Dr. Kierann ShahGeneral Manager

Dr Kierann Shah

There are lots of routes into a career in the space sector. Kierann studied Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics and Latin at A Level... fast forward a few years and a PhD in Nanotechnology from Swansea University; she is now General Manager of the National Space Academy!

"I went to a state comprehensive in Southampton which had no sixth form and studied combined sciences at GCSE. I turned down a scholarship sixth form place at King Edward VI independent school to go to Taunton's College because I didn't want to wear uniform and be in a formal school environment for another 2 years...and because they had only just started taking girls. I applied for a place at Cambridge University because I thought it was something I should do, but I bombed terribly in the interview. Luckily by that time I had already fallen for Swansea. I grew up thinking I would do something in art, writing or theatre until I fell in love with physics whilst studying for my GCSEs! That's when I switched course and studied Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics and Latin at A Level."

Boards and councils
IoP Outreach and Public Engagement Network Advisory Group
RAS Education and Outreach Committee

Women in Science Award 2018

At the office
Kierann oversees all the National Space Academy's operations and projects. It is her responsibility to make sure that our activity aligns with the vision and direction of our key stakeholders. Kierann manages the Core Team and the National Space Academy budget. She builds relationships with partners and funders, sets up new opportunities all over the world and leads the National Space Academy to reach as many people as possible with science education and inspiration!

Kierann strongly believes that science is for everyone and has appeared on national and international news talking about the importance of diversity in STEM.

Away from the office
Kierann is a member of a Leicester improv comedy group, The Same Faces, and also regularly takes part in Leicester's 14/48 theatre festival. She also enjoys other creative pursuits such as writing short stories and poetry, painting, drawing and knitting.

We asked Kierann...

Given the chance, would you go to space?
Yes. I will have to wait for commercial passenger opportunities though as I wouldn't pass astronaut physical and mental health and fitness requirements for numerous reasons!

What's the best thing about science?
How it helps us to discover more about the world and how we interact with it.

What's the best thing about working at the National Space Academy?
Meeting fascinating scientists and engineers, and helping young people from all backgrounds to discover that they can engage with and "do" science.


 If you have a question for Kierann, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll make sure she gets it!

Or, connect with Kierann on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Kierann can be booked for talks at your school, college or organisation. To make an enquiry use the booking form or email us.