Our Team

Our Team

David Dangoor

Honorary President

Dangoor Education provides opportunities across the learning spectrum with sponsorship of Westminster Academy, Open University Massive Open Online Courses, STEM university scholarships, the Dangoor Centre for Medical Education at the Royal Society of Medicine and the Dangoor Centre for Personalised Medicine at Bar Ilan University. Dangoor Education’s sponsorship of the UK, EU Space Design Competition and Galactic Challenges builds on the fantastic legacy of Sir Naim Dangoor, who supported the Competition for a number of years.

Marcus du Sautoy FRS, OBE


Is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Formerly a Fellow of All Souls College, and Wadham College, he is now a Fellow of New College. He was previously President of the Mathematical Association, an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow and a Royal Society University Research Fellow. His academic work concerns mainly group theory and number theory. In October 2008, he was appointed to the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science, succeeding the inaugural holder Richard Dawkins.

Dr Randall Perry

SSEF & SDC Founder, SSEF Honorary Chair

Dr Perry is the founder of the UKSDC and the Space Science Engineering Foundation (SSEF). He is the Honorary Chair of the SSEF, a registered UK charity. The SSEF supports the UK, MEA and EU Space Design Challenge and the Galactic Challenge. He is a director of the Global Space Design Challenge Ltd that runs a 12 day summer camp at Imperial College London. He is a Senior Research Investigator and a past Royal Society Fellow at Imperial College London. He has a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington, has held the US and Canada National Science Foundation Fellowship at Oxford University, and has a NASA certification in Astrobiology. His current focus is on education. In addition, he has published widely in his areas of interest of geology, geochemistry, microbiology and education. He is the author of four adventure novels. Besides scientific talks he enjoys giving talks to a wide variety of public venues for example being invited to give the Public Lecture at the Durham Institute for Advanced Studies on a Definition of Life and as a painter and member of the Chelsea Art Club an invited talk on Science and Art. As a script writer he is a member of the Writers Guild of America West. He is a director and producer with Athene Films, a Canadian film company whose most recent film is Meet Beau Dick. In his spare time he enjoys trekking, scuba diving and flying helicopters and aircraft. He was the president of a company before finishing a Ph.D. later in life and has since visited many of the Earth’s extreme habitats including diving in ‘Alvin’ the deep submersible. Dr Perry was shortlisted for a Sir Arthur Clarke Award in 2013 for his work on USKDC.  randallsperry rsperry

Jenny Lyons

Director of Education and Outreach

Chair of the SDC Board

A passionate believer in the benefits that practical science brings to school based learning. Jenny has taught in both the private and public sectors, and additionally worked with a variety of agencies to promote and fund the setting up of Science Clubs. She received a BSc from University of Westminster in biological sciences. She has attended University of Sussex and received an endorsement to teach chemistry after receiving her PGCE from University of Middlesex.
Having worked voluntarily for the UK SDC, she is now excited to have the opportunity to extend their project based learning methods to a wider audience, and is looking forward to the continued success of the Space Science Engineering Foundation (SSEF), the EUSDC, MEASDC and UKSDC and Galactic Challenges.
When not working with SSEF and GC, Jenny enjoys the great outdoors by taking part in Open Water Swimming challenges, as a member of the UK Wild Camping group, and as an assessor and trainer for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Evan Meyrick

Vice Chair UKSDC Board

Evan has been involved with the UK Space Design Competition since 2012, and deeply enjoys helping others further their learning. After completing a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London, he currently works as a systems engineer specialising in information security for unmanned air vehicles and communications networks, with a wider interest in global security and counter terrorism.

Evan was the UKSDC organising chair for 2015/16 and is now chair of the Galactic Challenge organising committee.

Nicky Fasa


Nicky has a BSc in Information Systems and Media Studies. She has years of administrative experience in a variety of capacities.   Her most recent role was working in a highly acclaimed Independent School in the north of England as Secretary to the Headmistress.  She enjoys working with children and education, and is very excited to get involved with SSEF, their competitions, and what they represent.

Alexander Turley-Pound

Special Events and Social Media Coordinator
Co-Director Branding Committee

Alex is a third year mechanical engineering student at the University of Warwick. He first became involved in the competition through a video entry in 2015, before going on to be a member of the winning companies at the 2015 and 2016 UKSDC finals. Following the 2016 UKSDC, Alex was part of the UK team at the ISSDC, with whom he subsequently won the competition.
Alex returned to volunteer as a technical specialist at the 2017 National Final, before joining the team as Webmaster in July 2017. Alex ran our social media accounts at the 2018  and 2019 National Finals and subsequently assumed an official role managing our social media presence. He also organises special events within the UKSDC community.

Shayne Beegadhur

UKSDC 2019-2020 Organising Chair

Shayne competed in the 2017 and 2018 UKSDC competitions. In 2017, he was part of the EU team and in 2018 he was the president of the winning company at the national finals and later went on to represent the UK at NASA. He is currently in his first year studying Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University. He is also the Projects Lead and Head of Combustion at the Loughborough Space Society for their hybrid rocket engine: The Chimera.  One day, he hopes to clear all space debris from Earth’s orbit.

Jian Heseri


Trustee Representative
Chair of the Space Science Engineering Foundation
UKSDC Board Member

Jian Heseri started volunteering with UKSDC in 2009,first as a supporting technical specialist, and later on as judge and “company” CEO.  After completing his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, he currently works as a reliability engineer in the petroleum industry, specialising in technical risk management and system reliability solutions in the hostile underwater environment.  The best treat for his volunteering weekends is seeing creative ideas from young candidates coming together into designs.

Dr Richard Ghail

Trustee Representative
Past Chair Space Science Engineering Foundation
UKSDC Board Member

Richard Ghail is Reader in Engineering Geology, based in the Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, with research interests in The London Basin Forum, Intraplate Processes and the Neotectonics of Great Britain, Plate Tectonics of Buoyant Lithospheres.

Adam Braithwaite

Trustee Representative
UKSDC Board Member

Adam completed his Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at Imperial College in the summer of 2015, and is now a quantitative strategist at Goldman Sachs focused on pricing and modelling of derivative products across the securities business. In his scarce free time, he enjoys flying, scuba diving, and stealing unattended pizza at the competition finals.

Adam was the UKSDC organising chair for 2013/14.

Helen Oliver

Trustee Representative
UKSDC Board Member
Safeguarding Officer

Helen Oliver is a Research Associate in the Networks and Operating Systems Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. She has been volunteering as a Judge and Technical Expert with the UKSDC since 2011, when she was working in the Design Engineering Group at Imperial College London. She has been a Judge at the International Finals at both NASA Johnson and NASA Kennedy. She is the original developer of designVUE, a concept mapping software application for capturing design rationale which was subsequently used in a project at NASA Ames to analyze a case study of system failure. Her current research interests include the Internet of Things, personal data stores and privacy by design, and wearable technology.

Trisha Saxena

Trustee and Alumni Representative
UKSDC Board Member

Trisha first took part in the UKSDC in 2014 as a participant, and although her team won she did not have the chance to go to the Kennedy Space Center. This motivated her to try once more in 2015, when her team won again and this time she had the chance to represent the UK at the International competition. Since then she has been involved with the regional and micro competition heats as a judge and CEO. She is currently in her third year at Imperial College London, studying Physics, and hopes to one day work for the UK Space Agency.

Trisha was the UKSDC organising chair for 2016/17 and elected as a trustee in 2019.

Louis Lyle

Alumni Representative
UKSDC Board member

Louis recently finished a degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of York and has been involved in the competition since 2011. He was the head of the Human engineering section of the winning team in 2014 and was one of the twelve chosen to represent the UK at the international final in Florida. Louis has since volunteered for both the 2015 and 2016 competitions and has held a number of roles varying from technical specialist, to judge, to CEO at last year’s final. He is also the Science and Technology section editor for one of his university’s student newspapers and is an avid member of many scientific societies.

Louis is the SDC news letter coordinator. He was the 2018-2019 Organising Chair

Scott Fisher

EU and UKSDC Board Member
Member RFP Development Team

Scott Fisher is an Opto-Mechanical Engineer currently working at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), UK, where he develops optical payloads for Earth Observation Satellites. He previously worked as a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer at Insitu Pacific Ltd, Australia, where he designed payloads and platforms for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). Scott graduated with an Honours Degree from The University of Queensland, Australia, and has completed the International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program. He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Outside of work, he is an active proponent for Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and outreach, and frequently volunteers his time with the IMechE and the UK Space Design Competition.

Aadil Kara

Chair Galactic Challenge (GC)
GC representative to the UKSDC Board
RFP Development Team

Aadil currently studies Physics at Imperial College. As an alumnus of the 2017 national and international Space Design Competitions (UKSDC, ISSDC), he has been involved in various activities for the UK Competition from outreach at a local summer school to organising logistics at the internationals. He is enthusiastic to build on the successes of the competition, bringing the experience of science and mathematics to even more students. Outside of studies and Space Design, Aadil is a volunteer tutor, website designer, and can occasionally be found exploring the London Underground. 

Nich Fletcher

CEO Coordinator
Industry Link Officer

Nicholas is an IT Quality Management Systems Consultant, and specialises in the design of software engineering processes that produce high-availability products for mission-critical systems. He has worked on European Space Agency (ESA) projects like the Solar Orbiter, Aeolus, and Exomars Lander. He has also made contributions to Bepi Colombo, Exomars Rover, Plato, and other space systems, both launched and currently in development. Nicholas has worked with the UKSDC since 2013 as a team CEO, a Judge at regional heats, and as a finals CEO Instructor. The reward he gets for supporting the UKSDC is when students suddenly recognise what they want to study at university – to become part of the engineering and space industry workforce.

Neelesh Ravichandran

Co-Director Branding Committee
Director Design and Publications

Neelesh is in his second year of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London. He competed in the 2016/17 National competition and has volunteered at UKSDC and the Galactic Challenge events as well as supervising the 2017/18 Internationals (ISSDC) trip to the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. He is an avid tennis player and fan. He also enjoys his fair share of hackathons.

Victoria Farrant

US UK Team Coordinator
Co-Director 2019 Video Competitions

Victoria has been involved with the competition since 2015, when she first entered in the video competition. She represented the UK as part of the winning team in both the 2015 and 2016 ISSDC finals, and was the winning team President in the International Finals in 2016. She has volunteered every year since for the competition, in particular as a CEO.

Brian Kong

Press Officer

Brian was a competitor in the 2016/17 National finals and was selected to compete in the EU team at the International finals in 2017 at NASA. Brian has continued as a volunteer every year since competing, taking on the role of CEO numerous times for teams at Regional heats and the National final as well as judging some Regional heats.

Brian is currently in his second year studying Mathematics at Imperial College London. He is a keen climber and is involved closely with the Imperial Mountaineering Society as the 2019/20 Social Secretary.

Theo Macklin

Co-Director 2019 Video Competitions
Director Engineering Preparation Programme
RFP Development Team

Theo is a second year Mechanical Engineering student at Imperial College London. His association with the SSEF began in 2016 as a competitor in the UK Space Design Competition where he reached the national finals and went on to compete at the international finals at NASA in Florida in 2017. He competed again in 2017/18 and now volunteers for the UKSDC. His interests lie in spacecraft propulsion and spacesuit technology.

Andre Nowaczek

UK, EU and US Transportation Coordinator

Andre competed in both the 2017 and 2018 National Finals and went on to be part of the winning team at the International finals in 2018 at NASA – he now volunteers for the competition. Andre is currently a second year engineering student at the University of Cambridge and is part of a team at Cambridge University Space Flight attempting to break the UK altitude record with their hybrid rocket engine. He hopes to, one day, make a career in asteroid mining and space infrastructure.