Early Space Careers Conference 2024
08 Apr 2024



Designed for early career people by early career people, this conference aims to bring together the early career community from across the UK space sector.




Early Space Careers Conference 2024.jfif

​​The RAL Space Early Careers Conference was created to bring together the early space career community to build connections, celebrate the work they are doing and look to the future of space together. 

The conference will bring together a range of professionals who will share their experiences, advice and insight into the space sector, giving attendees a great opportunity to network. 

There will be the opportunity for attendees to develop their communication and presentation skills and showcase their work by designing a poster or delivering a lightning talk.  ​


​Register for free via Eventbrite

About the conference: 


Wednesday 29 May 2024, 09:00 - 17:00


RAL Visitor Centre R112 
Science and Technology Facilities Council 
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory 
Harwell Campus 
OX11 0QX 
or online via Zoom

Who for:

The conference is aimed at anyone who feels that they are early career in the space sector. We welcome individuals from all types of space related backgrounds.

Additional information: 

Although the conference is free to attend all other arrangements (accommodation and travel) must be made individually by attendees. Tea/coffee and lunch will be provided at the conference. There will be an option to sign up for a site tour on the day, numbers are limited so it will be first come first serve. 

If you have any further questions regarding the RAL Space Early Careers Conference 2024 then feel free to email the conference committee at the following email: RALSPACEESCC24@stfc.ac.uk


Welcome Talks 
Conference Committee
Hugh Mortimer – Senior Research Scientist / National Laboratories Associate Director
Helen Johnson – Head of STFC Skills Centre 

Introduction to RAL Space, overview of STFC Skills Centre and their early careers support and opportunities. 

Skills Gap Workshop 
spacecareers.uk - non-profit organization supporting careers in the space sector. 

Interactive workshop discussing the professional skills needed to be successful in the space industry.  

Career Journeys Panel 
Hugh Mortimer – Senior Research Scientist / National Laboratories Associate Director (chair) 
Joanna Hart – Space Partnership Director
Frederica Moscato – Head of Earth Observation at CEDA
Oscar Gonzalez – Project Scientist for UK Astronomy Technology Centre 

Panel discussing speakers’ careers, training and experience people have found useful, skills people have needed and how to overcome imposter syndrome. 

Lightning Talks 

There will be two sessions of lightning talks giving an opportunity for attendees to discuss their careers, research and give advice to their peers. There is the option to submit a talk in the registration form – if we are oversubscribed the committee will select which talks we would like to include but thank you to everyone who makes a submission!  

Future of the Space Sector Panel 
Zoe Dale – ​Graduate Cluster Manager at STFC (chair)
Sarah Beardsley – Director for RAL Space
Jenny Turvey – Strategic Space Policy Lead at DSIT
Neil Bowles – Professor at the University of Oxford
Susane Mecklenburg – Head of ESA Climate Office

Panel discussing where the space sector is going, the shift in priorities and the role of the space sector in the climate crisis. 

Tackling Imposter Phenomenon
Glen Wood – Management Consultant at Capgemini

Guest speaker Glen Wood will talk to us about imposter phenomenon, its effects and how to mitigate them as an individual and as an organisation.​

Keynote: From Antarctica to Space
Meganne Christian – Reserve Astronaut for UKSA and ESA / Commercialisation Lead at UKSA 

Meganne ​will recount the experiences that led her to be selected as a member of the European Space Agency astronaut reserve, from materials science studies in microgravity to a year working at Concordia Station in Antarctica, one of the most remote places on Earth, also known as "White Mars". She will describe her experiences of the tough selection process and her hopes for the future, as well as the work she is doing on future space stations at the UK Space Agency.

Poster Session 

We will be holding a poster session during the coffee breaks to give attendees a chance to network and see what their peers have been working on. We encourage attendees to submit their posters! The poster can be on anything career-related: your research, a particular experience you’ve had or maybe some skills you have found important. We ask that all posters contain one piece of advice to others early in their career. Please submit posters via our email: ralspaceESCC24@stfc.ac.uk.  

Networking Event 

We will be hosting a networking event after the conference at DiSH on the Harwell Campus. Please feel free to join us to network with your peers! 

* More speakers to be announced shortly! * ​​