Space Domain Leadership Team
Professor Tom Kitching
UCL Space Domain Chair
Tom is an astrophysicist and cosmologist, with over 18 years of experience. He is currently the scientific lead of a €1 billion joint European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA astrophysics mission - building the mission from concept stage through to launch (due in 2023). As well as research interests spanning cosmology, dark matter, dark energy, statistics, machine learning and systems engineering, Tom is a prolific science communicator; he has featured in a BBC Horizon documentary on Dark Energy; co-created the Fingertip Galaxy, an artwork that will be launched into space on Euclid; is a writer for The Conversation. Tom is also PI of a €2M EU H2020-funded space network consisting of 11 institutes across Europe.
Tom has held the prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship, was awarded the inaugural Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellowship, and was awarded the Winton Capital Prize for best postdoctoral research during his early career. He lectures in Machine Learning & AI, Systems Engineering, and Astrophysics and has supervised over 20 PhD theses, of whom several have been awarded national and global recognition for excellence from the Royal Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union.
Professor Victor Buchli
UCL Space Domain Co-Chair
Victor is committed as an anthropologist and social scientist to foster interdisciplinary research and training in the social sciences, arts and humanities as they relate to wider Space research at UCL and facilitate the innovative and valuable synergies that will entail. This has been his ambition as part of his earlier role as the lead on Interdisciplinary Space Studies and Research at ESAlab@UCL. He is a member of the Space Habitats Committee of the International Astronautical Federation and has worked with the International Space University in Strasbourg and is Affiliate Member of the Centre for Outer Space Studies (COSS) at the Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL.
He is currently Principal Investigator of a 5 year ERC project on the ethnographic study of the International Space Station: ETHNO-ISS. The aim of this project is to provide an interdisciplinary and multi-cultural perspective on life on the ISS and its Mission Controls across Earth and their attendant communities. The project examines issues as wide ranging as astronaut training; architecture, design and manufacturing; management and logistics; visual culture; religious life; social media and robotics across the various international space agencies contributing to the modular architecture of the ISS.
He has also written extensively on the anthropology of material culture and architecture alongside previous research on the anthropology of utopian communities of the early Soviet State and the planning of the new capital of post-Soviet Kazakhstan.
Dr Anna Parkin
UCL Space Domain Coordinator
Anna has a background in project management and building physics. She completed her PhD at the University of Bath, investigating the differences between zero-energy and zero-carbon buildings. Anna holds a Master’s degree in Construction Project Management from the University of Portsmouth and a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Bristol.
Anna joined UCL in 2019 as the Research and Enterprise Manager for the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction where she managed the School's research portfolio and REF submission. In 2021, Anna undertook a secondment with UCL Innovation & Enterprise in the Business and Innovation Partnerships team supporting UCL’s institutional partnerships and helping UCL’s researchers navigate the innovation landscape.
Prior to joining UCL, Anna was a Project Manager at the National Physical Laboratory where she managed a portfolio of commercial and grant-funded research projects.