Dr Suzie Imber
Dr Suzie Imber achieved international recognition when she won the BBC2 TV series ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ in which 12 candidates underwent astronaut training with astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield. They faced a range of challenges including taking their own blood, speaking Russian while in a centrifuge at 5g, and carrying out emergency procedures on the NASA undersea astronaut training facility, Aquarius. Suzie received a letter of recommendation from Chris Hadfield to support her application to the European Space Agency astronaut training programme.
Her “daytime job” is as Associate Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Leicester, UK. She specialises in studying the impact of the solar wind on the planets in our solar system, particularly the Earth and Mercury. Currently, she works in Operations Planning for the BepiColombo spacecraft, due to arrive at Mercury in 2025.
In 2019, Suzie was selected for Homeward Bound, a global leadership programme to train 100 women to become the next generation of leaders in the fight against climate change. Culminating in a 3-week voyage to Antarctica (scheduled Nov 2022), the programme includes leadership style and mentality, effective communication, building teams, personal and organisational strategy, mental health and wellbeing.
With extensive experience of speaking at live stage events, including music and science festivals, Suzie was invited to perform at “Space Shambles” at the Royal Albert Hall, London, appearing with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince, astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield, and Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart. She has spoken at many science festivals, including BlueDot, Gravity Fields, Cheltenham, Farnborough Airshow, New Scientist Live, Latitude, AstroFest, SpaceRocks and the Virgin Galactic Space Festival (US).
Dr Suzie Imber has spoken at many conferences and seminars in the UK, Europe, the US and Russia, most often as a keynote speaker. She has chaired conference sessions and served on event organising committees.
One of her most-requested speeches describes a journey combining elite sport, space science, identifying and climbing unclimbed mountains, and training to be an astronaut. It’s entertaining, inspirational and offers the audience the opportunity to reflect on their own sources of motivation and enthusiasm.
Enthusiastic and engaging, with a detailed scientific CV and extensive experience, Suzie tailors each speech and recent subjects have included;
- The future of the space industry and exploration
- The history, and future, of human spaceflight
- Climate change and what we can do about it
- Earth observation, and how we can use satellite data for humanitarian and societal benefit
- Writing computer code to identify mountains, and launching expeditions to achieve first ascents (risk, challenge, resilience, teamwork)
She also speaks on becoming an international athlete, mountaineer, space scientist, appearing on the BBC Astronauts series, climate leadership and her upcoming voyage to Antarctica.
Suzie works with a wide range of organisations, schools and festivals focusing primarily on education, STEM accessibility, and opportunity for young people from all backgrounds. She regularly hosts school events, podcasts, and awards ceremonies.
“Suzie was absolutely brilliant. We cannot recommend her highly enough. She was so engaging, funny, interesting, and our guests loved her. We’ll definitely book her again.”.
— Ayrshire Hospice, February 2022
“Thank you so very much for your absolutely inspirational after dinner speech, which was incredibly well received by delegates.”
— Conference Director, IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) March 2022
“Everyone is singing your praises after the excellent after dinner session you delivered: they highly recommend you!”
— IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) March 2022