In honour of Black History Month we will be recognising notable contributions to the STEMs from people of African origin. Today, we recognise Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
Born 1968 to Nigerian parents, Dr. Aderin-Pocock is an English space scientist and a research fellow at University College London. She holds a BSc degree in Physics and a PhD in mechanical engineering. Her career has seen her work on many projects for academic research, private industries and government contracts. Some of these include hand held instruments to detect landmines, high-resolution imaging technology to investigate stars in distant galaxies and satellite instruments measuring wind speeds to study climate change.
In addition to her research, she is also committed to inspiring a new generation of scientists to achieve greatness regardless of class or gender and does so by visiting and engaging with high school students. She is involved in educating children and adults alike about the wonders of space through the “Tours of the Universe” scheme and has hosted multiple TV shows on the matter. In 2006, she was one of six ‘Women of Outstanding Achievement’ winners with GetSET Women.
Despite been dyslexic, Dr. Aderin-Pocock always harboured ambitions of been an astronaut form an early age. Many years later, she has had multiple research publications and awards, most notably been awarded an MBE in 2009. Her achievements are a testament that hard work can indeed compensate for any perceived disadvantage in life and people can still shoot for the stars.