Space Careers Roadshow (online event) – 18th November 2021 (Irish Scientists & Engineers at ESA)

Throughout the year, ESERO Ireland and MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory, run a series of Space Career Roadshows in conjunction with Science Foundation Ireland, and third-level partners. These roadshows will provide students with an excellent opportunity to engage with space industry professionals, and third level institutions, so that they can get a taste of the exciting opportunities that a STEM career in Space has to offer.


Our roadshows showcase the incredible diversity of careers that are available in the space industry. Astronauts, scientists, engineers, artists, and countless other professionals will show you what their dream job entails, and the path you can take to follow in their footsteps.


The next Space Careers Roadshow will take place online on Thursday 18 November 2021. Registrations will open closer to the date, so watch this space.

The theme for our Science Week event is Irish Scientists and Engineers at the European Space Agency


This will be an online event and will be streamed on YouTube.   Schools which register with a Zoom link will have the opportunity to interact directly with speakers in break-out rooms.


You can view our Space Week Roadshow from 12th October here.  The Space Week Theme was Women in Space and our speakers were Dr Parshati Patel from the Canadian Space Agency,  Aisling Shannon from the European Space Agency and Dr Mariya Lyubenova from the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Germany.


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    Dr Aidan Cowley
    European Space Agency Science Officer (European Astronaut Centre - Cologne) This speaker is fully booked

    Aidan works at the European Space Agency, stationed in the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne.
    He can talk to students about Space, Astronauts, the European Astronaut Centre, the European Space Agency and future exploration.
    He trained as a Material Scientist, and did a lot of research in the area of energy systems. Before that, he earned a Masters in Electronic Systems and a bachelors in Computer Applications. He has a very broad range of skills, as a scientist and also as an IT guy. Skills like scientific writing and programming are tools he uses nearly daily.

    For more information about Aidan have a look at his profile on our Career Profiles Page

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    Dr Laura Hughes
    Research Fellow a the European Space Agency

    Laura is a solar physicist who currently works as a research fellow at the European Space Agency (ESA) at ESTEC in the Netherlands. She received an undergraduate degree in theoretical physics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and soon after joined the astrophysics research group at Trinity to complete her PhD in solar flare physics. Following her PhD she joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a postdoctoral fellow for two years where she continued to work on solar flares with a focus on X-ray observations.  Her research makes use of both space- and ground-based observations of the Sun in multiple wavelengths to help build a better understanding of the physical processes that underpin solar flare energy release. I n particular she is involved with ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission which launched in 2020 which is now providing new and unique observations of the Sun.

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    Dr Laurence O’Rourke
    ESA Mission Scientist & Enginner

    Dr. Laurence O’Rourke is from Mullingar and has being working in the European Space Agency since 1996, located at 3 of its establishments (ESTEC, ESOC and currently ESAC in Madrid) as an Engineer and a Scientist. He has a Physics & Maths double honours degree from Maynooth University, an MEngSc from University College Cork and a PhD in Astrophysics from Complutense University of Madrid.  At ESA he has worked on 6 different satellite missions  : Teamsat, Envisat, Integral, Herschel, Rosetta and PLATO.  On the Rosetta mission he worked in variety of roles – he was part of the flight control team when it launched, he was one of two Science Operations Managers during the comet orbiting phase and he was the ESA Philae Lander System Engineer where he helped prepare its landing and indeed led the team that located Philae on the comet surface in 2016. He is currently working on the PLATO Exoplanet searching mission as Science Operations Coordinator & Senior System Engineer.

    He has published numerous science articles on comets and asteroids including two in Nature, the most recent published in October 2020 covering the discovery that the 4 billion year old ice on a comet is super soft, and the other in 2014 with the first confirmed detection of water in the asteroid belt, namely on Dwarf Planet (1) Ceres. Based upon the 2014 paper he was awarded the “O’Rourke” asteroid by the IAU. He has also received from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) the Laurels for Team Achievement Award for his work on the Philae lander. He has given numerous public presentations around the world over the years including 2 TEDx talks.

    Find out more about Laurence at our ESERO space profile page