Reinventing Space NextGen Careers Afternoon

NextGen Careers Afternoon for Students and Young Professionals (Tuesday afternoon)

This is a FREE parallel session to the main RISpace conference, open to everybody – separate registration is required and you do not need to be attending the main conference in order to attend this.

Registration for the NextGen Careers Afternoon (Tuesday 29th November) can be done HERE. – Registrations at the venue are welcome, but we advise registering in advance to secure your place.

As part of the Reinventing Space 2022 Conference, BIS NextGen Network in collaboration with UKSEDS have organised a Careers Afternoon, aimed at students, graduates, and young professionals who want to succeed within the space sector. Attendees will gather for short talks by selected speakers and mentors, including a panel on careers advice and speed mentoring on career development in the space sector.

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BIS NextGen Network

The BIS NextGen Network aims to connect, inspire and empower students and young professionals in the space community. Through networking, events, and career development support, the NextGen Network will bring the next generation of the space community together.


UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) is the UK’s national student space society. For over 30 years they have been supporting students and young professionals across the country by running events, providing resources, and teaching new skills. UKSEDS alumni work throughout the global space sector in government, industry, and academia.

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The NextGen Careers Afternoon is kindly sponsored by HE Space.

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Provisional Programme

12:35 – 12:40
BIS NGN Announcements
 Main Auditorium
12:40 – 13:40
 Main area/Exhibition area
13:40 – 13:50
BIS / NextGen Network Activities, by Simon Feast (CEO), British Interplanetary Society
 Careers Afternoon room
13:50 – 14:00
Getting That Job in Space, by Jason Maroothynaden (UK Director), HE Space
 Careers Afternoon room
14:00 – 14:10
My Voyage to Space, by Mamatha-Maheshwarappa (Payload Systems Lead), UK Space Agency
 Careers Afternoon room
14:10 – 14:20
Careers/Outreach, by Matthew Harris (Space Focus Area Lead), Avantus US
 Careers Afternoon room
14:20 – 14:30
Additional Talk (Title TBC)
 Careers Afternoon room
14:30 – 15:00
Panel Q+A
 Careers Afternoon room
15:00 – 16:20
Break + Speed mentoring
 Careers Afternoon room
16:20 – 17:00
Post-mentoring session networking


Optional drop-in session at the main conference (Frequently Asked Questions – a fun session exploring the big questions and questions from the audience)

 Careers Afternoon room



 Main Auditorium


For any enquiries, please contact of BIS NGN

Speaker Bios

Jason Maroothynaden, Director, HE Space Operations Ltd.

Jason started his career as a Bio-instrumentation Engineer at ESA/ESTEC. He left space and became an internationally experienced venture builder. In 2017, he came back to Europe and the space sector and started working at ESA/ECSAT as a Business Broker in the ESA Space Solutions Programme. As broker, he spent a lot of time with start-ups and facilitated access to finance, particularly working in partnership with Venture Capital and Business Angel funds. Since May 2020, Jason has been supporting HE Space in Business Development, focusing on our customers in Harwell, Oxfordshire. With 20 years in the aerospace business and venture, his expertise covers investment, finance relations, venture growth, downstream applications, micro-gravity sciences and payload development. Jason studied Materials Science and Engineering at Imperial College London and Finance from Oxford University.

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Dr Mamatha Maheshwarappa, Payload Systems Lead, UK Space Agency

Dr Mamatha Maheshwarappa is Payload Systems Lead at the UK Space Agency. Before this, she was the technical lead on SPEQTRE (Space Photon Entanglement Quantum Technology Readiness Experiment) satellite project and has worked on ESA’s Sentinel 4 & 5 test campaigns at RAL Space. Mamatha has worked on transceivers for ExoMars and Lunar Polar Sample Return projects while at QinetiQ. She has a PhD in Software Defined Radios for Multi-Satellite Communications from the University of Surrey, UK. She was the systems engineer for STUDSAT-1, India’s first pico-satellite, launched by Indian Space Research Organisation, listed in the Limca Book of Records. Mamatha is part of the Women in Aerospace UK committee representing the UK Space Agency.

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Matthew Harris, Space Focus Area Lead, Avantus US

Matthew Harris is the Space Focus Area Lead for Avantus Federal, LLC – a mission-focused space services and solutions company. He is also Director of Strategy and Governance for Beyond Earth Institute. His current work focuses on the policy, technical, and financial aspects of inner solar system communications, navigation, and data transmission infrastructure.

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Rosie Cane, Knowledge Catalyst , Exotopic

Rosie works as a Knowledge Catalyst at Exotopic – bridging the gap between science and business. She is experienced in outreach within UK Science and Technology sectors, winning a Rising Star Award from the British Interplanetary Society in 2021. Rosie has a PhD in Astrobiology from the University of Edinburgh and two and a half years experience working in the space industry, supporting numerous consultancy projects over a wide range of topics, for customers including the UK Space Agency and Aerospace Technology Institute, and establishing and organising the annual Mach-series of student rocketry competitions to support students in building hands-on skills in preparation for their own career in the space sector.

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Dr Thomas Clayson, Founder and CTO, Magdrive

Dr Thomas Clayson is founder and CTO of Magdrive, UK based start-up developing the next generation of spacecraft propulsion. Thomas completed his PhD in plasma laboratory astrophysics at Imperial College London, where he also served as president of the Imperial College Robotics Society. He played a key role at VC backed fusion pioneers First Light Fusion, to design and build the largest pulsed power machine in Europe for nuclear fusion experiments. In 2019 he founded Magdrive and, with his cofounder Mark Stokes, have raised $5M, with their seed led by Founders Fund (key investors in SpaceX). The company has since grown to 11 people and is launching their first space mission this year. Thomas has worked with innovate UK tech companies including Astroscale, RACE robotics, Tokamak Energy and Shadow Robotics, and international organizations such as SIOM (Shanghai institute of optics and fine mechanics) and Observatoire de Paris. Thomas has been invited to present work in Europe, the US, Japan, China and published over 20 research papers.