"I’m currently working as a Space Psychologist Lead at SAGA Space Architects, where every day brings something new. At SAGA, we’re working with researchers from Surrey on the LUNARK project, which looks to explore how humans could survive on the Moon and have successful habitats there in the future."
During my undergraduate studies at Surrey, I developed a passion for space and investigating extreme environments, and knew I wanted to work in this area. After doing some research, it was evident that most experts in the USA had backgrounds in occupational psychology, specialising in selection, group dynamics and wellbeing. I found the MSc Occupational and Organizational Psychology course and knew this would strengthen my organisational skills and give me a better understanding of these areas.
Throughout my studies I had a diverse range of lecturers who were friendly, approachable, and very responsive by email. They used their personal experiences, backgrounds and specialisms in their teaching and I found this both inspirational and inciteful.
My course had a choice of optional modules and I was able to choose my dissertation topic, exploring the ethical leadership and wellbeing in NewSpace organisations, which was perfect for my interests. For my dissertation, I was able to use the industry-standard psychology facilities and equipment.
My work abroad experience
During my undergraduate course, I went on an Erasmus exchange to Austria, where I worked as a Psychology Research Intern at the Austrian Space Forum. In this role, I investigated group dynamics for teams working in extreme environments and organised an annual conference for the Association of Space Explorers, meeting over 100 astronauts and listening in on their technical sessions and press events. I used the data I collected for my undergraduate dissertation, investigating group dynamics in analogue space missions.
The experience laid the foundation for my career and inspired me to work in the space industry. I would recommend a work abroad experience to everybody!
My life at Surrey
At Surrey, I got involved with lots of different activities. Some of my fondest memories are of the Music and Drama Society (MADSoc), where I was lucky enough to put on a stage adaptation of the film, The Terminal, originally starring Tom Hanks.
"I worked abroad as a Psychology Research Intern at the Austrian Space Forum, where I investigated group dynamics for teams working in extreme environments."
My career and development
I’m currently working as a Space Psychologist Lead at SAGA Space Architects, where every day brings something new. At SAGA, we’re working with researchers from Surrey on the LUNARK project, which looks to explore how humans could survive on the Moon and have successful habitats there in the future. In the project, I’m facilitating and assisting with psychological research, investigating the effects of social isolation. I’m also making interior design choices using psychological theory and preparing crew and staff for the rigors to come.
In addition to my role at SAGA, I’ve taken up a summer post as an Academic Assistant with the International Space University, where I’m helping to organise their online programmes.
If, like me, you want to begin a career relating to space, be prepared to work in an exciting, niche area, completing cutting-edge research.
Working with space is working with the future, and the problems you’ll tackle could not only benefit future space exploration, but also life on Earth.
- Applying to International Space University programmes to get an interdisciplinary overview of space topics.
- Networking and applying for internships and volunteer roles.
- Joining societies and bodies like UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).
Study hard and apply what you’ve learned to the field you adore and use it as your motivation for your career.
Discover more about our postgraduate psychology courses, including our MSc Occupational and Organizational Psychology course.