This page will be regularly updated.

Snow Disruption

The conference is still going ahead despite the weather, but please be aware that the programme could be disrupted due to speaker delays or cancellations. Dr Hayley Evers-King and Dr Adam Stevens have had to cancel due to travel disruption. Replacement speakers are being arranged.


Registration opens on Saturday at 08:30 in the Rik Medlik building. 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.

Talks on Saturday start at 09:00 and finish at 17:30. There is then a networking reception until 19:00.

Registration opens on Sunday at 09:00. Talks start at 09:30 and finish at 14:55. The UKSEDS Annual General Meeting follows immediately afterwards and will finish at 17:00.

Please note that this programme is the expected running order of the event, but it is subject to change without notice.

Saturday 3rd March

08:30 Registration

09:00 Welcome and Opening

09:20 Kai-Uwe Schrogl

10:30 Break & Careers Fair
Kindly sponsored by Reaction Engines

11:05 SGAC UK Space Agency

11:15 Airbus Presentation Competition Hayley Evers-King
Plymouth Marine Laboratory

11:50 Xavier Geneste

12:25 Christina Giannopapa

13:00 Libby Jackson
UK Space Agency

13:35 Lunch & Careers Fair
Kindly sponsored by Thales Alenia Space

14:35 Suzie Imber
University of Leicester
Professional Bodies Panel

15:45 Break & Careers Fair

16:20 Christopher McCabe
King's College London
Sa'id Mosteshar

16:55 Samiksha Mestry
TU Delft
Nigel Mason

17:30 Presentation of Awards
UKSEDS, SSPI, & Airbus Awards

17:40 Networking Reception
Kindly sponsored by The IET

19:10 Evening Social
Sunday 4th March

09:00 Registration

09:30 British Interplanetary Society Institute of Physics

09:40 Alexandra Stickings
Royal United Services Institute
Xu Teo

10:15 Matjaz Vidmar
University of Edinburgh
Daniel Sors Raurell
Open Cosmos

10:50 Break & Careers Fair
Kindly sponsored by EUMETSAT

11:25 Earth-i Surrey Space Centre

11:35 Aurelien Toussaint & Charlotte Uljee
Sapienza Consulting
Jon Heras
Equinox Graphics

12:10 Natasha Stephen
University of Plymouth
Portia Bowman

12:45 Lunch & Careers Fair
Kindly sponsored by Surrey Space Centre

13:45 Adam Stevens
University of Edinburgh
Robert Marchbanks
University Hospital Southampton

14:20 Andy Reynolds
Ask Me Anything Panel

14:55 UKSEDS Annual General Meeting
  17:00 Day Ends

Saturday Speakers

Dr Suzie Imber (@suzieimberspace) | University of Leicester

Suzie Imber

Suzie is an Associate Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Leicester. Her research centres around understanding the interaction between the solar wind and the environment of the magnetised planets, in particular the Earth and Mercury. Suzie was also the winner of the recent BBC 2 series entitled 'Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes?' during which twelve candidates endured challenges such as hovering a helicopter, taking their own blood, speaking Russian while in a centrifuge at 5g and carrying out emergency procedures on the NASA undersea astronaut training facility, Aquarius.

ESA's Education Programme - from inspiration to hands-on experiences

Prof. Kai-Uwe Schrogl | European Space Agency (ESA)

Kai-Uwe Schrogl

Kai-Uwe is the Chief Strategy Officer of the European Space Agency, and President of the International Institute of Space Law. From 2007 to 2011 he was the Director of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria, the leading European think tank for space policy. Prior to this, he was the Head of the Corporate Development and External Relations Department in the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany. He has also worked with the German Ministry for Post and Telecommunications and the German Space Agency (DARA) in Bonn, Germany. He holds a doctorate degree in political science and lectures international relations as an Honorary Professor at Tübingen University, Germany.

ESA's Education programme spans from primary to tertiary education, from material for school children to building cubesats. This presentation provides an insight in the wealth of opportunities in particular for university students. It shall give an idea on how ESA's inspires students and how it offers hands-on experiences, qualifying them for jobs in the space sector.

A Galaxy of Her Own

Libby Jackson (@LibbyJackson__)| UK Space Agency

Libby Jackson

Libby Jackson is one of the leading UK experts in human spaceflight and currently manages the Human Spaceflight and Microgravity Programme at the UK Space Agency. Libby was UKSEDS chair in 2002. After working as Flight Director in Mission Control for the Columbus module, Europe’s laboratory on the ISS, Libby managed the UK Space Agency’s hugely successful education and outreach programme for Tim Peake’s Principia mission. Libby is a regular contributor to science communication and she has been a guest on various television and radio programmes, including Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes, Stargazing Live and Blue Peter. Libby’s debut book, A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing Stories of Women in Space, was published in November 2017.

The space industry is still a male-dominated working environment. Whilst the gender balance is improving, there is still much work to be done. Many people will know the names of Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and Tim Peake, but fewer will know of Valentina Tereshkova, Sally Ride and Helen Sharman, even though women have always played an important role in spaceflight. In her talk, Libby will shine a light on some of the unsung heroes who helped get humans into space.

Satellites, more than a job, an adventure!

Xavier Geneste | European Space Agency

Xavier Geneste

Xavier has worked for the aerospace industry since 1989 as an electronic engineer. In that time he has worked on spacecrafts for AEROSPATIALE (now Thales Alenia Space), ASTRIUM (now Airbus), and CNES (Centre National des Etudes Spatiales) on a wide range of activities from project initiation to launches. He has been at ESA since 2009 as a senior spacecraft engineer, where he deals with new technology developments for telecommunication platforms (ARTES program).

Painting the seas - the beauty of a career in Earth Observation

Dr Hayley Evers-King (@HayleyEversKing) | Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Hayley Evers-King

Hayley has had to cancel her talk due to travel disruptions caused by the snow. We are very sorry not to have her with us.

Hayley is a Marine Earth Observation Scientist working with satellite ocean colour data for a range of societally relevant applications including water quality management, ocean carbon uptake and heat fluxes, and model validation. She is also involved in validation, expert support, and training for the European Commission Copernicus programme of Earth Observation Satellites. A keen science communicator, she likes to share her love of data with the public through various talks, social media, hackathons, Massive Open Online Courses, and YouTube.

Satellite data has given an unprecedented view of life on Earth, particularly in it's vast oceans. Turning numbers in to images, and in to useful downstream products is the aim of those working in the field of marine Earth Observation. Potential applications of this data are broad - from understanding the ocean carbon cycle, to providing early warning systems for shellfish farmers. Interdisciplinary in nature, Earth Observation brings together engineers, scientists, computer programmers, economists, and communicators to find new ways to use a growing array of satellite data in the rapidly growing sector.

Detecting dark matter

Dr Christopher McCabe (@C_McCabe1) | King's College London

Christopher McCabe

Christopher undertook his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Oxford, obtaining his MPhys in Physics in 2007 and his DPhil in Theoretical Particle Physics in 2011. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP) at Durham University (2011-2014), and at the GRAPPA Centre of Excellence at the University of Amsterdam (2014-2017). In 2017, he joined King's College London as a STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer in the Department of Physics.

Dark matter is thought to make up around 85% of the matter in the Universe yet it is completely invisible. We can tell it is there because of its gravitational effect on stars and other celestial objects, but there is much more still to learn. Physicists have devised many theories and experiments to understand this mysterious substance. This talk will discuss the extraordinary searches that are currently taking place in deep underground mines, up in space and at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

From Engineering to the Political Affairs of the European Space Agency

Dr Christina Giannopapa | European Space Agency (ESA)

Christina Giannopapa

Christina is Head of the Political Affairs Office in the Strategy Department of the Director General's Services of the European Space Agency in Paris. She holds a PhD in Engineering and Applied Mathematics; an MEng in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Mechatronics; and an MBA in International Management from the University of London. Prior to joining ESA she has worked as a consultant to high-tech industries in research and technology development From 2007 to 2010, she worked in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Technical and Quality Management Directorate of ESA in the Netherlands. From 2010 to 2012 she was seconded from the Agency as Resident Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, where she supported the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC). She also holds an assistant professor position in the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Christina will provide an overview of ESA and discuss her career path from the Mechanical Engineering Department of ESA to becoming the Head of Political Affairs and what this job entails.

Space Exploration and Exploitation: Legal, Policy and Other Considerations

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

Sa'id Mosteshar

Sa’id Mosteshar advises governments, international agencies and major space corporations on legal and policy issues. He is the Director of ISPL, Professor of International Space Policy and Law, and Senior Associate Research Fellow at IALS, a member of the IAASS, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Sa'id is a frequent lecturer and a speaker at international conferences. He is a US lawyer, barrister, and holds degrees in Physics and Econometrics. He has published extensively on space, satellite and cable TV, communication, regulation, earth observation, evidence from space, and new applications for EO in developing countries.

Exploration of space is an established field. Now, some governments and corporations have expressed aims to exploit space resources, including minerals on asteroids. Exploration and exploitation are related, but differ legally and practically. The distinctions must be understood by anyone wishing to participate in the space sector. All activities in space take place within an international legal framework. Sa'id will explore the limits of that framework, and consider some of the restrictions in place, technical and legal barriers to be overcome, and how government and international policy will be crucial in the future of these activities.

Science labs across Europe

Prof. Nigel Mason | Europlanet

Nigel Mason

Nigel is Professor of Molecular Physics in the Department of Physical Sciences at the Open University. His research is centred on the study of fundamental interactions between electrons, photons, and ions with molecular species, and the study of the subsequent physical chemistry that such processes may induce. He has developed an internationally recognized research programme in astrochemistry exploring the mechanisms of molecular formation in ices accreted on dust grains in the Interstellar medium, and explored the role of electron chemistry in planetary atmospheres with particular relevance to the ionosphere of Titan. He has served on many national and international committees and co-ordinates several major European projects. He is a keen promoter of physics and public understanding of science having held senior positions in both the Institute of Physics and the British Association of Science.

Sunday Speakers

The Role of Space in Defence and Security

Alexandra Stickings (@Ali_Stickings) | Royal United Services Institute

Alexandra Stickings

Alexandra is a Research Analyst within the National Security and Resilience Studies group at RUSI. Working primarily within the Resilience strand, her research interests include community policing, Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), energy security, climate change, CBRN, cyber security, and space policy and security. She holds an MSc in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck College, University of London, a BA(Hons) in International Studies from the Open University, and a BSc(Hons) in Physics with Astronomy from the University of Nottingham. Prior to joining RUSI she worked in a variety of fields including central and local government, as well as the private sector.

This talk will explore the ways in which space is considered within various defence and security issues. Topics convered will include the space programmes of international actors, the role of space in defence, the use of satellite applications, and the resilience of space assets to both natural and man-made threats.

Agile Space - A new take on innovation in Space Industry

Matjaz Vidmar (@vidmarmatjaz) | University of Edinburgh

Matjaz Vidmar

Matjaz is a doctoral student in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh and at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. He is an (Astro)Physicist by training, with further degrees in Social Science and he is researching high-tech innovation in the (New) Space Industry, focusing on its emergence in previously peripheral countries. He is also involved in several international initiatives developing the future of Space Exploration and Industry, such as serving as the Policy Lead for the Gateway Earth Development Group and as a Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Astrosociology Research Institute. He is also a university lecturer, a mentor and tutor, and an award winning science communicator. You can find more about Matjaz, his work, and how to get in touch, at:

Global Space Industry is in a time of a radical transformation and is no longer the exclusive business of global superpowers or multi-national corporations. In particular, the emergence of New Space is changing the ways in which entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists join together to create new products and services, and making it more open and accessible to the upcoming generation. In particular, the concept of Agile Space has emerged as a unifying force across the diverse and dispersed players in this arena. In this talk, we will have a look at the development of these trends in the Scottish Space sector, transitioning from an emergent innovation network to a world-leading Space powerhouse.

Careers in Space

Portia Bowman (@portiaspace) |

Portia Bowman

Portia is an Advanced Concepts Engineer at Thales Alenia Space (Bristol). She graduated from the University of Leicester in 2014 with a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics and a Masters in Space Exploration Systems. She is one of the founders of and a Trustee of UKSEDS.

Find out what kind of jobs there are in the space industry, and the things you can do to get one.

Looking for Aliens right here on Earth

Dr Adam Stevens (@adamhstevens) | University of Edinburgh

Adam Stevens

Adam is a postdoctoral researcher at the UK Centre for Astrobiology and the University of Edinburgh. He joined UKSEDS as a student at Surrey and has continued working in space research, gaining a PhD in planetary science. Now he investigates potentially habitable environments in the solar system, mostly looking at how we might best go about looking for life on Mars.

In this talk Adam will give an overview of astrobiology research done here on Earth and what it can tell us about the potential for life in the universe. He will discuss a range of topics from laboratory microbiology to environmental simulation to analogue missions in exotic locations. He will also talk about opportunities for students to get involved in astrobiology, including schemes offered by the Astrobiology Society of Britain.

Extra-terrestrial Fieldwork; using meteorites to explore the Solar System

Dr Natasha Stephen (@NatStephen) | University of Plymouth

Natasha Stephen

Natasha's research focuses on the use of meteorites from Mars, the Moon and asteroids to study the geology of extra-terrestrial bodies throughout the Solar System, linking them to successful space missions. Astromaterials are a finite resource; scientists can never be quite sure when the next meteorite will strike therefore it's important that research using such samples preserves them for future study. As such, Natasha employs a range of non-destructive techniques to look inside the specimens, using X-rays to determine composition and crystal structure, as well as infra-red spectroscopy to link these observations to satellite/rover missions throughout the Solar System.

We've been looking up the skies for millennia, and physically exploring the Solar System for decades. Despite this, we haven't yet set foot on another extra-terrestrial body, except the Moon 45 years ago! Our Moon is the only other place in the Solar System where a geologist has bent down and examined the rocks beneath them; something that most take for granted. Instead, we employ robots, satellites and landers to explore planets, moons, comets and asteroids, and rely on random events to deliver us pieces of these other worlds, but these mystery objects are beginning to tell an exciting story...

Simplifying access to space

Daniel Sors Raurell (@Open_Cosmos) | Open Cosmos

Daniel Sors Raurell

Daniel is an aerospace engineer passionate about space science and technology. Back at university he organised different international CanSat competitions and coordinated different rocket and sounding balloon projects. He has several years of experience working at the European Space Agency and is now working as an engineer at Open Cosmos contributing to simplify access to space.

Developing a space mission has three major barriers: complex technology, consuming paperwork and extreme costs. Open Cosmos removes these three barriers providing a comprehensive one-stop-shop space mission service that includes the satellite, the launch and the operations. This allows organizations of all sizes to use space technology as a tool, articulating data-based solutions to global challenges, growing industries and groundbreaking innovation. Open Cosmos is rapidly growing and attracting the best talent.

An Ecologist Making Earth Videos from Space

Xu Teo (@teoxu) | Earth-i

Xu Teo

Xu joined Earth-i in 2015 as a key member of the dynamic Client Services team. Xu’s role is hugely diverse, with each day providing new data, projects and challenges. His role includes management of client and partner relationships, project delivery, and handling image processing and analysis, amongst many, many others. He obtained a BSc(Hons) in Ecological Science (Environmental Science) from the University of Edinburgh, and subsequently extended his background in ecology in the direction of Earth Observation, undertaking an MSc in Earth Observation & Geoinformation Management, also at Edinburgh. Fusing both his passion in the environmental sciences and remote sensing, Xu continues to learn new skills and techniques within real life examples and applications.

Xu will be talking about his role at Earth-i and how his background in ecology has given him the ability to “look beyond the pixels”. He will be touching on Earth-i's exciting plans to build the next satellite with Surrey Satellite Technology, and launch further satellites into the Vivid-i Constellation – the world’s first satellite constellation which will deliver near real-time Ultra High Definition, full-colour video and still images from space. Earth Observation is a growing industry as new technology emerges and ‘New Space’ companies enter the market. The vast amounts of data that is available means we can see the world in a way that has never been seen before.

Turning data into effective visual communication

Dr Jon Heras (@equinoxgraphics) | Equinox Graphics Ltd

Jon Heras

After a PhD in Chemical Engineering, and somewhat distracted by dabbling in computer graphics, Jon took a detour and started Equinox Graphics Ltd. With ten years' experience, he's worked for Airbus Defence & Space, UK Space Agency, SSTL and many others. He has also worked on engineering animations for Bloodhound SSC, and on technical science animations for BBC Earth and Microsoft Research, and for universities around the globe. He produces high quality, engaging, and scientifically accurate graphics, which educate and engage while staying true to the science. Jon enjoys a middle-ground, being able to talk technically to engineers, and translate this into the artistic world to bring these worlds to life.

Using lots of visual examples (both good and bad), a quick intro to some of the design decisions that are made to communicate effectively while developing an illustration or animation, while staying as true to the science as possible. And a bit of introductory technical detail about computer graphics and dealing with awkward clients.

Human mission to Mars: Preparing to take on the challenge.

Dr Robert Marchbanks | University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Robert Marchbanks

Dr Robert Marchbanks is a Doctor of Medical Engineering and a Consultant Clinical Scientist at Southampton University Hospital. He is a former Clinical Director of the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, London. He has pioneered non-surgical brain pressure measurements. Originally a spin-out from Southampton University, his company now provides medical research equipment for the International Space Station. His awards include the NASA Certificate of Recognition in appreciation for contributions made to improve human presence in space. Collaboration with NASA involves research into the major risk of visual impairment and brain pressure during long duration space missions.

The journey of humans to Mars is in an advanced stage of planning. It is a historic pioneering endeavour. A successful mission depends on engineering innovation and persistent advances in science. An incremental approach is underway with the International Space Station currently being a principal research platform. Missions beyond low-Earth orbit will follow and these will operate in elliptical lunar orbits. Major advances are required in human health and performance research to enable deep space, long duration missions. Our collaboration addresses visual and brain pressure problems that commonly develop. Effective countermeasures must be found before embarking on the Mars mission.

ECLIPSE Software for CubeSats

Aurelien Toussaint & Charlotte Uljee | Sapienza Consulting

Aurelien Toussaint Charlotte Uljee

Aurelien Toussaint is a Project Coordinator at Sapienza Consulting, in charge of the ECLIPSE software suite. Charlotte Uljee is a Recruiter at Sapienza Consulting. She joined the company two years ago and since then she has been specializing in recruiting personnel for international jobs within the Space & Defence industry.

Sapienza Consulting is a leading UK company who have been providing space mission and project support through people, software, and services to the European institutional and commercial space sector for over 20 years. Sapienza’s ECLIPSE Software Suite is tailored for space projects, and widely used throughout the space sector by organisations ranging from international agencies (ESA), industry primes (OHB, Airbus, Thales) and SMEs (QinetiQ, IberEspacio), to university projects. Aurelien and Charlotte will talk about the job opportunities available in the space and defence sectors, and how you can effectively manage your university projects (including CubeSats) with the ECLIPSE Software Suite.

The National Student Space Conference is run by UKSEDS. All logos are copyright of their respective owners.
For media enquiries, contact [email protected]