Imperial College London
#50 Overall Influence

Imperial College London

Public research university located in London, United Kingdom

By James Barham, PhD

The origins of Imperial College London (ICL) can be traced back to the Royal College of Chemistry, founded in 1845. In 1853, this school was merged with the Royal School of Mines, established two years previously.

The modern Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ICL’s official name) was established by royal charter in 1907 through merger of the Royal School of Mines with the Royal College of Chemistry and the City and Guilds College.

Imperial College Medical School was formed in 1988 through merger with St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School (itself dating back to 1845), while in 2004 a brand-new Imperial College Business School opened its doors.

It is important to note that in 1907 ICL merged with the University of London for administrative purposes, while retaining its own identity as to curriculum, faculty, staff, and students. In 2007, on the one-hundredth anniversary of obtaining its royal charter, ICL became completely independent once again.

Today, ICL has a combined faculty and staff of more than 8000 serving a student population of over 19,000.

ICL can boast 14 Nobel laureates, three Fields Medalists, and 1 Turing Award–winner, some of whom are listed below. Other distinguished ICL linked individuals are listed below:

Fine Arts and Literature

  • Classical musician, composer, Kit Armstrong
  • Popular musician, Brian May
  • Novelist, essayist, H.G. Wells

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Philosopher, Kenan Malik

Film, Photography, and Performing Arts

  • Actor, Navin Chowdhry

Media, Law, and Public Affairs

  • Former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi
  • Physician, missionary, explorer, David Livingstone

STEM Disciplines

  • Space scientist, Maggie Aderin-Pocock
  • Physicist, Nobel laureate, Patrick Blackett
  • Physicist, William Crookes
  • Mathematician, Fields Medalist, Simon Donaldson
  • Physicist, Michael Duff
  • Microbiologist, Nobel laureate, Alexander Fleming
  • Electrical engineer, John Ambrose Fleming
  • Mathematician, Fields Medalist, Martin Hairer
  • Biochemist, Nobel laureate, Norman Haworth
  • Physical chemist, Nobel laureate, Cyril Hinshelwood
  • Biochemist, Nobel laureate, Frederick Gowland Hopkins
  • Physiologist, Nobel laureate, Andrew Huxley
  • Comparative anatomist, Thomas Henry Huxley
  • Physicist, Norman Lockyer
  • Physicist, Yuval Ne’eman
  • Mathematician, physicist, William Penney
  • Chemist, William Henry Perkin
  • Biochemist, Nobel laureate, Rodney Robert Porter
  • Mathematician, Fields Medalist, Klaus Roth
  • Physicist, Nobel laureate, Abdus Salam
  • Computer scientist, Turing Award winner, Leslie Valiant
  • Computer engineer, Kevin Warwick
  • Chemist, Nobel laureate, Geoffrey Wilkinson

What is Imperial College London known for?

#15 World Rank
#17 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#22 World Rank
#23 World Rank
#35 World Rank
#37 World Rank
#37 World Rank
Computer Science
#40 World Rank
#79 World Rank
#81 World Rank
#101 World Rank
#102 World Rank
#150 World Rank
#247 World Rank
#252 World Rank
#272 World Rank
#328 World Rank
#373 World Rank
#388 World Rank
Religious Studies

Influential People

Who are Imperial College London's Most influential alumni?

Imperial College London's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Engineering, Earth Sciences, and Chemistry. Imperial College London’s most academically influential people include Donald Davies, David Irving, and Alexander Fleming.

Donald Davies
Donald Davies

Welsh computer scientist

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David Irving
David Irving

British author and Holocaust denier

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Alexander Fleming
Alexander Fleming

Scottish biologist, pharmacologist

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William Crookes
William Crookes

British chemist and physicist

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Naomi Oreskes
Naomi Oreskes

American historian, scientist, academic

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Kevin Warwick
Kevin Warwick

British robotics and cybernetics researcher

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Simon Singh
Simon Singh

British author

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Ishrat Hussain Usmani
Ishrat Hussain Usmani

Pakistani nuclear physicist

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Patrick Geddes
Patrick Geddes

British scientist and town planner

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Lewis Wolpert
Lewis Wolpert

British biologist

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Arthur Holmes
Arthur Holmes

English geologist

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George E. Davis
George E. Davis

British chemical engineer

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