University of Glasgow (BSc and Postgrad), Bellahouston Academy
Physics (Higher – A), Maths (Higher – A), Chemistry (Higher – A), English (Higher – A), Computing Studies (Higher – A), French (Higher – A), Art (Higher – A), Physics with Astrophysics (BSc), Space Mission Analysis and Design (MSc Aerospace Engineering)
Vega Space UK, Scottish Engineering, European Space Agency (ESA – remote), CERN (remote), Geek-Aboo, University of Glasgow
Earth Information (GNSS) Sales Engineer
I'm a Jill-of-all-trades! From being a Martial Arts Master and Author, to an Equalities Expert and Aspiring Citizen Astronaut - transferable skills are a huge part of the journey!
The pursuit of knowledge is a huge part of my life, and I often find true gems of wisdom in some of the most unexpected places.
Hi! I’m Naziyah and I’m an astrophysicist and aerospace engineer from Scotland! I work on space missions alongside organisations like the European Space Agency (ESA), and my love for space comes from my ever expanding imagination!
I’m also a martial arts master (trained in over 13 arts, and specializing in sword arts), a poet and short story writer, a STEM Ambassador, a model, an artist and an Equalities expert.
It’s so important to see representation of all people within all fields, so I work to break the stereotypes surrounding women (especially from BAME backgrounds) within the STEM sectors!
I’m also a massive geek – having been the president of my university Anime and Manga society for many years, and I’m a huge competitive gamer!!
I mean… if we combine space, swords and physics… what do we get!?
A Jedi (or maybe a Sith!)
I work on space missions and satellite systems to help protect and heal our World! A lot of this is done by using satellites to monitor the changes to the Earth like melting sea ice, which can help us understand climate change!
When we think about GPS (Global Positioning Systems), we often think about the SatNav in our cars, or maybe even the map in our phones etc.
However, did you know that GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems – one of which is GPS in the US) affects much more of our life than just those?
From helping us to monitor the amount of space junk (space debris) and Search and Rescue missions, to helping us to understand more about global climate change through monitoring the Earth using GNSS enabled satellite systems, these satellite constellations touch several parts of our lives!
(Hundreds of millions of pieces of space junk surrounded the Earth)
My work involves using a huge constellation of satellites (and helping to make new ones) to help solve problems across the world. Whether it’s to do with agriculture and weather, or ships and planes, these satellites are capable of making life much better for so many people!
My previous work also involved designing space missions with a focus on other applications, like placing a lander on the moon!
My Typical Day: A bit chaotic, but lots of fun! I don't really have a typical 9-5 schedule because many of the organisations I work and partner with (e.g. ESA, NASA, CSA, MOD etc) are from different parts of the world - this means having to be in meetings at odd times of the day sometimes! I do like to make sure I make time for some of my hobbies when I can too :)
Since many of my partner organisations are dotted across the world, and as my company has offices all over the place too, it usually means having to prioritize my time well and keep on top of my diary.
The day is usually filled with lots of meetings to do with our satellite data, new missions, brainstorming new ideas etc!
When you have a passion for space, you look forward to these 🙂
I’m also involved in a lot of human rights organisations like the YWCA Scotland, the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, WES etc
This means it’s important to pencil in meetings for these in advance when I can.
I generally try to sneak in some martial arts training, as well as spend some time on gaming in the evenings if I get time!
I’m also a carer for someone who stays unwell, so working from home for the last few months has been helpful for flexibility.
What I'd do with the money
I'd love to see more students finding out what it's like to be in the Space sector by arranging events/workshops which showcase 'real' space engineering!
The space sector is going through a massive growth spurt, and in the next decade we will need more young people entering the field if we want to take space exploration and applications to new heights (excuse the pun!)
It would be great to see events/workshops where students get to see what working in the sector is ‘really’ like by maybe also having visits to companies, national space centres, science centres etc
This would also allow students to speak first-hand to space engineers and scientists, and see the variety of roles available! It takes a whole team to make a mission successful!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Geeky Space Ninja
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Helped to create space missions that will help us to combat global warming and climate change
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My imagination and where it takes me beyond the stars!
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I would always step in when someone was being bullied to help them, so it was more catching those who caused trouble!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I have so many!! My music choice depends on my mood!
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
It's hard to say because I've done A LOT of crazy things!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Hmmm - probably to bring peace among all nations, to end food poverty and for people to feel more compassion (...and cake!)
Tell us a joke.
BWAHAHAHA!!! Heeheeee!! HAHAAAA! XD (Come on... you smirked a bit!)