Please note that Tom Gunner, Head of Government Affairs for Airbus Defence and Space, has had to cancel and will no longer be speaking.

Saturday Keynote: The Rosetta Mission So Far

Dr Matt Taylor | European Space Agency

Dr Taylor is a project scientist on the Rosetta mission. He holds a Physics degree from the University of Liverpool, and a PhD from Imperial College London. His career has focused on in-situ space plasma measurements, working in Europe and the US on the four spacecraft ESA Cluster mission, leading to a post at ESA which started in 2005 working in the area of project science for Cluster and the ESA-China Double Star mission. His studies have focused on energetic particle dynamics in near-Earth space and in the interaction of the Sun’s solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field, particularly focusing on how boundary layer interactions evolve, leading to over 70 first or co-authored papers.

The aim of the Rosetta mission is to map the comet 67-P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by remote sensing, to examine its environment in-situ and its evolution in the inner solar system. The lander Philae became the first device to land on a comet and perform in-situ science on the surface. Launched in March 2004 and after a number of gravity assists and various asteroid fly–bys, the spacecraft entered deep space hibernation in June 2011. Nearly 10 years after launch on 20th January 2014 at 10:00 UTC the spacecraft woke up from hibernation, and subsequently successfully entered into orbit around the comet. In November 2014, the lander was deployed to the surface of the comet. Dr Taylor's talk will cover all the developments of the mission so far.

Sunday Keynote: Structural Challenges in the Martian Environment

Abbie Hutty | Airbus Defence and Space

Ms Hutty is a Spacecraft Structures Engineer on Airbus’ ExoMars Rover Project. She gained her Masters’ Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Surrey University where she received several awards and prizes for her achievements, including her placement year at SSTL, and her Masters’ thesis on the use of composites in spacecraft structures. She joined Astrium at Stevenage, now Airbus Defence and Space, as a Mechanical Engineer in 2010. She now leads a team of specialists in the design of the ExoMars Rover Vehicle Structure, and enjoys talking about her role to students and the wider public in order to promote engineering careers and the study of STEM subjects to the next generation. In 2013 she was selected as the IMechE’s Young Member of the Year and later named as the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year.

ESA’s ExoMars programme, currently under development, will investigate the Martian environment looking for signs of life, past or present. In a mission scheduled for launch in 2018, the ExoMars Rover will be capable of autonomous surface mobility, subsurface drilling, and sample collection and analysis using a suite of instruments dedicated to exobiology and geochemical research. Airbus Defence and Space at Stevenage is at the forefront of the mission, responsible for the Rover Vehicle. The structures team face various challenges particular to Mars, notably temperature, dust, and the need for planetary protection from bio-contaminants. Ms Hutty will present a mission overview, and some of the fundamental challenges her team are working to overcome.


Challenges of Hypersonic Air-Breathing Flight

Dr David M. Birch | University of Surrey

Dr Birch is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Surrey, a visiting lecturer at Imperial College and head of the Surrey Fluid Sensor Development Initiative. He trained in Canada as an experimental aerodynamicist, and his work now concentrates on turbulence and the fundamental physics of fluid flows.

Dr Birch’s talk will review some of the technologies and challenges remaining in the development of hypersonic, air-breathing propulsion systems aimed at reducing the propellant mass fraction of launch vehicles.

What is a Space Job?

Jenni Doonan | HE Space

Ms Doonan is the UK Business Development Manager for the HE Space Group. She holds a degree in Computing & Electronics, as well as Astronautics & Space Engineering, and has 14 years of experience in the space sector in both the public and private sectors, having worked on the Meteosat and Galileo satellite programmes, and the installation of the satellite control centre at Harwell. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the growing UK space sector and mentors IET members, helping them develop their space careers.

Ms Doonan’s presentation will provide an overview of careers within the UK and European space sector. This will include an introduction to the sector, example careers, and details on how to tailor your CV for your dream space job.

Leave Your Footprint on Mars

David Rokeach | Time Capsule to Mars

Mr Rokeach is the Business Director for Time Capsule to Mars, a student-led non-profit mission that plans to build, launch, and land a time capsule on Mars. He holds a degree in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University, is currently studying for a MBA at Duke University, and was previously a policy adviser in the US House of Representatives. In this role, he helped shape federal policy on space, science, energy, and defence.

Mr Rokeach will discuss the importance of making space accessible to everyone and helping people develop a personal connection with the cosmos. His talk will also detail the mission of Time Capsule to Mars, which will carry a “Snapshot of Humanity” with digital content uploaded by individuals from around the world, and how each member of the audience can leave their own footprints on the Red Planet.

Astrobiology: The Hunt for Alien Life

Dr Lewis Dartnell | University of Leicester

Dr Dartnell is a UK Space Agency research fellow based at the University of Leicester, studying how life, and signs of its existence, might survive the cosmic radiation on the Martian surface. He also holds an STFC Science in Society Fellowship, and writes regular science articles in newspapers and magazines, appears in TV documentaries, and has written three popular science books: Life in the Universe: A Beginner’s Guide, My Tourists Guide to the Solar System, and The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch.

Dr Dartnell’s talk will introduce Astrobiology, a brand new field of science, asking: What actually is ‘life’ and how did it emerge on our own world? What are the most extreme conditions terrestrial life can tolerate? And where in the cosmos might we reasonably expect to find ET?

UKube-1: Overview and Lessons

Steve Greenland | Clyde Space Ltd/University of Strathclyde

Mr Greenland is currently undertaking an Industrial Fellowship between Clyde Space (where he is a systems engineer) and the University of Strathclyde into Rapid Realisation of Novel Nanosatellite Mission Concepts. He was the technical lead on the UKube-1 mission, and is currently working to define and set-up lab facilities in the UK to facilitate more and future nanosatellite missions in the UK.

Mr Greenland’s presentation will give an overview of UKube-1, a 3 U pilot CubeSat project launched in July of last year by Clyde Space, and discuss its initial in-orbit results, and the lessons learned during its development and operation.

Not Everyone Can Be An Astronaut

Nick Howland | Printech Circuit Laboratories

Mr Howland is the Sales Manager at Printech Circuit Laboratories. He is a chemist by training, and has been involved in the manufacture of printed circuit boards for over 30 years, building a vast experience in the materials and techniques used in this specialist area. At Printech he has helped produce parts for many space missions, the most recent being GAIA launched just before Christmas 2014.

Mr Howland's talk will focus on the missions that Printech have been involved in, the requirements and difficulties of manufacturing product for flight, the challenges of a small business working for very large organisations and OEMs, and how these challenges and difficulties promote new technologies and ideas that help move the space sector forwards.

Digital Rights in Space

Richard Graham | Richemont/ISPL

Mr Graham is Head of Digital within the Intellectual Property Department of Richemont, owner of several of the world’s leading luxury goods firms. He is a specialist in technology, telecommunications, data protection, and information security, and is a faculty member at the London Institute of Space Policy and Law.

Mr Graham’s talk will provide an overview of the rapidly evolving field of space law, including the legal issues associated with content that is produced in, relayed through, and stored in space, and how laws are applied and enforced in a territory that nobody owns.

The Future of Citizen Science : Why We're doomed Without a Crowd

Prof. Chris Lintott | University of Oxford/Zooniverse

Prof. Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College. As the Principle Investigator for Zooniverse.org, he leads a team which have helped more than a million people classify galaxies and discover planets. He is best known as co-presenter of the Sky at Night, and has written a couple of books with the late Patrick Moore, and Brian May.

In his talk, Prof. Lintott will discuss the recent growth and success of citizen science projects, and take look at the future of the collaboration between amateur and professional astronomers, and the obstacles to opening up science even further.

You & Your Future: Career Pathways in Space Academia

Dr Chris Bridges | Surrey Space Centre

Dr Bridges is a Lecturer and On-board Data Handling Group lead at Surrey Space Centre. He holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Greenwich, and a PhD in Agent Computing for Distributed Satellite Systems from the University of Surrey. He researches computing upgrades in single and multiple satellite scenarios such as the STRaND1 CubeSat, and the development of software defined radios both on-board and in groundstations.

Drawing on his own experiences, Dr Bridges will discuss the differing routes into academia and the types of work available within the space industry. He will discuss the research and missions at Surrey Space Centre, and the opportunities students have at Surrey to work on projects such as STRaND1 and ESA’s ESEO mission.

Opportunities for Graduates with CGI Space

Andrew Henry | CGI

Mr Henry is a system designer in CGI Space where he works on software for the Galileo global navigation system, as well as Earth Observation applications. He has also recently returned from the Mars Desert Research Station where he field tested software that he developed for improving the safety of astronauts on surface EVAs. He holds a BEng in Software Engineering, and an MSc in Space Studies.

Mr Henry will introduce CGI, the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world, and talk about the current graduate opportunities with the company as well as some of the exciting projects that they are currently working on. CGI (previously Logica) has over 40 years heritage delivering complex, mission-critical space systems for the space industry and have supported the missions of more than 200 satellites including most European navigation, communication, science, exploration (such as Huygens, Beagle 2, and Rosetta) and earth observation missions.

Putting the UK Back into Space

Dr Adam Baker | University of Kingston

Dr Baker is a senior lecturer in Astronautics & Space Engineering in the school of aerospace & aircraft at the University of Kingston, where he organises ‘Space Vehicle Design’ and ‘Space Mission analysis’ modules, and runs the Kingston University RocketLab and the Astro research group. Dr Baker holds a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Oxford, and was a member of the UKSEDS Committee in 1990 and 1993.

Dr Baker’s talk will cover the UK’s involvement in space from the 1960s onwards, how it became the only country to have successfully developed and then abandoned satellite launch capability, how we change the UK’s lack of involvement in astronautics and launch vehicles, and crucially how you get involved.

SpaceBoard: Sharing a Passion for Space

Maxime Sixdeniers | SpaceBoard

Mr Sixdeniers is Project Manager of SpaceBoard, an online platform that aims to build a network of current and former students of space-related master programmes across Europe. He is a recent graduate of the Erasmus Mundus SpaceMaster programme and is currently working at Airbus Defence & Space in southern Germany.

In his talk, Mr Sixdeniers will give an introduction to SpaceBoard, why it was created, and its ambitious plan to raising awareness and educating the general public about the interests and benefits of space science and technology.

Lunar Mission One

Prof. Ian Crawford | Birkbeck College/Lunar Mission One

Prof. Crawford is an astronomer turned planetary scientist and is currently Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London. He holds degrees in Astronomy from University College London, and an MSc in Geophysics and Planetary Science from Newcastle University. He is an advisor to both the European Space Agency and Lunar Mission One.

Prof. Crawford’s talk will describe the scientific objectives, and novel funding mechanism of Lunar Mission One – a proposed publicly funded mission to explore the south pole of the Moon and deposit a ‘time capsule’ below the lunar surface.

The Future of the UK’s Space Programme

Dr Alice Bunn | UK Space Agency

Dr Bunn is Director of Policy at the UK Space Agency, where she works to drive the growth of the UK space sector, and provides policy advice to the Minister for Universities and Science. Dr Bunn holds a doctorate in Metallurgy from the University of Cambridge, and was Head of Earth Observation Future Missions at the Natural Environment Research Council before joining UKSA.

Dr Bunn’s talk will focus on the increasing importance of the UK space sector and the steps that we need to take in order to meet ambitious growth targets.


The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2015 & the IAC Student Paper Competition

Alistair Scott & Stuart Eves | British Interplanetary Society

Mr Scott is President of the British Interplanetary Society, and was formerly an engineer on the Trident, HS125, A300B Airbus and HS146 aircraft, and a PR adviser at Astrium.

Mr Eves is Lead Mission Concepts Engineer for Airbus Defence and Space, and Chair of the BIS Education and Outreach Committee.

Mr Scott will introduce the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, which recognise individuals and teams for outstanding achievements in space activities. The 2015 categories are Space Achievement by an Industry/Project Team, an Industry/Project Individual, an Academic Study/Research Team or Individual, an Education and Outreach Team or Individual, a Student or Student Team and a Media Broadcast or Writing Team or Individual.

Mr Eves will launch the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Student Paper Competition, an initiative of the BIS which enables undergraduate or postgraduate students the opportunity to attend the world’s largest astronautics/space engineering conference. This year the IAC will be held in Jerusalem, Israel.


Alan Smith | SEDS-USA

Mr Smith is a PhD student with the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR) at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research focus explores various scientific and commercial applications of novel orbit determination techniques. He is a Chateaubriand Fellow, AFRL UNP-7 participant, and entrepreneur looking to contribute to the increasing accessibility of space through educational and technical ingenuity.​

Mr Smith will give an overview of SEDS-USA, UKSEDS sister organisation in the United States, and it's line-up of exciting events, promising opportunities, and ambitious programmes through 2015.


Pia Becker & Patrick Lorrig | EUROAVIA

Mrs Becker is a Aerospace Master's student at the University of Stuttgart, and current President of the International Board of EUROAVIA.

Mr Lorrig is also studying Aerospace Engineering at Stuttgart, and is the Head of the EUROAVIA Young Engineers foundation and a member of the EUROAVIA Design Workshop Working Group within EUROAVIA international.

Mrs Becker and Mr Lorrig will introduce the structure of EUROAVIA, the European Association of Aerospace students, and its future international and local events.

Student Radio Projects

Hannah Osborne | XRT-C

Ms Osborne is a second year Physics with Astrophysics student at the University of Exeter. She is the outreach executive for the Exeter Radio Telescope at Caradon (XRT-C) project, a UKSEDS national project to build a 4.5m radio telescope for education and research.

Her talk will introduce XRT-C, which when completed will observe star formation in the Milky-way and bright radio sources from the early universe, and cover the challenges of the project, as well as the scientific applications of the telescope, and the ways in which you can be involved in the project.

Student Radio Projects

James Telfer | Surrey EARS

Mr Telfer is a second year Electronic Engineering student at the University of Surrey, and the president of Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society (EARS), UKSEDS’ branch at the university.

His talk will introduce EARS, a society which predates the formation of the university and was started by SSTL Chairman Sir Martin Sweeting, its projects, which include building its own satellite groundstation, and its long involvement in space activities.

Innovate UK, Space Applications and New Opportunities for Students and Graduates

Dr Craig Brown | Innovate UK

Dr Brown is Lead Space Technologist at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), with a particular emphasis on satellite communications. He previously worked at Airbus Defence and Space in both upstream and downstream parts of the industry, firstly as Principal Mission Systems engineer, focusing on early-stage ESA missions, and then as Principal Innovation Engineer, working for the Chief Technical Officer and the Director of Innovation in Astrium Services. Dr Brown studied for his PhD at the University of Leicester in space instrumentation for future planetary and astrophysics missions. He was a member of the UKSEDS Committee from 1999 to 2000.

This talk will give an introduction to Innovate UK and its activities in the UK space sector, including some specific opportunities for students and graduates interested in space.

T-minus 4 Billion Years Until Almost Certain Doom

Dr Jen Gupta | Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth

Dr Gupta is the SEPnet/Ogden Outreach Officer for the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth. She is a radio astronomer by training and did her PhD at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics where she studied radio-loud active galactic nuclei.

In this talk Dr Gupta, will talk about the inevitable doom of the human race when, in 4 billion years time, the Sun come to the end of its life, and our nearest spiral galaxy neighbour will be preparing to crash into our own Milky Way. She will also give an overview of some of the other numerous ways that the Universe is trying to kill us.

SKYLON and the SABRE Engine

Jeremy Nickless | Reaction Engines Ltd

Mr Nickless is a member of the business development team at Reaction Engines Ltd, developer of the SABRE engine and the SKYLON spaceplane. He is also the current Chair of UKSEDS and was previously its Treasurer.

His talk will detail the development of the revolutionary SABRE engine and the SKYLON vehicle design for which the engine is intended. Following the successful manufacture and demonstration of Reaction Engines’ pre-cooler technology in 2012, the team are now expanding in staff and activities to design, manufacture and test the world’s first Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine. This new class of engine has the potential to bring hypersonic capabilities to the aerospace industry, opening up the solar system to greater economic exploitation, and exploration.

Space at Surrey

Dr Susan Jason | SSTL

Dr Jason is an engineer in SSTL’s science division, working on a number of new mission activities including exoplanet IR spectroscopy and lunar orbiters. She received her a degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Leeds, and an MSc and PhD in Space Science and Engineering from Cranfield University. She joined SSTL in 1999 and has worked on concept design, systems engineering and programme management on a range of missions.

Dr Jason’s talk will cover some of the past, present and future highlights of SSTL’s pioneering use of small satellites over the last thirty years, as well as giving an insider’s view of space at Surrey.

Simulating the Universe

Prof. Justin Read | University of Surrey

Prof. Read is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Surrey where he works to uncover the nature of dark matter by comparing numerical simulations of the universe with a host of observational data. He holds a PhD in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, and was formerly a lecturer at the University of Leicester. He was recently awarded the MERAC Prize by the European Astronomical Society for his high impact research in computational astrophysics and cosmology.

In this talk, Prof. Read will show how we can use simulations to model many different ‘universes’, each with slightly different physics, and by comparing these with observational data, advance our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve; the nature of the mysterious ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ that appear to make up most of the universe, and how ‘supermassive black holes’ that lurk at the centres of galaxies grow to their enormous sizes.

WIMP Hunting: The Search for Dark Matter

Dr Anne Green | University of Nottingham

Dr Green is an Associate Professor & Reader in Physics at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests are in the field of astroparticle physics, at the interface between astrophysics and particle physics. The main focus of her current work is the search for dark matter, in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs).

Dr Green’s talk will cover the observational evidence for dark matter, invisible exotic material made of new elementary particles, on scales ranging from galaxies to the entire universe, as well as the current status of experiments to detect WIMPs, which arise in particle physics models which unify the fundamental forces, directly, in the lab, and indirectly, via the their annihilation products.

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