Space Careers Roadshow – Athlone Institute of Technology

For Engineers Week 2019, Athlone Institute of Technology will host a Space Career Roadshow in conjunction with Science Foundation IrelandESERO Ireland and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory. These roadshows will provide students with an excellent opportunity to engage with space industry professionals, and third level institutions, so that they can get a taste of the exciting opportunities that a STEM career in Space has to offer.

Audience – Transition Year, 5th and 6th year students. Second level teachers.

Admission – Free

Booking Link –  Eventbrite

(It is a condition of registration, that all applicants complete pre-event and post-event evaluations).

Booking must be completed by 28th of February 2019, to secure a place, however, spaces are issued on a first-come-first-served basis, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Guideline event overview

10:00 – 10:05 – Welcome from Clair McSweeney, Centre Manager CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory

10:05 – 10:15 – An Introduction to Engaging Space from Stephanie O’ Neill of  SFI and ESERO Ireland

10:15 – 10.35 – Dr Sean Lyons,of Athlone Institute of Technology, on delivering a 3D printer to the International Space Station

10:35 – 10:55 – Human Space Physiology, Kiera Ward MSc AIT

11:00 – 11:15 – Break

11:20 – 11:40 – Second Level Space Projects. Stephanie O Neill, ESERO Ireland; focus on Skills referencing projects e.g. CanSatSpace Week, AstroPi, Space Careers;  ESA Representative presents Marist College Athlone, ESA winners of CanSat 2018 with winners’ certificates.

11:40 – 12:00 – New Careers in New Space. Dr Niall Smith, Cork Institute of Technology

12:05 – 12:25 – Clara Cruz Niggebrugge, ESA Education Office

12:30 – 12:55  – Space Weather and Industry. Prof Robert Walsh University of Central Lancashire

12:55 – 13:45 – Lunch Break; Opportunity to meet with Irish Space Science & Astronomy Groups

13:45 – 14:15 – A Panel Discussion with a selection of our speakers, followed by audience questions.

14.15  –  ENDS

Speaker Profiles:

Clair McSweeney

Clair is Facilities Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, home to Cosmos at the Castle, an internationally award winning astronomy exhibit. BCO is also the site of BCOLabs, a research observatory.Clair is the only non-scientist in a work team of six scientists; this allows for varied and complementary skill sets to create agendas and programmes that showcase both the interactive astronomy exhibit and the outreach which manifests from Cosmos at the Castle, the research at BCO Labs and the facility’s global astronomy links. This includes work with her position as ESON representative in Ireland, projects with ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) Ireland, spearheading local and national IYA2009 events and Beyond, UNAWE projects, Cork Science Café, high profile events such as an on-orbit live link to the ISS, international affiliations — EarthHour, Globe at Night, pan-global observatory links and locally, a host of Cork festivals that have found that astronomy really IS everywhere!

Prof Robert Walsh

Prof Walsh is a member of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute and a Professor of Solar Astrophysics. His research expertise covers hydrodynamic simulations of plasma flow and observations of coronal dynamics, combining his theoretical modelling expertise with involvement in multi-spacecraft solar observations. Prof Walsh has led a long-term partnership between UCLan and NASA, resulting in collaboration on space missions including the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the High resolution Coronal Imager (HI-C). Throughout his academic career, Prof Walsh has engaged the public with his research and he has made this a core part of his academic output. Projects linked directly to his research have included collaborations with artists and a successful Guinness World Record attempt.

Stephanie O’ Neill

Stephanie has worked in STEM education and public engagement for 19 years. She has worked on many projects in that time including Science Week and has also developed national education projects at primary and secondary level such as Discover Primary Science and Maths and Discover Sensors . Since 2013 Stephanie has managed the European Space Education Resource Office ESERO Ireland which is a contract between SFI and ESA European Space Agency. Stephanie currently manages the SFI Discover Funding Call for education & public engagement projects including Science Week festivals.

Dr Sean Lyons

Dr Seán Lyons is Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics at Athlone Institute of Technology. Seán holds a degree and PhD in Polymer Engineering and is a funded investigator in the Science Foundation Ireland – backed Smart Manufacturing Centre CONFIRM. After several years working in materials engineering roles in the medical device sector, Seán joined AIT where his research focus has been on Polymer Materials for advanced manufacturing applications. Currently, Seán is working with the European Space Agency, Space Systems company OHB and Space flight structures company Sonaca on the delivery of advanced additive manufacturing (3D Printing) systems for the International Space Station and beyond.

Kiera Ward

Ms Kiera Ward graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology with a BSc. (Hons) in Sports Science and is now in her final year of studying for a PhD in Human Physiology and Metabolism on a collaborative project with the European Space Agency. Kiera’s PhD project is funded by PRODEX and is focused on investigating the impact of 60 days of head-down tilt bed rest (HDT), as an analogue for spaceflight and microgravity exposure, on overall physical and metabolic health of young, healthy men. Kiera, a member of SELGRA, is specifically examining the changes in body composition and insulin sensitivity that occur following HDT and determining whether exercise training during HDT can ameliorate the decline in overall physiological health as a result of prolonged inactivity. This, in turn, will help astronauts to live and work in the weightless environment with better health, prolong the amount of time they can spend in this environment, and permit their safe return to Earth.

Dr Niall Smith

Niall is a founding member of Blackrock Castle Observatory and was appointed as CIT’s first Head of Research in 2006. Dr. Smith is a member of the International Astronomical Union, a member of several National Committees and an associate staff member at University College Cork. Niall’s research interests include developing instruments for high precision photometry from the ground, optical searches for extrasolar planets and robotic telescope arrays. The BCO team use this expertise to install robotic telescopes in California and India, part-funded under the SFI Discover programme, with the aim to bring real world technology into the classroom to aid with the teaching of STEM. Niall leads the Local Organising Committee that won the bid to bring the International Space University’s 30th Space Studies Programme to Ireland from June-August 2017.

Clara Cruz Niggebrugge

Clara Cruz Niggebrugge obtained her first university degree in Mathematics Education, at the Faculty of Sciences in Lisbon in 2001. She worked as a Secondary School teacher in Lisbon and as a technical consultant. In late 2002 she started working at the European Space Agency (ESA) with a research fellowship from the Portuguese Ministry for Science and Technology. In 2011, Clara Cruz Niggebrugge completed a Master in International Communication Management in The Hague University of Applied Sciences with honours.
Currently she is part of ESA Education Office and is the ESA ESERO & European STEM Education Projects Coordinator. She works in ESA’s establishment in the Netherlands, ESTEC.

Event Information

  • Dates: Thursday 7th March, 2019 | 10:00 - 14:30