Get to know the faces behind our exciting programmes…

Chris Barber

Founder & Executive Chairman

Chris founded the International Space School Educational Trust in 1998 with the aim of instilling the NASA you can do it” spirit in young people around the world. ISSET uses space exploration and the people behind it to drive students into successful futures.

Having been a deputy head teacher in two large high schools, Chris has a long record of leadership and transformation in education. He took his last school from below average to become the most successful school in England and Wales.

Chris says “The change we see in the young people who come on our programmes astounds me time after time. I am always in awe of their accomplishments throughout their time with ISSET and their achievements years later. I am extremely proud to say that work we continue to do at ISSET has a positive impact in both the present and future lives of our participants and people they encounter.”

STEM-X Launch prize Director Ross Barber. Founding team member for Launch Prizes STEM competitions for high school students

Ross Barber

Director

Ross’ goal is to give young people access to opportunities & the skills needed for a successful future.

He has vast experience working in the STEM education industry and takes immense pride in the different programmes ISSET offer.

Ross has worked in various roles in his 8 years at ISSET, launching over 250 young people’s experiments to the International Space Station.

He believes ISSET’s challenges excite and inspire students to create breakthroughs in real world problems, spurring participants on to explore the possibilities of STEM and STEM careers.

Sarah Murray

Head of Operations

Sarah is currently the NASA Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Programme. Her experience includes Assistant Division Chief for EVA (space walks), Robotics and Crew Systems on the International Space Station, executive support for NASA Administrator in the coordination of Space Centre Directors in implementing NASA goals, and the Project and Technical Lead in the development of NASA’s new Orion Space Vehicle which will return humans to the Moon and beyond.

Dean Morgan

Design & Communications

Dean Morgan has over a decade of experience as both a freelance and in-house designer. His work has been featured in various publications & workspaces such as New Scientist, BBC, National Geographic & Google Headquarters.

Dean created the branding for ISSET and his main focus areas are branding, visual identity & publication design. He strongly believes in ISSET's goals, which guide his work attitude.

Guymon Cheung

Videographer

Guymon Cheung started his film career working on music videos in Hollywood CA. with artists Drake, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.

Guymon has won awards from the British Film Institute Network. He also directed pieces starring Andrew Howard, who is known for movies such as the Hangover and Limitless.

He says “I’m delighted to be involved with such an exciting team. I can’t wait to see participants ideas.”

Karim Saleh

Launch Prizes Virtual Host

Karim Saleh was the first graduate from a UK School of Pharmacy to work at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He developed two biomedical experiments which launched to the International Space Station.

Coming from an Asian, African & European background has gifted him with a worldwide perspective. He says "Being international has let me dream of the extent of our potential as humans when chasing a common goal. I'm very excited to be part of an awesome team that aims to inspire the next generation of people to venture to the stars and beyond.”

Guy Bates

Business Leader, Social Value Consultant

Guy has led and advised on strategic change programmes in major private and public companies. His passion for Social Value has seen these organisations sponsor a multitude of ISSET events including Mission Discovery, Astronaut Leadership Experiences and Multi-Academy Trust STEM projects. These have served children and young people from challenging backgrounds across the UK across a ten-year span.

Business gains huge impact from mature Social Value strategies. Guy helps each business evolve their own Social Value Strategy. This means that partnerships with ISSET can bring sustainable benefits to employees, customers, and their communities.

Why just mop the floor, when you can mop the floor to put men and women on the Moon’.

Isabelle Dunsford

Customer Experience Manager

Isabelle joins ISSET from the public sector, where she successfully led various teams across different projects. Isabelle is eager to develop others and volunteers her free time to coaching netball to young women. She is enthusiastic about helping the next generation develop their communication skills, confidence and tenacity and believes the incredible ISSET programmes are vehicles to enable this development.

Isabelle is responsible for ensuring ISSET’s participants and users have the best experience possible.

Marcus Magee

Sales Associate

Marcus Magee is a global entrepreneur, business leader and high-impact change agent with over 20 years’ experience. A seasoned event evangelist, he is passionate about purposeful and outcome-driven interactions that drive change, for all.

Marcus says of Mission Discovery "Seeing the kids reaction when an Astronaut walks out is simply magical, and it's that reaction that drives my involvement in and commitment to this truly once in a lifetime opportunity for kids.".

Prof. Steve Harridge

King's College London Consultant

Steve Harridge is Head of the Centre for Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King’s College London—a world top 10 University. He has been Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King's College London since 2005.

Steve leads the team who will build your winning experiments before they launch to the International Space Station! Through Steve’s work ISSET has access to the incredible team and facilities at Kings College London.

Dr Julie Keeble

King's College London Consultant

Julie Keeble is our expert in space science, she has been responsible for ensuring that all Mission Discovery experiments are launched to the International Space Station.

Zoë Gaffen

Chief Payload Developer

Zoë is a senior technician and Registered Scientist in the Multi-Disciplinary Teaching Laboratories at King’s College, London. After an HND majoring in Analytical Biochemistry and Microbiology, then Neuropharmacology, she accumulated an extensive range of skills over many years working in Teaching and research: the first 18 in Pharmacology and Neuroscience, then 6 years in Physiology, before switching to Molecular Biology and taking charge of her own Teaching Laboratory.

Outside term time, she does research, and is co-author on many Pharmacology research papers and articles, and at least 2 Neuroscience publications, on the blood-brain barrier. Since 2010, she has been involved in protein production and purification for research on the DNA sequences involved in coding the active sites for smooth muscle contraction and the types of proteins involved in certain ataxias

Since 2013, she has become involved, via the ISSET Chief Scientist, Julie Keeble, in developing the winning experiments from the Mission Discovery Summer School programmes, to a format that can be launched to the International Space Station, for initiation and monitoring. Since 2018, she has been assisting project students in developing further microgravity experiments, which are now her primary research commitment, as the number of Mission Discovery winning experiments has increased

Daniel Molland University of Oxford

Chief Scientist - University of Oxford

Daniel is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, leading the team that will develop your experiments! He has personally developed several experiments for launch and now oversees the development of experiments within our Oxford R&D group. In his own research, Daniel investigates the habitability of ocean worlds as part of a joint research effort between the University of Oxford, the European Space Agency and ISSET. This research, described by ESA as "a disruptive approach to the search for life", makes use of new techniques to identify potential homes for life within our solar system, both past and present.

For the Mission Discovery programme, Daniel says “ I absolutely love seeing all the amazing ideas that student produce which come into our laboratory, they all come up with such unique designs! I can’t wait to meet the incoming team of students at Mission Discovery who will create the next set of new and exciting ideas!” 

Jason Schnell University of Oxford

Lead Scientist

Jason is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry at University of Oxford. He tutors Biochemists and provides tutorials in biochemistry to the first year Biologists, Biomedical Scientists, and pre-clinical Medics at St. John’s College, Oxford. For the Department of Biochemistry Jason provides a lecture series in Protein Structure and Chemistry to all first year Biochemists and Biomedical Scientists and another series on Biomolecular NMR to third year Biochemists.

He joins the ISSET team as a lead scientist, Jason and his team at Oxford University will build student experiments in the Oxford Uni laboratories before flying them over to NASA for launch to the ISS.

Dr Hannah Wilson

Lead Scientist

Dr Hannah Wilson is currently working on experiments bound for the International Space Station. She will be part of the team that builds your winning ISSET experiments and launches them to the Space Station.

Dr Wilson can’t wait to getting stuck into more exciting experiments that could better help humankind. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Human & Applied Physiological Sciences at King’s College London.

Hannah Burgess

Lead Scientist

Hannah is part of the team that builds your winning experiments at our King’s College London development group. Together with other team members, Hannah helps in the development and launch of the experiment to the International Space Station. Within her biomedical science degree, she focused her research on the effects of the microgravity environment on human physiology and oversaw the development of an experiment that launched to the ISS in 2020 aboard SpaceX CRS-20.

Currently working within research platforms at King’s College London, Hannah is deeply passionate about diversity and inclusion in STEM education and encouraging those from underrepresented backgrounds into STEM.

For the Mission Discovery programme, Hannah says “I love meeting such incredible groups of students at Mission Discovery, hearing all about your science aspirations and seeing your hard work come to fruition with inspiring experiment proposals being presented. I especially love taking your experimental designs and making them become a reality for you, seeing them go from paper to the lab, and right through to launch.”

Daniel Cervenkov

Scientist

Daniel is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. He is a particle physicist working on the LHCb experiment at CERN. He did his PhD at the Belle experiment in Japan, where he studied the differences in the physical laws of matter and antimatter.

Daniel is very interested in space (having recently submitted his astronaut application) and has experience with robotics and 3D printing. Developing Mission Discovery experiments was an exciting expansion of his hobbies. He thoroughly enjoys seeing the unique experiments that the student teams propose and delights in bringing them to reality and ready for space.

Laurel Kaye

Scientist

Laurel is a phd student studying astrophysics at the University of Oxford and medical student at the Yale School of Medicine. She currently does research on exoplanets, looking at how they eclipse distant stars and using this to characterise their masses and atmospheres.

On the medical side, Laurel has a background in tissue engineering and is passionate about the unique challenges of space medicine; she co-leads an international organisation for women in space medicine. When she's not having a blast helping to develop Mission Discovery experiments, she enjoys rowing and drawing spacey cartoons.

Jack Enright

Scientist

Jack is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. He is interested in gravity and his focus is on developing the instrumentation and experiments necessary to probe the quantum nature of gravity.

Jack enjoys using CAD to design his own experiments and using those skills to develop Mission Discovery experiments is a rewarding and exciting activity for him. He is fascinated with space so being able to aid the student teams in the preparation of their experiment for launch to the ISS is very fulfilling for him!

Webjects

Web Development

Webjects create innovative platforms for a varied scope of high performing businesses. Their ideology is all about simplicity, however complex the project..

After 10 years in the industry they’ve not only perfected customer orientated websites but built a family of clients who wouldn’t go anywhere else for web design and development.

Launch Prize is thrilled to have partnered with such a strong reliable local brand.

Scott Kelly

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut.

Nicole Stott

NASA Astronaut

Nicole's experience includes 2 spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on the International Space Station, including 1 spacewalk!

Nicole painted the first watercolour in space, and as an artist she combines her artwork and spaceflight experience to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges.

Dr. Steve Swanson

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Astronaut Steve Swanson has flown on 2 Space Shuttle missions and 1 Russian Soyuz mission. He was the commander of the International Space Station and he’s completed 4 spacewalks!

Steve was also honoured with several awards including NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal.

At ISSET, Steve is an operations consultant. He brings decades of experience in elite roles to help us make our students dreams a reality.

Dr. Michael Foale

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Dr Michael Foale is the most experienced British astronaut in the history of spaceflight. He has logged a total of 375 days in orbit! In his 26-year career as a NASA Astronaut, Mike flew on several shuttle and Soyuz missions and even serviced the Hubble telescope.

Mike has guided thousands of students in various STEM outreach programmes over the past 10 years, working alongside ISSET Directors. He is a senior judge for ISSET's various challenges. He makes sure we select the best experiments before sending them to his old colleagues on the International Space Station!

Tony Antonelli

NASA Astronaut

Legendary NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli shares heaps of invaluable advice to ISSET students. He piloted two space shuttle missions STS-119 and STS-132 to the International Space Station. The space missions delivered power-generating solar arrays and the Russian Mini-Research Module 1 to the ISS.

Tony is an engineer and a US Navy test pilot. He currently leads a team that is formulating the future benefits and operations of the International Space Station.

Barbara Morgan

NASA Astronaut

Barbara Morgan is an American teacher and astronaut and is the first teacher to travel into space! She flew on the space shuttle Endeavour on Aug. 8, 2007, on STS-118. The mission was an assembly-and-repair trip to the International Space Station (ISS).

Barbara operated the shuttle’s and station’s robotic arms to install hardware on the ISS and to support spacewalks. Whilst in space, she also conducted lessons for school children!

Dr. Dave Williams

NASA Astronaut

Dave is a Canadian Astronaut, Medical Doctor, Cardiac and Nero Surgeon and pioneer of telemedicine. He has flown on 2 Space Shuttle missions and completed 17 hours of spacewalks (which earned him a Canadian record). His first mission was called Neurolab, which studied the effects of microgravity on the brain and the nervous system with the crew as subjects and operators of the experiments.

Bill McArthur

NASA Astronaut

Veteran NASA astronaut Bill McArthur lived in space for nearly 8 months on board the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir.

He has travelled almost 16 million kilometres (10 million miles) in space.

Following his expeditions, Bill went on to manage the Space Shuttle Safety and Mission Assurance Office, then the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project. Since 2011, he has been the director of Johnson’s Safety and Mission Assurance directorate.

Alyssa Carson

Mission Discovery Host & Future Mars Walker

Alyssa Carson is an American space enthusiast and undergraduate student.

Alyssa was invited by NASAin 2013 to be on the MER 10 panel in Washington DC to discuss future missions to Mars live on NASA TV. She was later selected as one of seven ambassadors representing Mars One, a mission to establish a human colony on Mars in 2030. In October of 2016 Alyssa was the youngest to be accepted and graduate the Advanced Possum Academy, officially making her certified to go to space and an astronaut trainee.

More than anything, Alyssa is driven by an insatiable desire to live life to the fullest; to break through the ceiling of possibility and make a positive and lasting impact on the world.

Alyssa says “Always follow your dream and don’t let anyone take it from you.”

SpaceX dragon capsule sat on NASA Kennedy Space Centre Florida launchpad waiting to launch America. With inspirational quote from NASA apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin - I know the sky is not the limit because there are footprints on the moon and I made them