Space-themed Zoomposium 2: 5 April 2022

Watch Space-themed Zoomposium2 (Passcode Da9d8m&^ )


Dr Timothy Peacock, School of Humanities, CoA

‘The Sky(lab) is Falling: Global fear and psychological space security’

My research ranges across nuclear history, spaceflight, (war)games, and politics, including space debris psychological/political security. I’m Co-Director/Founder of Games and Gaming Lab, and lead projects with 35 student researchers/interns and NATO expertise on educational/research (war)gaming. I’m very interested in engaging with colleagues and external partners, whether blue skies discussion of possibilities to creating experimental projects and collaborations. I’m assembling a large UKRI grant bid as PI for Project Gamestorm, a Reinvigorating Research-funded cross-college initiative. Gamestorm combines external partners from Defence, heritage, and games companies, researching new ways of ‘gaming’ approaches to global challenges, initially nuclear environmental clean-up (including in space). 


Dorota Budzyn, James Watt School of Engineering, CoSE

Lunar dust, its impact on hardware, and compliant mechanisms as implicit dust mitigation technology

During my employment at the European Astronaut Centre of European Space Agency I worked on prototyping Lunar geological tools. I discovered that the Lunar dust contamination poses a big challenge for equipment. It has been a root cause of hardware damage during Apollo missions and must be considered very early in the hardware design process. My project investigates designs without the problematic rigid-body mechanisms and with compliant mechanisms instead. 

I would like to engage with researchers who investigate novel materials capable of being used in space and with teams working on novel design methods like topology optimization and generative design. 


Aine O’Brien, School of Geographical & Earth Studies 

‘Searching for life on Mars – Sometimes it really is a God-awful small affair’

Aine O’Brien is a final year planetary science PhD student and research associate in Geographical and Earth Sciences. Her research focuses on the detection of complex organic molecules in martian meteorites, in order to assess the habitability of Mars, and develop sample analysis techniques in preparation for Mars Sample Return. Aine is also a member of the UK Fireball Alliance, part of the team which successfully retrieved the Winchcombe meteorite, the first UK meteorite in 30 years, which fell in Gloucestershire last year. Aine will give an overview of how we search for building blocks of life on Mars, both with rovers and in meteorites, as well as her experiences mistaking hundreds of pieces of sheep poo for space rocks in the Cotswolds when searching for Winchcombe last year.

First published: 25 March 2022