Professor Anu Ojha OBE is a member of the Executive Committee of the UK Space Agency and Director for the Championing Space Directorate. Included in his portfolio are leadership of the Agency’s International and ESA Policy teams as well as UKSA’s public/parliamentary affairs, communications and education/skills development/inspiration programmes.
Prior to joining the Agency in May 2023 he was the founder of the UK National Space Academy programme and a Director of the National Space Centre. Appointed Honorary Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester in 2016, he is a co-investigator in the University’s programme for nuclear power applications for exploration, was involved in data analysis from ESA’s Rosetta, Mars Express and SOHO missions and was Principal Investigator for the ESA/UKSA Astro Academy Principia education experiment suite conducted by Tim Peake during his mission to the International Space Station. He continues to teach on the University’s MSc course in Space Exploration Systems specialising in human survival in extreme environments and helped develop and teaches on the University’s new undergraduate-level Fundamentals of Space training course for space professionals.
From 2018 to 2023 he was a member of ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC) based at ESTEC. He was a member of the final site selection team for the ESA Rosalind Franklin mission targeted for the Oxia Planum region of Mars and has helped develop ESA’s science exploration strategies for the ESA Terra Novae programme. Since 2020 he has supported MOD Space Directorate and UK Space Command in a number of areas related to skills development and international perspectives through his long-standing experience as a member of the UK-China Joint Laboratory in Space Science and Technology and is a current member of STFC Council. He was also invited by the UK Secretary of State for Defence to contribute to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.
Prior to joining the space sector in 2008 Anu spent fourteen years as a state high school science teacher and also with British Forces Cyprus. During this time he was appointed as National Lead Practitioner for Physics by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and was also Assistant Headteacher/Advanced Skills Teacher at the largest school in England at the time.
Anu has been a British Skydiving member since 2000, has completed over 1400 jumps and was involved as a science consultant for the Red Bull Stratos stratospheric skydive programme in 2012-12. Since 1993 he has led many high-altitude trekking expeditions in India and Nepal and his other interests include scuba/free diving, triathlon, amateur astronomy and contemporary world politics
15 November 2023 | 10:45 - 11:30 | Panel: Investing in space to support the country’s growth plans
Understanding the economic impact of space and creating a space infrastructure on earth to support the country’s vision and growth plans. Discussing the impact of increasing private investments in space economy. Debating the best way forward for securing the economic sustainability of space whilst ensuring a safe and risk-free outer space environment.
15 November 2023 | 13:20 - 13:55 | Panel: Combatting climate change through space science
Discussing the critical role of space data in understanding and addressing climate change. Exploring the innovations in space-based services and applications and analyzing how new age communication satellites and emerging space tech can enhance monitoring and help suggest methods to limit climate change
16 November 2023 | 14:25 - 14:55 | Panel: What are we doing about space junk removal?
Discussing concerns about space debris and what is being done to clean up orbital space debris. Highlighting how countries can collaborate to minimize debris and promote more sustainable operations in orbit. Analyzing solutions that help to avoid creating new debris and removing the debris already in space