Dr Sarah Beardsley - Director RAL Space
17 Jun 2022



Sarah became Director of RAL Space in 2022 and leads around 300 expert staff to deliver science and technology programmes for the UK space sector.

Sarah Beardsley

​​​​Sarah Beardsley​

Credit: STFC RAL Space

​She joined STFC in 2000 as an instrument scientist on our first mission to the Moon and was active in defining the UK and European strategies for solar system science, sitting on several national and international advisory panels for the community.

As a Project Manager, she helped to deliver our camera electronics programme for high-profile missions such as Solar Dynamics Observatory, GOES and Solar Orbiter.

From 2014 she served as the Head of the Space Engineering and Technology (SET) Division, overseeing the engineers, technicians and project managers underpinning many of the hardware projects in RAL Space. Sarah was appointed for a one-year secondment as an Associate Director for STFC's National Laboratories in 2021. Following this, Sarah established a new programme for organisational change as RAL Space's first Head of Continuous Improvement.

She is passionate about early careers development and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Chartered Physicist and Member of the Association of Project Management.

Director of RAL Space

Leads around 350 expert staff and chair the RAL Space board. Responsible for providing RAL Space with long term vision and strategic leadership as well as guiding the scientific and technical delivery of the organisation. The Director also works closely with the directors of the other STFC national laboratories to support the broader goals of STFC and champions UKRI's support for space activities within our national and international communities.