Maggie Aderin-Pocock(1968-), Scientist and mechanical engineer
Sitter in 1 portrait
British space scientist and science educator Maggie Aderin-Pocock was born in London to Nigerian parents. Fascinated with space from an early age, she built her own telescope as a teenager. She gained four A-Levels in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, despite battling dyslexia, and graduated with a BSc in Physics from Imperial College London and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (1994). She worked at the Ministry of Defence building missile warning systems and landmine detectors before returning to space science. She is an Honorary Research Associate at University College London and has helped to design revolutionary space instruments, such as the Gemini Observatory telescopes in Chile, the James Webb Space Telescope, and satellites for the European Space Agency. Aderin-Pocock also regularly visits schools to educate and inspire children, particularly girls, to pursue their interest in science with her company, Science Innovation. This has prompted a successful television career, with BBC documentaries about the moon and satellites, and most recently a role as co-presenter on the long-running astronomy programme The Sky at Night. She was awarded an MBE for her services to science and education in 2009. In 2013, she was listed in the UK Powerlist as one of the top ten most influential black Britons.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below