engineer, scientist, artist, communicator & space explorer

Niamh Shaw is passionate about igniting people’s curiosity & believes that if we aspire to be a society of STEM-literate citizens, we need to engage the disengaged in new & more accessible methods. She therefore pushes boundaries between STEM, art & communication, to prioritise the human story of science in all her work, in theatre, events and TV & radio work.

Voted one of Ireland’s leading science communicators and STEAM specialists (merging science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), her contribution to science & its application to Irish life was acknowledged by Uachtaráin na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins in 2017.

Niamh has set herself a life’s mission to get to space as artist and explorer, to challenge perceptions of humans in space. In this regard, she participated in a zero gravity flight at Star City in Moscow and regularly visits Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan for human launches (most recently Alexander Gerst). She is an experienced analogue astronaut with over 20 EVA hrs from Mars simulated missions in the Utah desert USA & continues to seek out further extreme environments and opportunities in human space exploration.

Keynote Presentation Title: Successfully FAILING: My Path to Space

Niamh Shaw has two degrees and a PhD in Science. In 2003, she stepped away from her academic career to pursue the arts. In 2008, she began combining science and creativity and learned how to re-define her perception of success. In 2014 she finally admitted to the world that she wanted to go to space and has been on this path ever since, sharing her personal experiences in space activities to tell a new, more human story of science. ‘Successfully Failing: My Path to Space’ will see Niamh highlighting the relevance of creativity, collaboration and community in her success thus far, the merits of sharing her story to the wider population and why she has devoted the remainder of her life to fulfilling a 40 year old dream.


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