We’re experts in space skills, training, and recruitment
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 data and 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 provide tools for the benefit of the whole sector to 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 Prime Minister 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.
In 2020 we published reports and analysis on skills demand, job advert quality, and skills taxonomies, as well as a toolkit of resources for better recruiting. We also created and conducted 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, the first pay data for the UK space sector, and a report on women in the UK space sector, based on the findings of the census. We also launched our library of space skills literature.
In 2022 we created the Space Training Catalogue, a free directory of hundreds of training opportunities, and SpaceCRAFT, a space competencies framework. We also won ASTRAIOS, an EU Horizon project analysing space training and research across Europe, as part of a consortium of British and European organisations.
In 2023 we published the UK Space Skills Landscape Map, an overview of almost 200 space organisations and initiatives related to skills in the UK, and published the first report on how and why people join the UK space sector. We were also commissioned by the UK Space Agency to deliver the Space Sector Skills Survey 2023, and created the Space Skills Problem Map
- 2023 Royal Aeronautical Society Young Persons' Achievement Award
- 2023 Payload Pioneers 30 Under 30
- 2022 Sir Arthur Clarke Award for contributions to the space sector
- 2022 SSPI UK Space Personality of the Year
- 2022 Cornwall's 30 Under 30
- 2021 British Interplanetary Society NextGen Rising Star
- 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
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.
Dr Heidi Thiemann
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 is passionate about education and training for the space sector. She has been a mentor and organiser for Space School UK, and led the development of space apprenticeship qualifications in Cornwall.
Our advisors are experts in their fields, drawing on their extensive professional experience to support our team and our work.
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.
Dr Sheila Kanani MBE
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. She received an MBE for her services to astronomy and diversity in physics.
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).