About the Space Skills Alliance

We provide data, analysis, and expertise on space skills

We are a think tank, consultancy, and backbone organisation addressing the UK’s space skills shortage.

As a think-tank, we help the policy-making process by publishing reports that are as rigorous as academic research and as accessible as journalism.

As a consultancy, we provide expert advice to organisations looking to improve their skills pipelines, not only recommending solutions, but also helping to institutionalise more effective processes.

As a backbone organisation, we enable collaboration and improve the way organisations in the space sector work together to address common skills challenges.

We have a track record of success

We started back in 2012 as students leading UKSEDS, the national student space society, and organising major national events, competitions, and outreach activities.

In 2015 we built SpaceCareers.uk, a careers website for young people, which has become the go-to resource for the sector, and was recognised by Theresa May as “a crucial service to thousands of people across the country that want to learn more about careers in the space industry”.

In 2019 we launched the Space Skills Alliance to address systemic problems in the sector, and since then have published reports and analysis on skills demand, job advert quality, and skills taxonomies, as well as a toolkit of resources for better recruiting.

In 2020 we were selected to conduct the first national census of the UK space sector, launched by Science Minister Amanda Solloway during World Space Week.

In 2021 we published the first comprehensive demographic statistics for the UK space sector based on the findings of the census and launched our library of space skills literature.


  • 2020 everywoman Rising Star Award finalist
  • 2019 Sir Arthur Clarke Award for contributions to the space sector
  • 2019 University of Leicester Future Leader Award finalist
  • 2017 Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award
  • 2016 Sir Arthur Clarke Award for contributions to the space sector
  • 2016 University of Leicester Advancing Gender Equality in STEM Award
Headshot of Joseph Dudley

Joseph Dudley

[email protected]

Joseph’s love of space began when he designed a space settlement on Mars as part of a school competition. He went on to get a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London, specialising in rocket propulsion.

He has worked in the education and social sectors, working with coalitions of businesses and charities to address educational inequality and accelerate the use of digital technology. He is an experienced software developer and was previously Director of Operations at Turinglab, an ed-tech company.

Headshot of Heidi Thiemann

Dr Heidi Thiemann

[email protected]

Heidi started with her first telescope aged twelve and was quickly hooked. She has a degree in Physics and Space Science from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Astronomy from The Open University, where she analysed astronomical data sets (and baked prize-winning astronomy cakes).

As well as extensive data analysis skills, she has is passionate about teaching and mentoring young people from primary through to undergraduate level as a Senior Mentor for Space School UK and as Space Technology Training Project Manager at Truro and Penwith College.


Our advisors are experts in their fields, drawing on their extensive professional experience to support our team and our work.

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Prof. Julia Hunter-Anderson

University of Warwick & Blue-Space Systems

Julia has over 30 years of experience as a space professional in Europe and Asia, and is passionate about the benefit of using systems thinking and appropriate technology to tackle big problems.

She is a Visiting Industrial Professor at the University of Warwick School of Engineering where she is co-Director of the Warwick University Satellite (WUSAT) Programme, challenging young professionals to develop systems thinking skills. She is also a member of the Space Universities Network, which works to create a skilled workforce of graduates.

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Dr Sheila Kanani

Royal Astronomical Society

Sheila is a planetary physicist, science presenter, and secondary school physics teacher based in Lancashire. Her experience includes acting as an ambassador of science, public speaking, events organisation, science journalism and school visits.

She is Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society, using space as a hook to inspire people from all walks of life to pursue STEM careers.

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Dr Ed Chester

Goonhilly Earth Station

Ed is a spacecraft systems engineer with more than 20 years' experience in microelectronics, data systems, and mission operations currently working at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall.

He was previously a Director of Catena Space, a consultancy firm providing short industry training courses in space systems, space mission operations and access to space, and he has a long history of involvement with the academic programme at the International Space University (ISU).

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