This page will be regularly updated. All timings below are provisional and will be confirmed closer to the date of the conference.

You'll get your badge and programme when you arrive. If you're late, it's not a problem, but you must register at reception before attending any talks.



StartStream 1Stream 2
09:00Welcome and Opening
09:30Prof. Danielle George
University of Manchester
10:40Sponsor Talk
10:50Break & Careers Fair
11:25Sponsor TalkSponsor Talk
11:35Astrid Werkmeister
University of Strathclyde
Alex Godfrey
Lockheed Martin
12:10Dr Nicholas Attree
University of Stirling
Dr Jack-James Marlow
12:45Prof. Charles Cockell
University of Edinburgh
Spaceports Panel
13:20Dr Luke Daly
University of Glasgow
13:55Lunch & Careers Fair
14:55Student Presentation 1Sponsor Talk
15:05Student Presentation 2Politics in Space Panel
15:40Student Presentation 3
16:15Break & Careers Fair
16:50Student Presentation 4Didunoluwa Obilanade
GKN Aerospace
17:25Student Presentation 5Sarah Carroll
18:00Awards Presentation
18:20Networking Reception
19:40Meal & Social


StartStream 1Stream 2
09:30Sponsor TalkSponsor Talk
09:40Dr Christophe Lasseur
European Space Agency (ESA)
Dr Ghina Halabi
University of Cambridge
10:15Dr Ryan Milligan
University of Glasgow
10:50Break & Careers Fair
11:25Sponsor TalkSponsor Talk
11:35Dr Annemarie Pickersgill
University of Glasgow
Science Communication Panel
12:10Dr Ciara McGrath
University of Strathclyde
12:45Lunch & Careers Fair
13:45Dr Karen Haughian
University of Glasgow
Space Start-ups Panel
14:20Prof. Catherine Heymans
University of Edinburgh
14:55UKSEDS Annual General Meeting


Confirmed speakers to date:

mm-wave Technologies for Future Radio Astronomy Observatories

Prof. Danielle George | University of Manchester

@engineerDGDanielle George

Danielle completed her BSc in Astrophysics, MSc in Radio Astronomy at The Victoria University of Manchester, and her PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with UMIST. She worked at Jodrell Bank Observatory as a Senior Radio Frequency Engineer until 2006 when she took up a lectureship in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. She was awarded a Professorship at the age of 38 and appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s honours list for services to engineering through public engagement. In 2016 she received the Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke Medal for services to engineering and in 2017 received the Harold Hartley Medal for outstanding contribution to the field of Measurement and Control. In 2018 she was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Medal for excellence in communicating science to the public. Danielle’s research is dedicated to solving one the 14 world engineering grand challenges of the 21st century, engineering the tools for scientific discovery. Her expertise in radio frequency engineering and microwave communications is applicable to a broad range of scientific and industrial sectors. To date her research has focused on delivering class-leading ultra-low noise receivers for space and aerospace applications. She is involved in the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), is the UK lead for amplifiers for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope, and has worked with NASA and ESA on the development of instrumentation for researchers exploring the Big Bang. Her most recent work on broadband amplifier design at 116GHz is current state-of-the-art and pushing the very limits of semiconductor technology.

Danielle will discuss her work on solving one of the 14 World Engineering Grand Challenges and how she makes it part of her mission to show how creative engineering is. To date most of her research and development work has been carried out on a variety of aspects relating to ultra-low noise receivers for Space and Aerospace applications. Danielle is also involved with the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and is the UK lead for amplifiers for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). The Square Kilometer Array is the world’s largest radio telescope ever designed. It is estimated that the telescope will generate more the 10x the global internet traffic on a daily basis! If we could express the SKA data collected in one day as a song downloaded it would take 2 million years to playback. Professor George will talk about her work on the most advanced radio telescopes ever and how she has made it part of her mission to show how creative engineering can be. She firmly believes that having fun is the first step to solving the engineering grand challenges of the 21st century.

Space in Scotland

Prof. Malcolm Macdonald | Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications

@malcoluimMalcolm Macdonald

Malcolm works as a professor and the Chair of Space Technology at the University of Strathclyde. He obtained his BEng in Aeronautical Engineering and PhD from the University of Glasgow. He then spent 3 years working at SCISYS on ESA missions such as LISA-Pathfinder and ADM-Aeolus. Malcolm is the only UK member of the Committee on Space Research Study Group on 'Small Satellites for Space Sciences' and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics.

This talk gives an overview of the Scottish space sector, highlighting its strengths and characteristics whilst putting the sector into a broader UK, European, and global context. The talk will also give an overview of the work of SoXSA (the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications) as well as a brief introduction to my research interests & work.

Tropical Cyclones Observed from Space

Astrid Werkmeister | University of Strathclyde

Astrid Werkmeister

Astrid studied Atmospheric Science at the Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany. Here, she developed her interest in Satellite Remote Sensing, which brought her to the University of Miami, USA to pursue a PhD in Applied Marine Physics. Her dissertation involved studying hurricane winds and waves from satellites. Last year, Astrid started a position as a teaching associate at the University of Strathclyde. At the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, she is helping to develop a new MSc course in Satellite Applications.

In this talk, Astrid will talk about how she became a remote-sensing marine and atmospheric scientist and her research into the impact of typhoons on the Pacific Ocean. As part of her postgraduate studies, Astrid uses data from Synthetic Aperture Radar produced by satellites to study the environmental effects of Typhoon Megi. Environmental research is one of the main downstream applications of space technology. If you’re interested in learning how the space industry can help us to better understand our home planet, then this talk is for you!

Gravitational Waves

Dr Karen Haughian | University of Glasgow

@KarenHaughianKaren Haughian

Karen studied for a joint degree in Physics & Mathematics (2007) and then completed a PhD on materials research for gravitational wave detectors at the University of Glasgow (2012). Since then she has worked as a researcher in the Univerity's Institute for Gravitational Research. She specialises in investigating material properties at room and cryogenic temperatures to help design and construct the current and future gravitational wave detectors that have provided new ways of observing the universe.

In 2015 we observed the historic first direct detection of gravitational waves. This allowed us to observe the universe in a whole new way. Karen will talk about how gravitational wave detectors work, the detections which have been made so far and what they have taught us about our universe.

Skyrora: Propulsion and Engineering Overview

Dr Jack-James Marlow | Skyrora

Jack-James Marlow

Jack-James is Head of the Propulsion Group at UK space launcher company, Skyrora. He gained his PhD in Advanced Liquid Rocket Engine Cooling at Kingston University, where he also oversaw development and testing of the rocket propulsion lab. He subsequently worked as a research lecturer specialising in Vortex Cooling of Liquid Rocket engines, concluding in the construction of a glass chambered liquid rocket engine running on propane. His current activities at Skyrora include managing the test fire campaign of the 3D printed 3.5 kN and 30 kN HTP and Kerosene liquid rocket engines as well as engine development.

This presentation will discuss Skyrora’s current propulsion developments and wider engineering activities. Skyrora are a launch vehicle development company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. With the aim to cater for the growing demand to send small satellites into space, Skyrora uses a combination of proven technology, inspired by Black Arrow and Skylark, alongside advanced manufacturing to create cost-effective vehicles that will launch from a UK spaceport. Skyrora are currently working through sub-orbital test programme to gain experience and de-risk their technology, enabling them to stay on track and ensure the long-term success of their future orbital satellite launcher.

The Mid Air Retrieval System

Alex Godfrey | Lockheed Martin

Alex Godfrey

Alex Godfrey is a Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill and has technically led the pursuit and execution of numerous Civil Space projects. He is currently leading the development of a UK Mid Air Retrieval system to capture payloads up to 3,000kg returning from Space. Alex originally studied Spacecraft Systems Engineering at the University of Southampton and was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Young Person’s Achievement award in 2016 and the NE ROWE medal in 2017. He remains heavily involved in various outreach initiatives and is passionate about enthusing the next generation with STEM subjects.

In this talk, Alex will give an overview of the development of Lockheed Martin's mid-air retrieval system. He is currently leading the development of this project, with the aim to capture payloads up to 3,000kg returning from Space. Lockheed Martin has partnered with PDG Aviation Services and Airborne Systems to demonstrate the feasibility of capturing high value space assets prior to ground or water impact using a Mid-Air Retrieval (MAR) on behalf of the UK Space Agency.

The Search for Life in the Universe

Prof. Charles Cockell | University of Edinburgh

Charles Cockell

Charles is an award winning lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on Astrobiology. As a discipline, astrobiology seeks to understand the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the Universe. Charles’ particular research focus lies in the study of life in extreme environments and understanding the the diversity, processes and biosignatures of life in extremes and the potential habitability of extraterrestrial environments. His work is conducted within the UK Centre for Astrobiology, a virtual astrobiology centre established in 2011 that is affiliated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Charles will talk about his work with the UK Centre for Astrobiology, focusing on the search for alien life by studying life in extreme environments here on Earth. It is hoped that by understanding how these extremophiles survive on earth, we can gain a better understanding of how life could potentially evolve on other planets.

Spaceports Panel

Scott Hammond | Shetland Space Centre

Scott Hammond

Scott is the Operations Director for Shetland Space Centre and is tasked with negotiating partnership arrangements, government contracts and building the space station in Shetland. Drawing on his experience as a highly qualified former RAF Fast Jet, Commercial Airline Pilot and Qualified Weapons Instructor, Scott has a keen understanding of the technical detail required to ensure that the site becomes fully operational. As part of an initiative by the Oil Industry to recruit RAF Aircrew as Consultants, Scott was headhunted to train operators on the Command and Control systems for offshore drilling packages. He is a Reserve Services Officer and also assists Thales running courses for RAF Aircrews at RAF Lossiemouth.

Spaceports Panel

Keith Mason | Lockheed Martin

Keith Mason

Keith Mason is a senior advisor to Lockheed Martin, focussing on the Launch UK programme. He is a space scientist with extensive experience in motivating, developing and implementing scientific and commercial programmes both nationally and internationally. A past CEO of the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, he also chaired the UK Space Board between 2005 and 2011, playing a central role in the development of UK Space strategy.

Spaceports Panel

Becky Morris | Skyrora

Becky Morris

Becky Morris is a Business Development Executive at Skyrora, a launch vehicle company based in Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2018 with a Masters in Geography. While completing her studies, Becky began working with Skyrora, attracted by the vibrant and energetic company and their ambitions to bring launch capability back to the UK. Becky was prominent in the organisation, logistics and event management surrounding the Black Arrow unveiling in January 2019. She also is one of Skyrora’s STEM Ambassadors, working actively with the UK Space Agency and other bodies to encourage the younger generations to pursue careers in STEM subjects.

Spaceports Panel

Roy Kirk | Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Roy Kirk

Roy has been with HIE for more than ten years and has recently has moved from his role as area manager to become project director for the new spaceport, where he will lead development of the new satellite launch facility. Highlands and Islands Enterprise is the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency, with the aim of developing sustainable economic growth across the region. Roy initially with HIE as an inward investment manager before being appointed area manager in 2008. Over the past two years he has been leading on efforts to attract the spaceport investment to Sutherland.

Spaceports Panel

Robert Garner | UK Space Agency

Robert Garner

On top of his role as Mission Analyst at the UK Space Agency, Rob is a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde focusing on the impact of future launchers and hyper-sonic vehicle concepts on the environment. He was previously Vice-Chair of UKSEDS and a lead organiser for this conference.

Mars, Comets and Planetary Science from Scotland

Dr Nicholas Attree | University of Stirling

@nick_attreeNicholas Attree

Nick is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Stirling, working on thermal modelling in support of NASA’s InSight mission. InSight will measure subsurface temperatures up to 5m deep to determine the geothermal heat flow, as well as measuring Mars-quakes! The group at Stirling is interested in the physical and mechanical properties of the upper regolith layers, and how these affect the heat flow measurements. Nick previously worked at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, on the MiARD project, using modelling and data from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft to explore the physical and mechanical properties of comet 67P.

Nick will talk about his work with the planetary sciences group at the University of Stirling on the NASA InSight mission, which successfully landed on Mars on the 26th November 2018. He will also talk about his previous work on the ESA Rosetta mission to comet 67P, where he used OSIRIS camera images to analyse surface features, as well as navigation and position data, to measure the effects of outgassing on the comet’s orbit.

Politics in Space Panel

Carol Monaghan MP | Scottish National Party

@CMonaghanSNPCarol Monaghan MP

Carol is the only Scottish MP on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and is Chair of the APPG on Photonics. She was first elected in the 2015 General Election, and re-elected in the 2017 General Election with the highest majority in Glasgow. In 1993 Carol graduated from Strathclyde University with a BSc (Hons) in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics. She then trained as a teacher, gaining a PGCE in Physics and Mathematics and spent two years as a Glasgow University lecturer training future teachers. An SQA consultant, Carol has been involved in developing physics qualifications at a national level.

Politics in Space Panel

Dr Bleddyn Bowen | University of Leicester

@bleddbBleddyn Bowen

Bleddyn is an expert in astropolitics, space warfare, and space security at the School of History, Politics, and International Relations, University of Leicester, previously King's College London and Aberystwyth University. He has published in several academic journals and is currently working on completing his monograph on military philosophy, strategy, and outer space with Edinburgh University Press. Bleddyn is a frequent speaker in public, having spoken at events at ESA, UN, RUSI, Chatham House, and the Space Policy Institute, and is frequently cited in major news outlets on space policy, Brexit, and geopolitics in space.

Politics in Space Panel

Prof. Sa'id Mosteshar | London Institute of Space Policy and Law

Sa'id Mosteshar

Sa'id Mosteshar is Professor of Space Policy and Law, Director of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law (ISPL) and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS). A practising Barrister and California Attorney, he advises governments, international agencies and major space corporations. He has been a member of the UK Space Leadership Council and Adviser to the UK Delegation to the UN COPUOS. He received the International Institute of Space Law's Distinguished Services Award "in recognition of his outstanding services to the international community and developments in the field of Space Law both as an academic and a practitioner."

Politics in Space Panel

Chris Lee | UKSA

@cpl43ukChris Lee

Chris graduated from the University of Leicester in 1980 with an MSc in Space Science and since then has mainly worked on missions supporting astronomy, planetary and earth sciences including Beagle 2. In 2014 he joined the UK Space Agency as the first Head of International Space Policy and was Head of Delegation at UNCOPUOS. In 2018 Chris was appointed Chief Scientist and moved across to take over the Space Science portfolio at the Agency, returning to his first love (astronomy). Chris is a keen promoter of space matters across social media and is an active member of his local AstroSoc.

Politics in Space Panel

Anuradha Damale | UKSEDS

@anulikesstarsAnuradha Damale

Anu has recently graduated from a Masters Degree in Science and Technology Policy from the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, following an undergrad in Physics with Astrophysics at Durham University, and hopes to apply for a PhD in Feminist Security Studies and Nuclear Weapons in 2020. Anu is pursuing a career in arms control and international security policy, but parallel to is the Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Institute of Physics Early Career’s Group. Anu is interested in nuclear disarmament and the militarization of space, and has been a delegate at conferences such as the Shadow NATO summit. She has been part of the UKSEDS Executive Committe since December 2018, and has been a strong proponent of promoting Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. When she’s not talking about space, nuclear weapons and diversity policy, Anu runs, kickboxes and sings her heart out.

Additive Manufacturing for Space Applications

Didunoluwa Obilanade | GKN Aerospace

Didunoluwa Obilanade

Didun is from Caerleon, South Wales, having been born in Nigeria. He holds an MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University, having read General Engineering at Grey College, Durham University. He is currently an Applications and Advanced Design Research Engineer at GKN Aerospace working in Additive Manufacturing. As part of his work with GKN Engine Systems on Space Engine Systems manufacturing, Didun has recently worked on the Design for Additive Manufacturing process development for the ESA Prometheus engine. Didun also volunteers as a STEM ambassador, going to schools and hosting events teaching young children about the many opportunities within STEM subjects and space careers.

Innovative design solutions are being suggested for many of the space industries mechanical challenges, many of which are unable to be manufactured through conventional methods. With Additive Manufacturing (AM) or a combination of traditional subtractive methods of manufacturing and AM these solutions can now be realised. AM technology implementation has led to vast reductions in material waste, lead time and energy use in manufacturing and prototyping, whilst also improving the part design and efficiency of many components. This talk describes the variety of AM processes available and the required assessments of the design, manufacturing and economic considerations for space applications.

Going Fast in Space

Sarah Carroll | Raytheon

Sarah Carroll

Sarah is operations lead for Space and Airborne Systems Space Systems at Raytheon. Working with Space Systems Leadership Team, Sarah is responsible for establishing the business-planning cadence, fostering communication and collaboration across the teams, and managing special projects. Sarah is an alumnus of the Rotational Engineering Leadership Development Program where she held various engineering and capture roles supporting different business units and programs. In 2011 Sarah joined Raytheon as data manager within the Intelligence and Information Systems business area. In this role, she organized the communication between Mars scientists and the public. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University.

Today we must respond quickly to protect against new and advanced threats in space. Sarah’s talk will focus on what it means to go fast to counter those threats and provide security from 22,000 miles above the earth. Touching on her experiences as an engineer and a member of capture teams, Sarah will discuss Raytheon programs that are sending space technology light years into the future.

ESA’s next comet mission: Comet Interceptor

Dr Colin Snodgrass | University of Edinburgh

Colin Snodgrass

Colin is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, working on comets and asteroids through exploration with spacecraft and observation with telescopes. Since obtaining his PhD in 2006 from Queen’s University Belfast, Colin has worked at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, and the Open University in England, before returning to Edinburgh last year. He has worked on the Rosetta mission, developed new mission proposals for ESA, and is the deputy lead for the Comet Interceptor concept.

The European Space Agency had a great success with the Rosetta mission, the first spacecraft to orbit and land on a comet. There are currently possible 6 follow up missions, one of which is called Comet Interceptor. With a fresh approach, the first ‘fast’ ESA mission could see the Comet Interceptor launch in 2028 and ‘park’ at the Sun-Earth L2 point (a stable place in space). The aim will be to wait for, and then intercept a fresh comet from the Oort cloud that is on its first visit to the inner Solar System. In this talk, Colin will talk about the challenges of intercepting a pristine remnant from the formation of the planets.

Are Mars missions the best example of a circular economy?

Dr Christophe Lasseur | European Space Agency (ESA)

@MELiSSAProject1Christophe Lasseur

Christophe first joined MATRA (today Airbus) after obtaining a PhD in bioengineering from the University of Technology of Compiègne. In 1990, he joined ESA for a research fellow position devoted to the precursor of the MELiSSA pilot plant. In 1992, he became MELiSSA project manager and, in 1998, he became the coordinator of ESA R&D in the life support domain. From 2000 to 2010, he chaired the International Life Support Working Group, and currently acts as European representative to the ISS Medical Board for Microbiology. Christophe regularly teaches in several European engineering colleges and received a Doctor Honoris Causa from Antwerpen University in March 2017.

The Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) is ESA’s program to develop regenerative life support for use in future long-term crewed missions. Having led the program for 27 years, Christophe will give insight into how such a long-term and complex program can achieve rapid progress, while ensuring quality and safety. Once designed, MELiSSA technology is then integrated and tested over a long period of time with a living consumer at the MELiSSA Pilot Plant in Spain. This talk will aim to cover the many stages of development when creating a closed-loop ecosystem, including the educational work performed by the MELiSSA Foundation.

Reaching for the Stars: My Research and Journey as a Space Scientist

Dr Ghina Halabi | University of Cambridge

@Dr_GhinaHalabiGhina Halabi

Ghina is a space scientist, storyteller, gender equality advocate and mentor. She works at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge and is a Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College. Ghina is the first person to obtain a PhD in Astrophysics from a Lebanese institution. She is an invited speaker at several international astronomy conferences and interdisciplinary forums including the United Nations and TEDx. Active in public speaking and outreach, she founded “Scheherazade Speaks Science”, an award-winning science storytelling platform to make science accessible and promote the visibility of female scientists. You can find out more about her at and check out her blog at

Stars have inspired philosophers and beckoned travellers. They now help us to navigate the Galaxy and grow our knowledge of the skies. They are the atoms of our Universe and drive many of its rattling events. They live eventful lives then fade away and die, donating matter back to the Universe, matter which may form new stars and planets one day. How do we study them? What do we know about these heavenly bodies and what mysteries do they still hold? This is the story for the talk to unfold, as well as Ghina's career journey through it all.

From fish to physics: how I went from truck driver to NASA scientist

Dr Ryan Milligan | University of Glasgow

@ryanomilliganRyan Milligan

Ryan is a solar physicist at the University of Glasgow and currently holds a prestigious Ernest Rutherford Fellowship. His researches focuses on the study of solar flares and space weather, and he has spent much of his 15 year career at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Prior to becoming a scientist Ryan was a truck driver in his native Northern Ireland, and recently got to combine truck driving with astrophysics for a new BBC documentary, Space Truckers. He is also an avid solar eclipse chaser having experienced eight so far.

Ryan grew up in a Northern Irish fishing village, working in fish factories, coal yards, and beef storage plants. At 21 he got his HGV license and became a truck driver. But at 23, despite having never studied physics, he enrolled in an astrophysics degree course at Queen’s University. After graduating with a 1st Class Honours, and eventually a PhD, he went on to spend the next 15 years studying the Sun and solar activity for NASA. Recently, Ryan got back behind the wheel to transport the Irish LOFAR radio telescope, which was filmed for a BBC documentary, Space Truckers.

Science Communication Panel

Dr Amy Tyndall | Astronomy on Tap Edinburgh

@AATyndall, @AoT_EDIAmy Tyndall

Amy is the lead organiser and Host Star for "Astronomy on Tap Edinburgh", a monthly outreach event held in a local pub. She has had a varied career in science communication since completing a PhD in Astrophysics in 2014, that has seen her engage with the public on topics ranging from Tim Peake's Principia mission to biomedical imaging.

Science Communication Panel

Nina Cameron | Glasgow Science Centre

@biblioforgetfulNina Cameron

Nina is the Planetarium Coordinator at Glasgow Science Centre. Nina studied Physics with Astrophysics, then completed a PGCE in Secondary Science with a specialism in Physics at The University of Leeds. After teaching, working as a 35mm projectionist, and bookselling, she was introduced to the field of science communication as an actual career through working at the Edinburgh and Abu Dhabi science festivals. In 2015, after two years as a full-time Science Communicator for the Glasgow Science Centre, she became part of the team managing the Planetarium at Glasgow Science Centre, Scotland’s largest fulldome digital planetarium.

Science Communication Panel

Dr Sheila Kanani | Royal Astronomical Society

@saturnsheilaSheila Kanani

Shelia graduated from the University of Manchester in 2006 with a degree in Physics with Astrophysics. After obtaining her PhD in 2012, she worked on a range of projects, including the Cassini spacecraft and analysing Saturn's magnetosphere from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory. She spent five years as an astronomer and briefly became a school physics teacher, before taking up her post at the Royal Astronomical Society in 2014. She has always been interested in public engagement with astronomy and won the Inspiring Women in Technology award in 2012. As a result of her scientific and educational experience, Shelia has become a regular face in the national discussion of science.

Science Communication Panel

Matjaz Vidmar | University of Edinburgh

@vidmarmatjazMatjaz Vidmar

Matjaz Vidmar is a doctoral student in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh and at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, studying high-tech innovation in the Space Industry. He is also a university lecturer, a mentor and a tutor, and an award winning science communicator, with projects delivered in several countries and in leading science and arts venues, including leading the inaugural Space Enlightenment Festival, writing for a variety of magazines and taking his flagship Space and Astronomy Tours (SATs) to remote parts of Scotland. You can find more about Matjaz, his work, and how to get in touch, at:

Science Communication Panel

Dallas Campbell |

@dallascampbellDallas Campbell

Dallas Campbell is a BAFTA-nominated broadcaster and science educator who has appeared in a wide range of shows, covering topics such as Tim Peake’s 2015 launch to the ISS and the search for alien life. He also hosts the National Geographic program “Positive Energy” and in 2017 he published his debut book: “An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Earth”. In recognition of his work in engaging young people in STEM, Dallas was awarded Honourary Fellowship of the British Science Association, where he judges their annual Young Scientist and Engineer of the Year Awards.

This one time, at NASA...

Dr Annemarie Pickersgill | University of Glasgow

@aepickersgillAnnemarie Pickersgill

Annemarie is a research assistant studying meteorite impact craters at the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow. She is interested in space and space exploration, and combines this with a passion for the outdoors by participating in analogue space missions, during which she pretends to be exploring another planet while in fact exploring our own. Her current research looks at the Chicxulub and Boltysh impact structures.

Annemarie’s previous work has included going to NASA to study shock metamorphism in Apollo samples. She will talk about that incredible experience and discuss what we think we know about the surface of the Moon.

Responsive Space: Data On-Demand

Dr Ciara McGrath | University of Strathclyde

@ciara_mcgrathxCiara McGrath

Ciara is a Research Associate at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department of the University of Strathclyde. Her research focuses on astrodynamics, and in particular the use of constellations of small satellites for Earth observation. She works closely with the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Satellite Applications, also known as SoXSA, to find space-based solutions to real world problems. As former Treasurer of UKSEDS Ciara has been involved in the organisation of three previous NSSCs.

In today’s fast-paced world, we’ve become accustomed to having everything on demand - food, TV, music, movies, taxis and lolcats are all available at the touch of a button. Sadly, space technology has not kept up with the times. There are almost 2000 man-made satellites orbiting the Earth right now, and yet users can still find themselves waiting weeks for the satellite data that they urgently need, and it’s costing lives. This talk will explore how responsive space systems can address these challenges by bringing us space on-demand and providing critical Earth observation data where it’s needed, when it’s needed.

Startups Panel

Prof. Iain Woodhouse | University of Edinburgh and Carbomap

@fortiainIain Woodhouse

Iain is passionate about forests. He aims to help combat deforestation, which accounts for 17% of the global greenhouse budget, through remote sensing and the use of airborne and satellite measurements to help us map, monitor and understand forests. Iain’s research is aimed at developing new and effective ways of measuring structural properties of a forest such as forest height, forest biomass or structural complexity. Through his teaching, capacity building and knowledge exchange activities, Iain aims to build the expertise of current and future scientists and decision makers so that they are better equipped to protect the world's forests.

Startups Panel

Mitch Hunter-Scullion | Asteroid Mining Corporation

Mitch Hunter-Scullion

Mitch is the a space mining pioneer. He founded the Asteroid Mining Corporation in March 2016 in his university bedroom and has built it into a globally recognised force in the sector. A firm advocate for space exploration and young entrepreneurship, Mitch takes pride in being one of the youngest and most notorious CEOs in the space industry.

Startups Panel

Sabine Lazuhina | Astrosat

Sabine Lazuhina

Sabine is the project leader of ThermCERT project at Astrosat, a downstream satellite services company based 6 miles east of Edinburgh. ThermCERT is a demonstrator project that uses satellite imagery to identify fuel poverty around the UK, working in collaboration with the industry client E.ON and the European Space Agency. Sabine’s career with innovative measurement technologies started in 2012 at Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (Germany). During her time in Germany, she assisted scientists in business aspect evaluation of a new, accurate wind measurement technology, designed for deployment in offshore environment.

Startups Panel

Pam Anderson | ESA

@ESABA_ScotNIPam Anderson

Pam is a Chartered Engineer with a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She has experience of various stages of the space lifecycle, gained over the last nine years whilst working in industry (Clyde Space), academia (University of Strathclyde), Catapult Centres (Satellite Applications Catapult and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult) and Space Agencies (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Pam has a passion for education and outreach which has led her to become a STEM Ambassador and part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Speakers Programme. She will also be working closely with Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), and Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s economic development agency.

The UK Fireball Network

Dr Luke Daly | University of Glasgow

@Daly_PlanetLuke Daly

Luke is a postdoctoral research associate in planetary science at the University of Glasgow. He completed his MSci in Geology at Imperial College London and his PhD at Curtin University in Australia. He specialises in nano-scale analysis of minerals in meteorites to understand how the first minerals, rocks and celestial bodies formed and evolved in our Solar System when the sun first started to shine. Luke is also part of the UK fireball network, part of a Global observatory designed to image fireballs, determine their orbits and ultimately recover meteorites.

There are >60,000 known meteorites worldwide, but only a handful of these rocks were imaged falling to provide an orbit for where they came from in our Solar System. This orbital information is vital to understand how our Solar System formed and evolved. The UK Fireball Network, a collaboration between Imperial College London, and University of Glasgow, and part of the Global Fireball Observatory are designed to image fireballs to determine both the fall position and orbit of meteorites. The UK is long overdue a meteorite fall. We will need your help to recover the first UK meteorite for 25 years.

The Dark Side of the Universe

Prof. Catherine Heymans | University of Edinburgh

Catherine Heymans

Catherine is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, and a European Research Council Fellow. She co-leads the European Southern Observatory KiDS analysis team, using deep sky observations to test whether we need to go beyond Einstein with our current theory of gravity. Catherine has co-authored over 140 articles in scientific journals and written the popular science book “The Dark Universe”. She is devoted to sharing her research with people from all backgrounds through her online course 'AstroTech' with over 40,000 students worldwide, and through art, comedy and science festivals. 

Over 95% of our universe comes in the form of dark energy and matter that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Together, these entities play out a cosmic battle with the gravity of dark matter pulling structures together, and dark energy fuelling the universe's accelerated expansion. Catherine has used the world's best telescopes to map the invisible dark matter in our universe and confront different theories on the dark universe. She will explore this and explain why she thinks that to truly understand the dark universe we need some new physics that will forever change our cosmic view.