Speaker Anu Ojha OBE FRAS, Director National Space Academy, Leicester
In the 400 years since the invention of the telescope – and fifty plus years of space exploration - our understanding of the Universe and our place in it has been transformed by astonishing discoveries in space science and astronomy. But has it been worth all the money spent? Everyone’s heard of NASA but what about the 30,000 strong UK space sector – what are we up to? And what difference has space science really made to our everyday lives? This interactive lecture includes the firing of a real rocket engine, the spectacular building of a comet nucleus and an exploration of whether space science could save life on planet Earth!
Anu Ojha has been an Executive Director of the National Space Centre, Leicester since 2008 and is Director of the National Space Academy programme (STFC, ESA, UK Space Agency).
Formerly Assistant Headteacher (Director of Science and Mathematics) at the largest Specialist Science College in the UK, he was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher status by the Department for Education in 2003 and continues to teach physics as part of the Academy’s Space Engineering and Higher Apprenticeship programmes in partnership with Loughborough College. He has also led masterclasses at NASA’s Johnson Space Center as well as for the European Space Agency (ESA) at ESTEC (ESA’s lead centre for space engineering) in Holland.
In addition to being appointed as an ESA “space ambassador” he has worked as a consultant for ESA in Holland and Spain using data from the SOHO orbiting solar observatory and Mars Express space missions and is currently leading the development of new ESA international educational methodologies (high school and university level) focused on satellite applications, satellite operations, human spaceflight and launcher technologies. He also co-lead the development of the National Framework for Higher Apprenticeships for the UK space sector.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and in 2010 he was awarded the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Inspiration by the UK space industry.