The event will run from 11am to 5pm on Saturday the 30th. This page will be regularly updated. 



StartStream 1
11:00Welcome and Opening
11:15Sponsor Talk
11:30A Non-Executive’s Journey…
Dr Dame Frances Saunders
12:00Panel: Experiences being a minority in the workplace
13:35Space: The Final Front-Queer
Dr Alfredo Carpineti
14:00Panel: How to get your dream job in the sector
14:50A Journey in Planetary Science
Divya Persaud
15:15Dr Ashley Spindler
15:45Panel: Balancing advocacy, work life and personal life
16:30The Journey of an Engineer at Northrop Grumman
Tyrone Jacobs Jr.
16:55Closing Remarks



A Non-Executive’s Journey…

Dr Dame Frances Saunders | Birmingham Quantum Technology Hub

Frances Saunders

Following a variety of research and science and technology management roles within Government, Frances’ Civil Service career culminated with her appointment as Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) from 2006-2012. She holds a range of non-executive roles in science and engineering organisations including UKSA, UKRI/STFC and the Royal Academy of Engineering, where she is a Fellow. She was President of the Institute of Physics from 2013-2015. Frances has particular interests in stimulating innovation and research impact and Chairs the External Advisory Board for the Birmingham Quantum Technology Hub in sensors and timing.

Experiences being a minority in the workplace

Anuradha Damale, Megan Maunder, Ben Fernando & Luc Riesbeck

Anuradha Damale, Megan Maunder, Ben Fernando & Luc Riesbeck Anuradha Damale, Megan Maunder, Ben Fernando & Luc Riesbeck Anuradha Damale, Megan Maunder, Ben Fernando & Luc Riesbeck Anuradha Damale, Megan Maunder, Ben Fernando & Luc Riesbeck

Join a captivating group of space professionals to discuss the challenges faced when being a minority in the workplace. Hear from Anuradha Damale, Megan Maunder, Ben Fernando and Luc Riesbeck as they share their experiences and advice when it comes to the challenges faced in the space sector. This includes discussion into ethnic diversity, gender diversity, being LGBTQ+, and being disabled.

Anuradha Damale, or Anu, is the UK Director of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, an organisation set up by US Under Secretary of State Bonnie Jenkins to advance the leadership and professional development of women and non-binary people of colour in the fields of international peace, security, and conflict transformation, so that they can champion minority perspectives to solve global issues. Anu is an Assistant Researcher on the Verification and Monitoring Team at VERTIC, working on solving arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation issues using science, technology and policy. She is an emerging expert in Space Policy. Anu has an educational background in Physics and Science and Technology Policy, and was previously chair of UKSEDS.

Megan is a third year PhD Student in the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Solar-Terrestrial Plasmas and Space Weather. Under the supervision of Dr Claire Foullon, she is in receipt of an STFC funded Studentship for a 'Multi-Spacecraft Investigation of Solar and Heliospheric Plasmas'. Her research interests include solar and heliospheric plasmas and Space Weather, with a particular interest in Coronal Mass Ejections. Megan became a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in October 2018 and is the Advocacy Team Lead for the RAS Early Career Network Committee.

Ben is a PhD student in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, working on the NASA InSight mission to Mars.

Luc is a space policy research analyst at Astroscale U.S., currently based in Washington, D.C. They recently graduated with a Masters in International Science and Technology Policy, concentrating in Space Policy, from the Space Policy Institute in George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

Space: The Final Front-Queer

Dr Alfredo Carpineti | Pride in STEM

@DrCarpinetiAlfredo Carpineti

Dr Alfredo Carpineti is an Italian astrophysicist, science journalist, and science communicator living in London. He's a full-time writer for IFLScience as well as being the chair and founder of Pride in STEM, a charitable trust dedicated to supporting and showcasing LGBT people in science, technology, engineering, and maths. For this work, he was recognised as one of the 100 LGBTQ trailblazers by Attitude Magazine.

Panel: How to get your dream job in the sector

Armin Ziadlourad, Vinita Marwaha Madill, Kathie Bowden & Dr Craig Brown

Armin Ziadlourad, Vinita Marwaha Madill, Kathie Bowden & Dr Craig Brown Armin Ziadlourad, Vinita Marwaha Madill, Kathie Bowden & Dr Craig Brown Armin Ziadlourad, Vinita Marwaha Madill, Kathie Bowden & Dr Craig Brown Armin Ziadlourad, Vinita Marwaha Madill, Kathie Bowden & Dr Craig Brown

With the fast growing pace of the UK and international space sector, and the ever-growing number of companies launching their own space ventures, getting your dream job in the space industry is now becoming more and more of a reality. How do I enter the industry? How do I find my dream job? What challenges will I face on my journey? These are the kinds of questions we will be answering in our panel discussion all about how to secure that space job you've always wanted. The panel will feature experts and professionals within the space industry from a variety of backgrounds and varying routes into the sector. Join us, and discover how you too can achieve your dream job!

Armin is the careers team lead at UKSEDS. He is passionate about helping students find careers in the space industry, and wants the sector to become accessible to all disciplines. Outside of UKSEDS Armin is a second year Astrophysics student studying at UCL and has previously acted as the careers officer for UCL Physics Society. Having also completed several internships in artificial intelligence and business analysis, he is especially interested in the combination of business and space.

Vinita is the founder of Rocket Women (, a global platform to empower young women to choose a career in STEM; through this she has created and managed a scholarship for women in STEM. Vinta was named as one of the top 100 Most Influential Women Leaders in Engineering in the UK & Europe 2019 by the Financial Times and nominated for the Women of the Year awards in the UK. She was previously based at the European Space Agency (ESA) contributing to future human spaceflight projects as a Space Operations Engineer, mainly focused on the European Robotic Arm (ERA) to be launched to the ISS. Vinita is now a Project Manager at Mission Control Space Services, leading international lunar exploration technology projects.

Kathie leads on Skills and Careers Development for the UK Space Agency. She is a geologist (UCL) with a postgraduate diploma from the University of Northern Arizona where she specialised in remote sensing applications, and has over 30 years’ experience of the application of space data in industry. Additionally she managed a team that delivered 4 major public understanding of science projects (Windows on – the World, the UK, the Universe and Life) whilst consulting more broadly across industry sectors. Kathie now concentrates on skills issues across the space sector and is closely involved with Space Growth Partnership activities.

Dr Craig Brown is Vice President for Major Programmes at SatixFy, a space technology company focused on satellite communications. Craig joined the company in June 2019. Prior to this, he was Innovation Lead for Space at Innovate UK. Craig has an interest in proactively developing the diversity of the space sector and has led a number of initiatives to this end. While at Innovate UK he sat on the organisation's diversity steering group, authoring a white paper on skills for the space sector in collaboration with UKSA. Craig now leads the diversity team within the Skill Skills Advisory Panel, a collaboration between industry, academia and government, and was responsible for the recent Space Census which aims to establish the current demographics of the UK space sector.

A Journey in Planetary Science

Divya Persaud | UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory

@Divya_M_PDivya Persaud

Divya M. Persaud is a planetary geologist, writer, and composer. She is completing her Ph.D. at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, where she is using 3D imaging to understand the landing site of the Curiosity Rover on Mars, and she is an incoming postdoctoral scholar at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she will be on the Europa Lander team. She has spoken and performed her equity and artistic work internationally; with awards in both outreach and poetry, she is passionate about bridging the spheres of science, engagement, activism, and the arts.

ADHD - Kryptonite or Superpower

Dr Ashley Spindler

@DrAshleyNovaAshley Spindler

Ashley is a Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire, specialising in machine learning applications for astronomical surveys. She received her PhD from the Open University, where she studied the environmental effects of star formation in nearby galaxies. Ashley is a prominent advocate for LGBT+ inclusion in the sciences and is a member of the board of trustees for Pride in STEM. She is active on social media, hosts a table-top RPG podcast, and is working on publishing her first novel.

Panel: Balancing advocacy, work life and personal life

Dr Eleanor Armstrong, Dr Emma Chapman, Sara Motaghian, Dr Emma Taylor

Dr Eleanor Armstrong, Dr Emma Chapman, Sara Motaghian, Dr Emma Taylor Dr Eleanor Armstrong, Dr Emma Chapman, Sara Motaghian, Dr Emma Taylor Dr Eleanor Armstrong, Dr Emma Chapman, Sara Motaghian, Dr Emma Taylor Dr Eleanor Armstrong, Dr Emma Chapman, Sara Motaghian, Dr Emma Taylor

Advocates for diversity and inclusion spend a great deal of time volunteering and speaking out, which alongside a full-time job can be incredibly tiring. We'll be hearing the experiences of people who selflessly volunteer a lot of time for advocacy and how they balance it with their lifestyle. They will be sharing tips for taking part in advocacy work whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance and looking after your own mental health.

Ellie is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware, researching terrestrial infrastructures of space science. She completed her PhD at UCL in 2020, taking a critical queer feminist approach to the narratives of space science in London sceince museum displays. Before this Ellie was a chemist and researched Saturn's chemical composition for her masters. She co-organised Space Science in Context (#SSiC202), a conference that foregrounds the relationships of space and society; and was co-chair of Science London until the start of 2021, a group promoting anti-racism, equity, inclusion and diversity in science communication.

Emma is currently based at Imperial College London, where she is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow researching the Epoch of Reionisation. Emma works mainly with the European telescope LOFAR based in the Netherlands and enjoys speaking at outreach events. She is also writing a book on the subject of the first stars, coming out with Bloomsbury Sigma in 2020.

Sara Motaghian 3rd year PhD student studying jointly at the Natural History Museum, London and Imperial College London. Sara’s PhD focuses on the spectral instrumentation on board the ExoMars Rover and preparing for the mission. Sara is passionate about addressing inequality and inequity, in particular the disparity in opportunity in the sciences. Sara is a PI on the UKSA Aurora funded Outreach project Roving with Rosalind, aiming to inspire and educate people and remove barriers to participation in STEM and Space science based on Mars exploration.

Emma is an engineer with more than 30 years experience working in space, energy and transport. Having worked for a diverse range of organisations, with many nationalities and cultures, she's experienced the benefits and challenges of working in all aspects of diverse organisations. Her experience of being a carer, having career breaks and retraining (twice !) has shaped her professional life, and she is always keen to learn from others, and share her experience where it might be useful.

The Journey of an Engineer at Northrop Grumman

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. | Northrop Grumman

Tyrone Jacobs Jr.

Tyrone Jacobs, Jr. is currently an engineer, STEM advocate, and speaker. Tyrone has worked with institutions like UCLA, California State University, Fullerton, the University of Toledo, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and more. Through his work, Tyrone has reached hundreds of students and professionals with his energetic and engaging personality. Tyrone feels strongly about STEM and presenting knowledge on what can be done to help students not only pursue and start their STEM educational journey, but how they can finish strong and start their STEM career.