I am a Lecturer in Engineering Management at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh.
I am Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) and I am also Deputy Director for Festival Futures at the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI).
I study innovation and the development of emerging technology, especially focusing on the space and satellite industry, and their interaction with artificial intelligence and a data-driven economy.
I specialise in innovation intermediation, combining management of R&D, strategic planning and future design. I am developing a dual process-management understanding of Open Engineering and I work on two major programmes:
- The New Real – building Experiential Artificial Intelligence (EAI) systems and refining Open Prototyping methodology for arts-science-society co-creation/design
- NanoSpace Lab – coordinating rapidly growing diverse activities in (“New”) Space engineering across the University of Edinburgh and with our partners in the industry (part of Space Innovation Hub)
I am also a member of the Centre for Knowledge, Science and Policy – SKAPE; the Centre for Data, Culture and Society; UK Centre for Astrobiology; and the Social Informatics Cluster; and I co-convene Social Network Analysis in Scotland (SNAS) group. I am also involved with the Edinburgh Living Laboratory, Utopia Lab and Curious Edinburgh.
In addition, I work closely with the Data-Driven Innovation’s Strategy team and Space Innovation Hub, looking at developing a set of strategies leading to Edinburgh becoming the Space Data Capital of Europe and our university a Space University.
In my professional roles, I am a member of the steering group of the UK Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology (AsSIST-UK). I am also a member of the European Association for Study of Science and Technology (EASST), a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), a Member of the Institute of Physics (IoP), a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS), where I co-coordinate the re-launched BIS Scotland branch, as well as a trustee of UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Outer Space (UK SEDS), working on policy and outreach. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In addition, I have co-founded two new research networks, the Scottish Social Dimensions of Outer Space network and the international Social Studies of Outer Space network.
Even More Stuff?
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Business Development Manager, Algacraft, Ltd.
I have helped found a biotech start-up Algacraft, which is aiming to develop a new photobioreactor for analysing and optimising algae growth (including potentially using such devices to grow food in space!). We have received substantial investment from Scottish Enterprise High Growth Ventures Fund, the EIT Climate-KIC and Food Seedbed accelerators and MBR Space Centre. More news about our activities can be found at algacraft.com and on our Twitter feed.
Chairman and Policy Lead, Gateway Earth Development Group (GEDG)
I am part of the Gateway Earth Development Group (GEDG), which is a think-tank proposing a conceptual architecture for a new orbital space station to support future robotic and manned Solar System Exploration Missions. We have recently produced a video outlining the key concepts in this initiative.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Programs and Special Projects (Europe), Astrosociology Research Institute (ARI)
As part of my future-oriented approach to contextualised research about Space Exploration and Industry and the wider Astronomy, I have been engaging with Astrosociology Research Institute (ARI) to develop new projects and programmes to further this field of study. I am also absolutely thrilled to be part of an exciting new peer-reviewed academic journal, The Journal of Astrosociology (JOA).
I am a STEM Ambassador and took part in several other outreach projects such as Edinburgh University activities Particle Physics for Scottish Schools and Sci-FUN; and various IoP projects, notably Lab in a Lorry. I am also part of Edinburgh’s Astronomy on Tap, Spacebar and the Scottish Public Engagement Network. On top of other (more serious?) public engagement, I was involved with the first-ever launch of Bright Club for undergraduate students. I have also dipped my toes into the Edinburgh Fringe with a series of shows in the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CoDI) series- “Let Big Brother Watch” (2016), “Outer Space – The Next Empire!” with Pippa Goldschmidt (2017), “Is Space Food the Future?” (2018) and “Scotland: The Final Frontier?” (2019).
My “Other” Life
In order to be able to keep up with myself, I try to run every morning and I can enjoy a good read any time of the day. My amazing girlfriend and I love cooking and travelling and as she leads a small design enterprise EmporiumJulium, selling various arts and crafts and photography. I am often applied to for my (theoretical!) knowledge about innovation and business, which has so far met various degrees of success…