Our Team

David Dangoor CBE

SSEF Honorary President

Dangoor Education provides opportunities across the learning spectrum with sponsorship of Westminster Academy, Open University Massive Open Online Courses, STEM university scholarships, the Dangoor Centre for Medical Education at the Royal Society of Medicine and the Dangoor Centre for Personalised Medicine at Bar Ilan University. Dangoor Education’s sponsorship of the UK, EU Space Design Competition and Galactic Challenges builds on the fantastic legacy of Sir Naim Dangoor, who supported the Competition for a number of years.

Marcus du Sautoy FRS, OBE


Is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Formerly a Fellow of All Souls College, and Wadham College, he is now a Fellow of New College. He was previously President of the Mathematical Association, an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow and a Royal Society University Research Fellow. His academic work concerns mainly group theory and number theory. In October 2008, he was appointed to the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science, succeeding the inaugural holder Richard Dawkins.

Galactic Challenge Board

Dr Randall Perry

SSEF & SDC Founder, SSEF Honorary Chair

Dr Perry is the founder of the UKSDC and the Space Science Engineering Foundation (SSEF). He is the Honorary Chair of the SSEF, a registered UK charity. The SSEF supports the UK, (MEA) and Europe (EU) Space Design Challenge and the Galactic Challenge. He is a director of the Global Space Design Challenge Ltd that runs a 12 day summer camp at Imperial College London. He is a Senior Research Investigator and a past Royal Society Fellow at Imperial College London. He has a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington, has held the US and Canada National Science Foundation Fellowship at Oxford University, and has a NASA certification in Astrobiology. His current focus is on education. In addition, he has published widely in his areas of interest of geology, geochemistry, microbiology and education. He is the author of four adventure novels. Besides scientific talks he enjoys giving talks to a wide variety of public venues for example being invited to give the Public Lecture at the Durham Institute for Advanced Studies on a Definition of Life and as a painter and member of the Chelsea Art Club an invited talk on Science and Art. As a script writer he is a member of the Writers Guild of America West. He is a director and producer whose most recent films are Meet Beau Dick  and Ride.In his spare time he enjoys trekking, scuba diving and flying helicopters and aircraft. He was the president of a company before finishing a PhD later in life and has since visited many of the Earth’s extreme habitats including diving in ‘Alvin’ the deep submersible. He has authored 4 adventure novels rsperry. Dr Perry was shortlisted for a Sir Arthur Clarke Award in 2013 for his work on USKDC.

Jenny Lyons

SDC and GC Director of Education

A passionate believer in the benefits that practical science brings to school based learning. Jenny has taught in both the private and public sectors, and additionally worked with a variety of agencies to promote and fund the setting up of Science Clubs. She received a BSc from University of Westminster in biological sciences. She has attended University of Sussex and received an endorsement to teach chemistry after receiving her PGCE from University of Middlesex.
Having worked voluntarily for the UK SDC, she is now excited to have the opportunity to extend their project based learning methods to a wider audience, and is looking forward to the continued success of the Space Science Engineering Foundation (SSEF), the EUSDC, MEASDC and UKSDC and Galactic Challenges.
When not working with SSEF and GC, Jenny enjoys the great outdoors by taking part in Open Water Swimming challenges, as a member of the UK Wild Camping group, and as an assessor and trainer for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Alison Ahearn

Deputy Director of GC Education

Alison Ahearn is a Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, teaching undergraduates and postgraduates in civil engineering law and management. At College level, she works with the Educational Development Unit on teacher-development and the formalising of systems for recognising the learning achieved by students outside the classroom. Alison joined UKSDC for its first London final and brings boardroom experience from her 10 years as Chair of the Zebra Housing charity (student accommodation).  Alison has a particular interest in industry-academic partnerships and versimilitude in project-based learning.

Bill Richards


Bill is a Maths teacher at Bede’s school in East Sussex and was introduced to the UK SDC in 2014 by one of his students asking, “Do you think we could enter this?” Frustrated with not being able to organise a combined entry for the following year’s UKSDC Micro event with his prep school, Bill decided the solution was to hold an event for nearby prep schools on similar lines. The rest is history and the Galactic Challenge was born! When not teaching Maths or enthusing about all things of Galactic importance, Bill represents Great Britain at the sport of Target Rifle shooting all around the world.

Aadil Kara

Galactic Challenge Chair

Aadil currently studies Physics at Imperial College. As an alumnus of the 2017 national and international Space Design Competitions (UKSDC, ISSDC), he has been involved in various activities for the UK Competition from outreach at a local summer school to organising logistics at the internationals. He is enthusiastic to build on the successes of the competition, bringing the experience of science and mathematics to even more students. Outside of studies and Space Design, Aadil is a volunteer tutor, website designer, and can occasionally be found exploring the London Underground. 

Sophia Lee-Roberts

2020 GC Organising Chair

Sophia began competing in the UKSDC in 2015. She was President of her company at the 2016 and 2017 Regionals, as well as at the 2017/18 National Finals, and went on to compete as a member of the EU Team at International Finals in 2018. She is currently a second year Physics and Philosophy student at King’s College London, where she is President of the KCL Space Society. After graduation, she hopes to work in business development within the space sector.

Evan Meyrick

UKSDC Board Representative
UKSDC Vice Chair

Evan has been involved with the UK Space Design Competition since 2012, and deeply enjoys helping others further their learning. After completing a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London, he currently works as a systems engineer specialising in information security for unmanned air vehicles and communications networks, with a wider interest in global security and counter terrorism.

Isabelle Singh

Board Member

I am a Computer Science teacher at Riddlesdown Collegiate in Purley. Riddlesdown was one of the first winners at the UKSDC and have had a long relationship with the event . I became involved when a physic’s teacher emailed a request asking for volunteers to take our kids on a Saturday to Imperial College London. That was 3 years ago and have been hooked ever since. To see the kids so involved in an event how could you not be a part of it.

Last year I was introduced to the Galactic challenge by Bill Richards from Bede's School and ended up running 2 Galactic Challenges in our school. One for Primary School students and one for Secondary school students  (Year 7-9). My hope is to share my enthusiasm  and the enthusiasm the senior students at the UKSDC with the Galactic Challenge.

Louis Lyle

SDC board representative

Louis recently finish a degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of York and has been involved in the competition since 2011. He was the head of the Human engineering section of the winning team in 2014 and was one of the twelve chosen to represent the UK at the international final in Florida. Louis has since volunteered for both the 2015 and 2016 competitions and has held a number of roles varying from technical specialist, to judge, to CEO at last year’s final. He is also the Science and Technology section editor for one of his university’s student newspapers and is an avid member of many scientific societies.


Caroline Swenson

Social Media Director

Caroline competed in the UKSDC for two years and was a part of the winning team at the 2018 International Space Settlement Design Competition. She is currently an undergraduate Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Notre Dame.