YuriGagarin50 Advocacy Group
The Advocacy Group has been set up to promote YuriGagarin50 to stakeholders. The Advocacy Group consists of:
Dr Helen Sharman OBE – UK’s first astronaut
Helen Sharman was the first Briton in Briton in Space. She spent 7 days aboard the Mir Space Station in May 1991 as part of project Juno.
Dr Sharman graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from Sheffield University and a Ph D from Birkbeck University in London. She worked as an engineer for GEC and then Mars Inc working with chocolate flavourings.
Dr Sharman was selected to take part in project Juno in 1989, beating 13,000 other applicants after responding to a radio advertisement for an astronaut. She spent 18 months at Star City in Russia training for her mission and learning fluent Russian. Whilst onboard the Mir space station Dr Sharman experimented with growing pansies in micro gravity, took pictures of the UK and communicated with schools via a Ham radio connection with British schools.
Professor Alan Smith - Director, Mullard Space Science Laboratory/ University College London
Professor Alan Smith has been involved in astrophysics research and space instrumentation for more than 30 years. He helped develop the medium energy x-ray detectors for the ESA EXOSAT mission and joined ESA as a staff scientist in 1983. In 1990 Alan joined UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory where he became Director in 2005. He is also head of a consortium for a UK-led mission entitled ”MOONLITE”, which will place four penetrometers in the lunar surface to make geochemical and geophysical measurements.
Professor Alan Wells - Emeritus Professor and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester.
In 1995 Professor Wells was appointed as the Founding Director of the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre, a position which he held until 2003. He was also instrumental in the development and creation of the National Space Centre, Leicester’s £56million flagship Millennium project, where he remains a Non-Executive Director. During his time at Leicester, Professor Wells worked on ten space missions including NASA’s SWIFT mission to observe gamma ray bursts. Professor Wells is now the NEREUS Representative for the East Midlands Region.
Professor Heinz Wolff - Brunel University
Professor Heinz Wolff is a highly respected scientist and public figure. He is probably best known in the science world as 'inventor' of bioengineering and to the public for his television and radio work over the years. Whilst with the Medical Research Council in 1954, he chose to work on the interface between engineering and the biological sciences. Calling himself a bioengineer, he gave a name to the new discipline. He became head of the Divisions of Bioengineering at the National Institute for Medical Research and subsequently at the Clinical Research Centre. Moving to Brunel University in 1983, he founded the Brunel Institute for Bioengineering, affectionately known as BIB, and served as its Director until 1995. Heinz Wolff is well known to a whole generation as a television personality, presenting scientific and engineering “entertainment”. Programme series such as The Great Egg Race, are known to have started many young people on careers in science and technology.
Professor John Zarnecki – Director of the Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space & Astronomical Research (CEPSAR), Open University
Professor John Zarnecki is the Principal Investigator for the Surface Science Package, an instrument carried by the European Space Agency's Huygens probe, which landed on Saturn’s moon Titan in January 2005.
He joined the Open University in 2000 from the University of Kent. He has over 30 years experience of space research spanning a number of space missions, including sounding rockets, Earth-orbiting missions and interplanetary flights. He is the Director of the Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space & Astronomical Research (CEPSAR) and a member of the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute (PSSRI)