Tyndale Institute Cork, ESA sites in Holland (ESTEC), Germany (ESOC) and Spain (ESAC)
Rosetta Science Operations Manager
European Space Agency – Madrid Spain
I’m an engineer and scientist working on the Rosetta mission which is all about a spacecraft flying around a comet
I’m a science operations manager working on the Rosetta mission based in ESAC, Madrid I’m also the system engineer for the Philae lander which landed on the comet in November 2014. My day to day work involves a mix of engineering and management discussions quite a few of which require decisions to be taken.
My Typical Day
Engineering & management discussions via meetings with email interactions in the background
My work – this morning – has involved for example :
Review and followup of a press release discussing the Philae lander going to sleep for ever
Previewing a talk to be given by a colleague on the engineering system we use to check the success of observations performed by the instruments on the spacecraft
Discussions on what remains to be done to prepare for a major science data review next week
Browsing a new tool which overlays images taken by cameras on Rosetta on the comet
Processing data from an asteroid observation I took with the Herschel space telescope in 2012 and learning how to analyse the spectrum with different tools
Continuous viewing of my email
Responding to phone calls
What I'd do with the money
I’d use it to visit 2 schools in Ireland (one primary, one secondary) to talk about the mission and bring posters/Rosetta stickers etc.
As I live and work in Spain, the travel costs & accomodation costs would be funded for the trip. Rosetta materials will come freely with my visit, paid for by the project. I have two different Rosetta talks for younger kids (5 to 13) e.g. they have cartoons included, and one for secondary school (13 to 18) e.g. more detailed. The set of talks are designed for the audience.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Multi-tasker, thorough, talkative
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
Built satellites, operated satellites, worked with the Philae lander
What or who inspired you to become an engineer?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had no idea doing my leaving cert what I wanted to be. I never appreciated that I had a science and engineering aptitude.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
A terrible painter and an unsuccessful contestant of the x-factor :-)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Not one but rathers lots : Cold Play, David Guetta, Maroon 5, Simple minds, U2 and many more.
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Playing with my kids; always enjoyable for me so always the most fun