Space Speaker in Your Classroom

The Space Speaker in Your Classroom program brings real Space Industry professionals to your classroom via Skype, for FREE! Your students will have a chance to learn from these experts and to engage with them. We’ve had amazing speakers over the years, including BCO’s Astronaut Patron Dan Tani.

The program for Space Week 2019 is available below. Once you have reviewed the selection, you can book a speaker here. We’ll contact you to perform a test on your Skype connection ahead of your session. Please ensure that speakers are suited to your student level (Primary/Secondary) as we will have to cancel incompatible bookings.

These talks are designed to show students how varied the paths that lead to a STEM career in Space can be, and to assure them that they too can have an amazing career in this industry.

Speakers are available to book for 30 minute online slots allowing for student Q&A time.  Please note – as these hook-ups will take place online (Via Skype) you will need a strong WiFi connection.

Speakers will be continuously added to the schedule, so please check back in a few days if you were unable to secure a speaker.

Alternatively, you may be interested in our Observatory In Your Classroom program.

Ruth McAvinia

News Editor for The European Space Agency

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: TBC

Ruth comes from Drogheda and studied Drama and Irish at Trinity College Dublin before going into broadcasting. She worked as a reporter at Newstalk and RTE but developed a passion for science and science communication and re-trained at the Open University and the International Space University. She now works with ATG-Europe as a News Editor for the European Space Agency. She loves space, stormchasing, travelling and reading books. A social media addict, Ruth got to see the final space shuttle launch as a guest at the NASA Social in July 2011. In her spare time, she teaches English and humanities at the International Space University and watches a lot of television. She lives in Leiden, in the Netherlands and has also lived in France, Germany, and the UK.

Aisling Shannon

Structures Engineer at the European Space Agency

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Aisling’s role at ESA is to ensure that the spacecraft gets to where it needs to go without breaking! The launch of a spacecraft is very tough from a mechanical perspective, lots of shaking and noise and some loud bangs! These shocks and vibrations are the main drivers for the mechanical design of the spacecraft. It is my responsibility to ensure that every part of the spacecraft is going to be able to survive the launch. A lot of analyses are performed to confirm this before we ever build anything.
Primary- Aisling will talk about her experience as an engineer at ESA and she would love to for students to show her their enthusiasm about space by showing off their own space projects!
Secondary - Aisling will talk about her experience at the IAC and her role as an Engineer at ESA.

Juan Miro

Retired ESA

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Juan has worked in space programmes at the European Space Agency (ESA) for 27 years. He has recently retired from ESA but remains passionate about space and likes talking about its contributions to society. He enjoys explaining space and the underlying Physics to young students and interested public.
Juan is Spanish, has a Masters in Industrial Engineering by the Polytechnical University of Barcelona and has worked in Germany and The Netherlands. His wife Gabrielle is Irish and they spend now a lot of time in Co. Louth.

Heidi Thiemann

PhD Astronomy Student

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Heidi is a PhD Astronomy student at Open University studying binary stars. Her research is focused in Astronomy, astrophysics, stellar formation, and evolution.
Heidi has access to and works with telescopes like Super WASP, Faulkes Telescope, ASAS-SN, South African Astronomical Observatory.

Seanie Morris

Astronomer & Lecturer, DJ, and Radio Presenter

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

In addition to being a Radio Presenter and DJ for the radio station Midlands 103, Seanie is a well-known amateur astronomer and has been an astronomy lecturer for many years. With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing just around the corner, Seanie will be discussing what it was really like for the astronauts on their journey to the moon. He will also go into detail about how they got there including a discussion of the Saturn V Rocket itself using his very own scale model of the rocket!

Laura Keogh

Space Lawyer

Suited to: Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Laura is a great example of the variety of careers that exist and are continuing to emerge within the space sector. She will share some wonderful stories about what it is like working in the space sector and the steps to take to get there. She’ll also explain what exactly a Space Lawyer is and why they are so important.

Eoin Tuohy

Masters Student at International Space University

Suited to: Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Eóin grew up in Kilmacanogue in Co. Wicklow. He went to school in St. Brendan's College, Bray before starting his studies in UCD doing a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. Following that, he did a two year Masters in Mechanical Engineering with business. Eóin then spent some time travelling and working in Australia. During this time, he decided to pursue a career in the space sector. He is currently completing a Masters of Space Studies in the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. As part of these studies, he undertook a 6-month internship in the European Astronaut Centre with the Spaceship EAC team. He is currently working on In-Situ Resource Utilization (IRSU) with Lunar regolith simulant as well as working on Lunar dust mitigation techniques.

Con McCarthy

Former Project Manager at the European Space Agency

Suited to: Secondary

Available: See Booking Form

Con McCarthy of the European Space Agency will talk about the various missions that he has been involved with while working with ESA over the years.
Con worked on the European Spacelab mission, on ERS-1 Earth Observation satellite, he was Systems Engineer on Huygens, (Europe’s Lander to Titan on board the U.S. Cassini Saturn orbiter), and on ESA's Mars Lander and was the communications system manager for Europe's Mars mission, Mars Express and systems engineer on the Venus Express on its mission to Venus.

Brian Shortt

Head of the Payload Technology Validation Section, Future Missions Department, Directorate of Science.

Suited to: Secondary

Available: See booking form

Dr. Brian Shortt has a background in experimental and applied physics and attained his PhD in the study of laser atom interactions from the National University of Ireland. He has worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a range of fundamental and applied physics programmes including the development of miniaturised instrumentation for space flight.
Dr. Shortt has industrial experience having worked at Airbus Defence and Space as payload interface manager during the early phases of the Solar Orbiter mission. He currently leads a team of scientists and engineers who conduct laboratory testing of payload technologies in support of currently flying and future science missions.