legacy, (that and the forthcoming UCL Brewery and Distillery!).
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I am currently working on an educational project that is designed to diversify the research and teaching we do within the department. We are currently a biopharmaceutical department with roots in manufacturing medicine, which is clearly really important, but to diversify the options our students have – and the research the department can undertake – I am leading the effort to move into food process engineering.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: Things Fall Apart – The Roots
Film: The Big Lebowski
Novel: Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Why don’t you find elephants hiding in trees? Because they are really good at it!
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Dead or Alive? Dave Chappelle, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Bowie, Lebron James, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Questlove, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, with a focus on good humour and good conversation throughout the meal and an after dinner sing-a-long.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t listen to any negative advice, you should never be limited by others.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I own over 200 pairs of shoes, but you’d know that if you saw the episode of Location, Location, Location where I bought my home.
What is your favourite place?