Space Ambassadors

Space ambassadors Your regional space education support

There are seven regional space ambassadors associated with the ESERO-UK project; they can each be freely contacted for advice and guidance on space activities and useful teaching resources. You can find the biography and contact details for your local space ambassador below.

Find Your Local Space Ambassador
Removing the Planck telescope's protective cover (Credits: ESA Ė S. Corvaja)
Profile image for Allan Clements - North East, Yorkshire and the Humber

Allan Clements - North East, Yorkshire and the Humber

01904 328377

From: England - North East, Yorkshire and the Humber

Allan Clements graduated with a first class honours degree in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Reading in 1973. He went on to do research in physical chemistry and was awarded a PhD in 1976. He joined ICI plc as a research chemist and over nearly 30 years with the company gained substantial experience in manufacturing, business management and the acquisition/divestment of businesses in an international context. He ran ICI's European Explosives business before becoming Director of the Chemical Industry Education Centre (CIEC) at the University of York in 2005. He is totally committed to helping and supporting teachers to help their students achieve their potential in STEM subjects.

His work at the CIEC used the chemical industry as the successful context to support the teaching of science, particularly in primary schools. Allan, as manager of the ESERO-UK project at the National STEM Centre, is now looking forward to using the exciting Space context to enrich the teaching of STEM subjects across all school years and inspire pupils to take and enjoy STEM subjects.

Allan is also a primary school governor and is the President of the Association of Science Education's Yorkshire & Humber region.

Profile image for Mike Grocott - South West

Mike Grocott is a Physics AST and teaches at Callington Community College, he was awarded a Gatsby Teachers Fellowship for his work on producing support materials for non physicists. Mike has presented at the Space Exploration Educators Conference in Houston, Texas and worked with Lego Education on the use of Lego Robotics in the curriculum.

Callington Space Centre is an educational resource based at Callington Community College located on the Cornish/Devon border. The centre is run by Mike Grocott, resident astronomer Clive Purchase and Office manager and educational support staff Lisa Grocott. The courses offered are suitable for all ages from 6-106. The main focuses of the courses are for Key Stage 1-5. These are led by Clive whilst teacher INSET conferences are delivered by Mike.

All the courses and residential experiences offered are designed by Mike, however these courses can be tailored to suit individual schools' needs.

Clive has been an Astronomer for the past 30 years, he worked with Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the 1999 solar eclipse and was awarded a Millennium Award for his work in the community. Clive travels extensively around the Southern Counties delivering the vast range of courses offered.

Profile image for Dan Hillier - Scotland

Dan Hillier - Scotland

0131 668 8406

From: Scotland

Dan Hillier is Head of Public Engagement with National Laboratories, at the Science and Technology Facilities Council. He leads the leads the UK Dark Sky and Big Telescope public engagement programmes.

ESERO-UK in Scotland has a steering group with representatives from all the sectors involved in space education in Scotland:

- Dan Hillier, Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre
- Stuart Farmer, Association for Science…Read more Education Scotland
- Gregor Steel, SSERC
- Alison McLure, Institute of Physics Scotland
- John Brown, Glasgow University/Astronomer Royal for Scotland
- Martin Hendry, Glasgow University
- Moyna Kennedy, STEMNET Scotland
- Jo Foo, Glasgow Science Centre
- Joanne Ward, Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Scottish Government
- Wendy French, Learning and Teaching Scotland
- Ross White, Scottish Enterprise
- Lesley Bragg, Skills Development Scotland
- Gordon McVie, Scottish Space School, Strathclyde University

Profile image for Tom Mason - Northern Ireland

Tom Mason - Northern Ireland

028 3752 3689

From: Northern Ireland

Dr Tom Mason is a geologist and has been Director of Armagh Planetarium since August 1996. He studied at Queen's University Belfast and his undergraduate degree in 1971 was followed by research into the Carboniferous palaeoenvironments of west Fermanagh which earned him a PhD in July 1974. From July 1974 to August 1996 he worked in South Africa as an academic geologist, researcher and consultant: he was promoted from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, and from Associate Professor to ad hominem Research Professor and Director of the Marine Geoscience Unit at the Department of Geology & Applied Geology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Based at the Durban campus of UKZN Tom's research and consulting interests encompassed a diverse range of topics including dinosaurs and mammal-like reptiles, trace fossils, coal deposits, diamond deposits on the African southwest coast, Namibian desert palaeoenvironments, and coastal zone geology and geomorphology. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers.

In 1996 he returned to Northern Ireland as Director of Armagh Planetarium. Since then he has driven a programme of rebuilding, refurbishment and re-investment, and the rebuilt Armagh Planetarium re-opened to the public in August 2006. Honoured with the award of an MBE in March 2006 for his services to astronomy education in Northern Ireland, he planned Armagh Planetarium's rebirth.

He has a long term interest in working with young people and special needs children and served as the Department of Education's representative governor of Lisanally Special School. He has been active in adult education and life-long learning throughout his professional career, running special palaeontology field trips for interested amateurs in South Africa, and working with community education groups. He has made numerous presentations of science and astronomy workshops and continues to develop new workshops and demonstrations for schools to promote the STEM agenda. He served as President of the British Association of Planetaria from 2005 to 2008 and is currently an office bearer and President of the International Planetarium Society .

Profile image for Andy Newsam - North West and Shropshire

Andy Newsam's first degree was in Computation Physics at Warwick University after which he decided to move into astronomy and completed a PhD at Glasgow University. After submitting his thesis on "Mapping the Large Scale Structure of the Universe" he entered the heady world of observational astronomy with a Postdoctoral job at Southampton University studying the Cosmic X-ray Background. Andy describes how "After discovering some of the delights of professional observation (jet-lag, freezing cold, sleep deprivation, altitude sickness etc.) I became hooked and have taken every opportunity since to go observing".

Andy has always had a big interest in the public reaction to and appreciation of science and when the opportunity came to move up to Liverpool John Moores University in 1998 to work on a big project to get the general public, and especially school children, actively involved in astronomy through the use of professional telescopes, he grabbed it with both hands and has been there ever since. The project, which has since evolved into the National Schools' Observatory, brings together astronomy, high-technology, education and enterprise in a way that is unique. The aim is to allow school children to make their own observations alongside professional astronomers on top-quality telescopes. Based around the Liverpool Telescope - the largest fully-robotic telescope in the world - the full power of the Internet has been brought to bear to open-up the science, excitement and beauty of the Universe to a whole generation of children (and their parents and teachers!)

This has led Andy to develop a keen interest in using Space as a means of promoting a wider appreciation of science as a whole and he is involved in a range of projects - regional, national and international. Examples include: starting up a Merseyside Branch of the British Science Association, providing input on education and outreach to the Astronet project (which provides a Roadmap for Astronomy and Space research in Europe), being the Institute of Physics Schools' Lecturer for 2010 and founding the Science Butlers experimental street theatre company. In recognition of his wide range of experience he was awarded a Readership in Astronomy Education by the university in 2006.

Alongside all that, Andy's astronomical research has continued. Andy tends to work on projects that have a large quantity of observations data to deal with and he specialises in trying to turn hundreds (or even thousands) of sets of data into a collection of workable, useful numbers. Because of that he is involved in a number of different "fields" in astronomy from extra-solar planets, through microlensing studies to gamma-ray bursts and quasars.

Profile image for Anu Ojha - Midlands and South East

Anu Ojha has been an Executive Director of the National Space Centre since 2008 and is Director of the UK’s National Space Academy programme. He co-led the development for Government of the National Framework for Higher Apprenticeships for the Space Sector and has contributed to a number of National and International policy studies including ESA/EU strategies for skills and education in the 21st Century (2010) ,the UK’s Space Exploration Review (2009), Innovation and Growth Strategy (2010) and Space Growth Action Plan (2013).

Prior to joining the National Space Centre he spent fifteen years in teaching culminating in being Assistant Principal of the largest specialist science college in the UK. During this time he was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) status in 2003 by the UK Government for excellence in teaching and was also a National Lead Practitioner (physics) for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. He continues to teach physics as part of the National Space Academy’s Space Engineering and Higher Apprenticeship courses run in partnership with Loughborough College and the University of Leicester and is also leading the development of new international teaching programmes for the European Space Agency (ESA) for students and teachers.

He is a member of STFC’s Public Engagement Panel and is the UK delegate to, and Vice-President of, the Astronautics Records Commission of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) – the world governing body for airsports and human spaceflight achievements.

In 2010 he was presented with the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Inspiration by the UK space sector and was appointed OBE for services to science education in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Profile image for Paul Roche - Wales

Prof. Paul Roche is Chair of Astronomy Education at the Univ. of South Wales, Director of the Faulkes Telescopes Project, and since 2000 has been the UK National Schools' Astronomer. He has spent over 25 years researching massive stars, neutron stars and black holes, and working in schools and public outreach.

Paul has previously worked at the University of Sussex, Leicester University, University of Glamorgan, National Space Centre, Techniquest Science Discovery Centre, Cardiff University and the Open University. He is involved with a number of national and international STEM educational programmes, such as Down2Earth, Gaia and Go Lab.

His current outreach role involves promoting the new generation of robotic, internet-controlled telescopes, such as the Faulkes Telescopes, located in Hawaii and Australia, with others in Chile, South Africa and the US. These form a global telescope network, primarily for research but with strong educational possibilities.

Other Space Partners

Profile image for Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist, she studied at Imperial College where she obtained a degree in Physics and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Since then she has spent her career making novel, bespoke instrumentation. These have ranged from hand held land mine detectors to systems for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Maggie also has a science in society fellowship from the Science and Technology Facilities Council held at UCL. This enables her to engage the public with the science she loves. Through this work Maggie makes regular appearances on television and radio as a space and education expert and presenting science to a general audience.

To further share her love of science, Maggie has also set up her own company Science Innovation Ltd. Through this Maggie conducts “Tours of the Universeâ€¬Ě and other public engagement activities, these show school children and adults the wonders of space. To date she has given these talks to over 100,000 people across the globe (90,000 of these have been school children in the UK) and has also produce a film through her company called Space in the UK, which features Maggie on a Big Brother¬Ě spaceship on a journey to Mars.

Profile image for Sue Andrews

Having obtained a BSc Special Honours in Physiology at the University of Sheffield, Sue went on to take a year’s PGCE that led to a career in teaching, becoming a deputy head teacher and later acting head. Her career changed direction after spotting an advert for advisory teacher at CIEC Promoting Science, Dept of Chemistry at the University of York.

In her new role, she delivered the Children Challenging Industry project across the North West. Her job entailed persuading manufacturing industries to run exciting visits to their sites for primary children, delivering CPD for teachers and teaching practical investigative science to 8-11 year olds. In 12 years as advisory teacher, she worked with more than 10,000 primary-aged pupils and 3,000 primary teachers, carrying out exciting, practical, enquiry-driven science lessons set within industrial contexts. She recruited over 70 chemical and allied companies across the region and helped them to plan visits to their sites for primary pupils. Her work was acknowledged when she received an award for ‘outstanding contribution’ from the Chemical Industries Association.

Other work has included: developing resources for teachers and industry; training ambassadors to support primary teachers in the classroom; mentoring groups of primary schools hoping to achieve the prestigious Primary Science Quality Mark award and coordinating a project for HE STEM that involved building links between primary schools, high schools and universities. Most recently, she played a key role in developing the innovative resource ‘Is There Anyone Out There?’ sponsored by ESERO, based upon real space missions seeking to find evidence of life on Mars. Sue has enjoyed enthusing primary teachers to deliver the practical investigations from the resource, aiming to inspire young scientists to develop an interest in STEM subjects and pursue possible careers in this field.

She has led, and helped to develop, courses for teachers and teaching assistants at the National Science Learning Centre, is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Trustee on the board of Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Museum.

Profile image for Graham Colman

Graham Colman is Director of Mathematics at the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich, UK and Maths Lead for the Norfolk & Suffolk Maths Hub.

Having taught secondary (11-18) Mathematics since 2001, he is one of two SSAT Senior Lead Practitioners for Mathematics in the UK with responsibility for organising mathematics speakers for the UK SSAT Maths and Science conference in recent years. Graham has significant experience in using Space and Astronomy to teach Maths having completed several projects with NASA, ESA and more. He also runs a popular mathematics teaching website at

Profile image for Judith Green

Judith Green is an excited and enthusiastic teacher of science at Robert Smyth Academy in Leicestershire where she is a Lead Practitioner. She has been a Lead Educator with the National Space Academy, based at the National Space Centre in Leicester since 2008 and is also a Teacher Fellow with the Ogden Trust, working with a partnership of primary schools to develop science and physics teaching and learning.

At school she is based in Robert Smyth’s Space Education Centre which as well as a being a classroom for GCSE and A level teaching, is also a base for outreach work with a whole range of community groups.

Judith has presented at the Space Exploration Educators Conference in Houston, Texas and was awarded the Royal Society’s Hauksbee medal for excellence in supporting STEM in 2010. More recently she has been working with ESA to produce films for their Teach with Space collection of resources.

Profile image for Paul Hill

Paul Hill

01249 816694

From: England - South West

Paul Hill is an experienced teacher in both science and humanities, spending most of his career within special needs education. He has worked in a range of schools from rural upper schools to inner-city comprehensives, has led departments and been an assistant head of post-16. Paul also worked in Tanzania working with local organisations and authorities on the setting up of a new school and a teacher training programme.

Paul has been hooked on astronomy since the age of 8 when he first gazed through a telescope at Halley's Comet and has a deep interest in the history of astronomy and space science. He studied Astronomy and Planetary science with the Open University and has a particular interest in globular clusters and astronomical art and sketching.

As well as tutoring students with special educational needs, Paul runs Sirius Astronomy a space science and astronomy education business working mainly in the South and South West, providing workshops and demonstrations to schools and other groups. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and co-writes and presents the popular Awesome Astronomy podcast. Paul has appeared on BBC World news and radio to talk about astronomy and space and gives talks to a range of groups and organisations promoting astronomy, space and science history. He is also part of the team that created and runs the biannual Astrocamp, a family friendly astronomy and space science event that takes place in the Brecon Beacon National and Dark Sky Park.

Profile image for Victoria Hodges

Vicki is an AOCS (Attitude and Orbit Control Systems) Engineer for Astrium Ltd based in Stevenage. She currently works on the GAIA Spacecraft Project and is responsible for one of the five spacecraft “operational modes” designed to control the attitude and orbit of the spacecraft throughout its 6.5 year lifetime. She graduated in 2006 from the University of Surrey gaining a degree in Physics with Satellite Technology and joined Astrium Ltd shortly afterwards as part of the Graduate development programme.

Vicki has recently become the Education Outreach Officer at Astrium Ltd’s Stevenage site having been heavily involved in educational outreach activities since joining the company. She was responsible for developing and implementing a visit programme for school groups visiting the Astrium sites which involves a series of activities designed to help students understand the importance of Space technology in their daily lives and to show them how the Physics and Maths they are learning at school can be used to design and build spacecraft. The programme has been a huge success, inspiring the next generation of satellite engineers and space scientists. In her role as Education Outreach Officer, she manages the development of new educational resources to be used for company outreach and takes part in many STEM events and activities in local schools.

In May 2009 she was awarded the Institute of Physics and Shell Very Early Career Woman Physicist of the Year Award for her work in industry and in promoting Physics to the younger generation.

In addition she runs an Engineering Masterclass for the Royal Institution of Great Britain as part of their Engineering Masterclasses series. She has also given some public lectures organised through the Institute of Physics.

In her spare time she is a Cub Scout Leader at her local Cub pack.

Profile image for David Jenkins

David Jenkins has a PhD in nuclear physics. Following research posts at Argonne National Laboratory in the US and the University of Liverpool, he moved to the University of York with a five-year EPSRC Advanced Fellowship. He is now a Reader in the Department of Physics at the University of York. He carries out research into experimental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics at a range of facilities in Europe and North America such as CERN. He teaches astronomy and astrophysics to undergraduate students and is in charge of the joint Physics with Astrophysics degree programme at York. He is responsible for the university observatory and its optical telescopes.

David is extensively involved in public engagement work. In 2007-2009, he held an STFC Science-in-Society fellowship during which time he worked closely with the National Science Learning Centre, including running his own Teachers Conferences on nuclear physics. He has given major public lectures at science festivals and elsewhere. He runs a variety of outreach events for schools involving hands-on workshops and astronomical observing. He is developing the university observatory site into an "Astrocampus" for public engagement with the local community and schools.

Profile image for Sheila Kanani

Education, outreach and diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society.

A planetary physicist, science presenter, secondary school physics teacher and space comedienne with a background in astrophysics and astronomy research from UK universities. Her experience includes being an ambassador of science, public speaking, events organisation, science journalism and school visits. Sheila provides space science consultancy on various levels, including for television, print and web media. She has taught physics to wide audiences; from teenagers who attended Space School UK in Leicester to qualified pharmacists in Kerala, India.

Sheila is a Londoner by birth but a space cadet in her heart! From the age of 13 she knew that space was the inspiring force behind most of her decisions. Her route through life has been interesting and varied, including gap years doing voluntary work in Mexico and Peru and astrophysics in the outback of Australia. Sheila has an Honours degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Manchester and a PhD in Planetary and Plasma Physics from UCL.

She attended Space School UK as a student and was chosen to represent the UK at space camps in Alabama, USA and Moscow, Russia. Her research has taken her to the famous Jodrell Bank Observatory, an Australian telescope facility searching for exoplanets in Sydney and to an old mansion in Surrey where she used the Cassini spacecraft to study the Lord of the Rings, Saturn.

Sheila is hoping to use the inspiring qualities of space science to enthuse future scientists, engineers and mathematicians and thus spent 2 years as a secondary school teacher in Preston, Lancashire, teaching science and physics to 9-16 year olds.

She has provided space education consultancy and presented for Imperative Space/GovEd and Venture Thinking and is a trustee for the charity Spacelink Learning Foundation. She is also on the British Interplanetary Society’s Project Icarus outreach team, in charge of e-interviews and science journalism. Sheila is one of the faces and a member of the ‘Science Grrl’ initiative, which began as a 2013 calendar showing the ‘real face of female science’ and has since flourished.

She teaches and mentor at Space School UK, is STEM ambassador for science and enjoys visiting schools, giving talks and workshops, and inspiring future astronauts of any age! She was chosen to represent the science ambassadors on Teacher’s TV and has subsequently been in more educational programs and podcasts, recently making the front page of the Guardian website with a new video about Saturn and the Solar System. She has a keen interest in science comedy in pubs, theatres and science festivals and has performed with Helen Keen, Robin Ince and Helen Arney.

Follow her on Twitter @saturnsheila

Profile image for Tom Lyons

Tom Lyons has a BSc in Physics from Sussex University, and an MSc in Space Science from UCL. Tom spent 4 years working as a payload systems engineer for EADS Astrium Ltd, in Portsmouth. At Astrium, he spent most of his time working on the test satellites for Galileo, the European constellation of global positioning satellites. Whilst working there, he led activities in the Science and Engineering Ambassadors Scheme.

In 2005, Tom completed a PCGE in Secondary Science and started teaching Physics and Electronics A-level, at The Sixth Form College Farnborough. He spent 6 years in teaching before moving to his current role as ESERO Teacher Fellow, at the National STEM Centre. Tom would like to use his teaching experience and passion for physics and space science to help teachers use space as a context to enhance their teaching of STEM subjects.

Profile image for Heather MacRae

Heather MacRae has been involved in a range of space education outreach projects working with the UK Space Agency. Venture Thinking, Space Adventures, Astrium, CosmOnline, Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Aeronautical Society amongst others. Heather's work on projects such as Mission X Train Like an Astronaut, Calling all Mars Explorers, Media Space and Out of This World Classroom have led to the award of the 2012 Arthur for space education outreach and the National Career Guidance Award in 2009 for her work in raising awareness of STEM careers. Other awards include the Rolls Royce Science Prize for work with developing primary space programmes with Grove Primary School and St. Michaels' Primary School. The Media Space programme was awards a Royal Aeronautical Society Centennial Award and the London Education Partnership Award for Curriculum Innovation.

Heather has undertaken a range of consultancy assignments for The Ideas Foundation, London Borough of Newham, University of Arts London, and The Learning Trust amongst others. Particular areas of interest are exciting cross curricular programmes involving STEM and space themes, employer engagement and work related learning, careers education and guidance and development of curriculum resources to support teaching and learning in science.

Heather has a Masters Degree in Careers Education and Guidance, a Masters in Business Administration as well as a first degree in English. Heather is originally from Canada and her love of space stemmed from a third grade visit to the Observatory in Ottawa and the beautiful dark skies in Canada.

Profile image for Pat Norris

Pat Norris has worked in the space and software industries since the 1960s. Now in semi-retirement, he is the author of two non-fiction books and many magazine articles about space. His talks about space as a UK career in secondary schools and as a motivator on STEM subjects in primary schools are highly popular.

His working life started in the UK and he then moved to the USA in 1966 to support NASA's activities in satellite geodesy. In 1967 he joined TRW in Houston Texas to work on the Apollo moon landing program, leading a small team of engineers analyzing the challenges of navigating to the moon and back (see New Scientist 16 July 1994 - subscription required).

He returned to Europe to work at the European Space Agency (ESA, 1971-80) as system and software engineer on satellite programmes including the Hubble Space Telescope, Meteosat (weather), Aerosat (navigation) and OTS (telecom). Since 1980, Pat has worked in the UK for multinational software company CGI, helping to make them European leaders in space software.

He was born and educated in Ireland, receiving a BSc and MSc in mathematical science from University College Dublin. He was Chairman of the trade association of Britain's space industry, UKspace (1995-97) and of the Royal Aeronautical Society Space Group (2004-12). He is a Chartered Engineer (CITP) and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

His schools presentations formed the basis for the series of “UK space career” talks developed by the Association of Retired ESA Staff (ARES) of which he is a member.

Profile image for Becky Parker

After a physics degree and research at the University of Chicago, Becky taught in a variety of schools and was a Senior Lecturer in physics at the University of Kent.

Becky has been involved in a number of initiatives to develop physics education, for example introducing particle physics into A level courses. She was a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology.

She is now Head of Physics at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury, and Director of the Langton Star Centre at the school. The Langton Star Centre allows school students to work alongside research scientists giving them opportunities to be involved in authentic research. The impact this is having in the school is significant with 180 students doing A level physics this year.

The centre has many exciting projects in development including putting a new style cosmic ray detector LUCID (Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector) on the Techdemosat satellite which flies in 2012. Associated with this, they have set up a network of school-based cosmic ray detectors called CERN@school where students take data and collaborate to analyse it. They work with Queen Mary and GridPP to develop ways to extend access to this data more widely. They also use the Faulkes Telescopes and run a major Plasma Project with Imperial College.

Becky was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2008 and co-presented a recent BBC2 Horizon programme on Quantum Theory.

Profile image for Joanne Rout

Joanne Rout studied Materials Science at Sussex and Cambridge Universities and then joined ICI New Science Group in Cheshire as a research scientist. During her exciting career in industry she held various positions including new product development, technical sales, marketing and project management for ICI, CIL Explosives and Johnson Matthey Catalysts.

Recently she has worked for CIEC at the University of York, NEPIC and STEMNET, promoting the study of STEM subjects in primary and secondary schools through inspirational real world contexts, mainly industrial. She is enthusiastic about lifelong learning and has gained an MBA and a teaching qualification and studied astronomy with the Open University. She is on the regional ASE committee, holding the position of Chair from May 2011.

As Space Ambassador for Durham and Teesside, Joanne will be promoting educational space resources to schools through her effective network in the North East of England.

Profile image for Marino Saksida

Marino has a diploma in Mechanical Engineering and has studied mathematics, physics, electronics and digital technologies. He was president of the Institute of Information Scientists between 1991 and 1992 and the European Information Industry Association between 1984 and 1997. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Between 1967 and 1969 Marino worked for Timesharing Ltd as technical manager where he began operation of the first UK real time computing services. Marino then started his own company, Computer Terminals Ltd. Between 1977 and 1996 he worked as Head of the Information Retrieval Service (IRS) before beginning his work with ESA in Information Services Policy and External Relations where he was in charge of internal information policies and international co-operation agreements.

After retiring from ESA in 1997, he became project manager for the EU project e-Diamond for three years before project managing for three years also. Marino has been Chairman of the Association of Retired ESA Staff UK branch (ARES UK) since 2011.

Profile image for Helen Schell

Helen Schell is a visual artist and STEM Ambassador who specialises in artworks about space exploration, and is based in the north east of England. She became interested in space whilst doing an MA in Glass at the University of Sunderland in 2007.

She organises exhibitions, residencies and children’s education projects by using art and craft techniques to communicate science. Through diverse projects, she invents inclusive activities to get participants interested in space by them understanding its relevance to their everyday lives, and to visualise future space-age developments. She makes large mixed media art installations and paintings, often described as ‘laboratories’.

In 2010, she was artist in residence at Durham University's Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, where she collaborated with scientists and created a Space-Time Laboratory.

In 2012, as ‘Maker in Residence’ at the Newcastle Centre for Life, she created 'Make it to the Moon', an interactive education experience, mainly for children, where they imagine setting up a colony on the Moon. These workshops also went to the London's Science Museum, and science festivals. Other projects include making 3 Smart Materials ball-gowns for Durham University’s NETPark outreach and being a judge for NASA's children’s art competition 'Humans in Space'.

Always aiming to reach diverse groups, in 2013 space art projects and workshops include Durham Cathedral, Hexham Abbey, and Gateshead Library for the Festival of the North East, and showing her Moon Rocket at the ESERO-UK Teachers Space Conference.

Profile image for Alan Smith

Alan has a BSc in Maths and Physics, and an MSc in Physics from London University. He has had over 25 years of experience in the design, manufacture and exploitation of both Communications and Scientific spacecraft starting in industry and subsequently joining ESA in 1970 and then INTELSAT in 1982. These projects encompassed UK5, Skynet II, GEOS, Hubble Space Telescope and INTELSAT series VI and VII spacecraft. He held project management positions for both the INTELST VI and VII series programmes in the US and then later in Europe.

Subsequently Alan became involved in Regional Innovation and Technology Strategy Programmes and Projects whilst working with the Kent Technology Transfer Centre managing a number of European and Regional projects. This included consultancy to Poland Hungary and Cyprus for the development of their regional strategies.

He was appointed a non-Executive Director of Stellar Solutions Aerospace Ltd., in 2004 and acted as a Consultant on some of the more important projects undertaken by the company e.g. The Strategic Development Plan for Space and Aeronautics within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sesame Project. Stellar Aerospace was a partner in the development of the Sesame, GMES (Black Sea) project proposal which although deemed acceptable at the time by the Commission, was not implemented due to lack of funding. He retired from this position in 2011.

Profile image for Laura Thomas

Growing up in Scotland, Laura had a fantastic view of the night sky and always wanted to learn more about what was out there. This led to her studying for a degree in Astrophysics with the University of Edinburgh and she graduated in 2005. After working for a year on a journal with IOP Publishing, Laura moved to London to work as the Outreach Manager for Mathematics and Physics at Queen Mary, University of London. She is now a freelance science communicator working with primary and secondary schools, museums and organisations such as ESERO to promote and encourage the uptake of STEM subjects.

Over the last few years, along with colleagues and other partners, Laura has developed a range of outreach activities using space as a context. Laura speaks at many schools and events around the UK with the aim of encouraging more people into the subject. In 2013 she was the Institute of Physics Schools’ lecturer.