Modern perspectives: Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock studied at Imperial College where she obtained her degree in Physics and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Since then she has spent her career to date making novel, bespoke instrumentation in both the industrial and academic environments. Managing multidisciplinary teams, these instruments have ranged from hand held land mine detectors to an optical subsystems for the James Webb Space Telescope, (The JWST is a joint ESA/NASA venture due to replace the Hubble Space Telescope around 2018).

Until recently Maggie worked at Astrium Ltd in Portsmouth where she lead the optical instrumentation group. There she managed a range of project making satellite sub-systems designed to monitor wind speeds and other variables in the Earths atmosphere. These system are made under the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Living Planet programme and are designed to improve our current knowledge of climate change.

Maggie also has a science in society fellowship from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) which enabling her to engage the public with the science work that she loves. The fellowship is held at the University College London (UCL). Through this work Maggie makes regular appearances on television and radio, as a space and education expert and presenting science to a general audience.

To further share her love of science, Maggie has also set up her own company in Guildford Science Innovation Ltd. Through this Maggie conducts “Tours of the Universe” and other public engagement activities, these show school children and adults the wonders of space. To date she has given these talks to 100,000 people across the globe (60,000 of these have been school children in the UK) and recently produce a documentary through Science Innovation called “Space in the UK”, which features Maggie on a “Big Brother” spaceship on a journey to Mars. This is being distributed as a free DVD through schools and science festivals across the country.

Recent Awards:
2011 – Winner of the “New Talent” award from the WFTV (Women in Film and Television)
2011 – Invited to the “Women of the Year” lunch
2011 - Included in the Independent on Sunday’s “Happy List”
2010 – Awarded Honorary fellowship from the British Science Association
2010 - Awarded yet another STFC Fellowship in Science in Society, held at UCL
2010 – Invited to participate in a radio 4 Desert Island Disk aired 7th March
2009 – Winner of Red Magazines “Red’s Hot Women” Award in the pioneering category Dec 2009
2009 – UK Power List, Listed as one of the UK top 100 most influential black people
2009 – Awarded honourary degree from Staffordshire University
2009 – MBE Awarded in 2009 New Years Honours list for services to science education
2008 – Awarded another STFC Fellowship in Science in Society, also held at UCL
2008 - Invited to give “Friday Night Discourse” at the Royal Institution
2008 – Invited member of Royal Society’s Diversity committee
2008 – Invited to become trustee for the “Young Engineers”
2008 – The BA Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture
2008 – The Royal Society Summer Exhibition Interactive Lecture
2008 – Winner Arthur C Clark Outreach Award for Promotion of Space
2007 – Invited member of Institute of Physics Diversity committee
2006 – UKRC Woman of Outstanding Achievement
2006 – Awarded inaugural STFC Fellowship in Science in Society, held at UCL