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Professor Suzie Imber

Dr Suzie Imber is a Professor Planetary Science at the University of Leicester. In addition, she was the winner of BBC 2's 'Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes' in which and 12 other candidates underwent Astronaut training and faced various challenges including taking their own blood, speaking Russian while in a centrifuge at 5g, and carrying out emergency procedures on the NASA undersea astronaut training facility, Aquarius.


About Professor Suzie Imber

Suzie’s “daytime job” is as a Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Leicester, where she specialises in studying the impact of the solar wind on the planets in our solar system, particularly the Earth and Mercury. Currently, she works in Operations Planning for the BepiColombo spacecraft, due to arrive at Mercury in 2025.

When she emerged victorious of ‘Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?’ Suzie received a letter of recommendation from Chris Hadfield to support her application to the European Space Agency astronaut training programme.

In 2019, Suzie was selected for Homeward Bound, a global leadership programme to train 100 women to become the next generation of leaders in the fight against climate change. Culminating in a 3-week voyage to Antarctica (scheduled 2023), the programme includes leadership style and mentality, effective communication, building teams, personal and organisational strategy, mental health and wellbeing.

With extensive experience of speaking at live stage events, including music and science festivals, Suzie was invited to perform at “Space Shambles” at the Royal Albert Hall, London, appearing with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince, astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield, and Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart. She has spoken at many science festivals, including BlueDot, Gravity Fields, Cheltenham, Farnborough Air
Show, New Scientist Live, Latitude, AstroFest, SpaceRocks and the Virgin Galactic Space Festival (US).

In Conversation with Tim Peake
Suzie was invited to host ‘In Conversation With Tim Peake’, for the launch of his 2020 autobiography. This 45-minute event was held in the Science Museum in London, live-streamed to a large audience world-wide, followed by a live Q&A and was short-listed for a media award.

Other facts about Suzie:

England U21 lacrosse player, elite rower (sculling and sweep rowing), and high-altitude mountaineer.

As a high-altitude mountaineer, she climbed technical peaks in the Andes, Alaska, and the Himalayas. She wrote computer code to generate the first objective list of mountains in South America, and thus discovered hundreds of un-named mountains. She enjoys scaling these remote, unclimbed mountains, exploring new regions of our planet and she even discovered Incan ruins on the summits.

She speaks three languages: English, with conversational French and Portuguese.

She advises organisations on their outreach and community engagement programmes, including Leicester City Football Club.  She founded the Williams-Virgin Galactic scholarship programme in 2020 to support young people studying space physics, encouraging them to develop their own outreach programmes.

She is currently in the selection phase for Edale Mountain Rescue, wishing to use her mountaineering skills to assist casualties in inaccessible regions of the UK.

Caring passionately about environmental issues, and in particular the preservation of rare and endangered species, Suzie rescued an English apple orchard.

Speech Topics

Suzie has spoken at many conferences and seminars in the UK, Europe, the US and Russia, most often as a keynote speaker. She has chaired conference sessions and served on event organising committees.

One of her most-requested speeches describes a journey combining elite sport, space science, identifying and climbing unclimbed mountains, and training to be an astronaut. It’s entertaining, inspirational and offers the audience the opportunity to reflect on their own sources of motivation and enthusiasm.

Enthusiastic and engaging, with a detailed scientific CV and extensive experience, Suzie tailors each speech and recent subjects have included;

  • The future of the space industry and exploration
  • The history, and future, of human spaceflight
  • Climate change and what we can do about it
  • Earth observation, and how we can use satellite data for humanitarian and societal benefit
  • Writing computer code to identify mountains, and launching expeditions to achieve first ascents (risk, challenge, resilience, teamwork)

She also speaks on becoming an international athlete, mountaineer, space scientist, appearing on the BBC Astronauts series, climate leadership and the upcoming voyage to Antarctica.

Suzie works with a wide range of organisations, schools and festivals focusing primarily on education, STEM accessibility, and opportunity for young people from all backgrounds.

She regularly hosts school events, podcasts, and awards ceremonies.

Booking Information


"Thank you very much for joining us as the speaker at our flagship Annual Conference. Your talk was greatly inspiring, given the amount you have achieved. It was equally educational on space exploration and on the mindset needed to overcome challenges. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the audience, who were engaged till the end and appreciated the opportunity to ask questions too."

Pensions and Life Savings Association

"Best speaker ever. Better feedback about Suzie than when we had Hillary Clinton as our principal speaker!"

Global Consultancy Firm

"Suzie was absolutely brilliant. We cannot recommend her highly enough. She was so engaging, funny, interesting, and our guests loved her. We’ll definitely book her again. Thanks, Diana for recommending Suzie. Such a successful event."

Ayrshire Hospice

"Thank you so very much for your absolutely inspirational after dinner speech, which was incredibly well received by delegates."


"I’ve had the pleasure of working with Suzie on multiple projects... Suzie’s presentation and speaking skills are exceptional, but what further distinguishes Suzie is her level of understanding on such a wide range of topics, particularly in the realm of space and science. Her engaging style, bringing together enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge, is a rare combination and a hugely effective way to entertain and inform groups of any age. Our team love working with her and our event participants are always left impressed! There is simply nobody we’d rather work with."

Daniel Smith, Founder of AstroAgency, Director of Space Scotland

"I’m looking at the feedback from our NEUPC Procurement Conference. Your feedback is exceptionally good – better than Brian Cox and the best of all presenters.* *the other speakers and presenters included Professor Brian Cox, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Kevin Fong"

North Eastern Universities Purchasing Conosrtium

"Feedback from both your sessions has been phonemical – really appreciate it.  An absolute pleasure to meet you and hear your story!"

Microsoft USA

"Thank you so much for attending our offsite at the National Space Centre. Your keynote speech was inspirational and we’ve had such wonderful feedback from all who listened and met you afterwards. Hope our paths cross in future. You’ll be a popular lady to come and talk for us!"

BGL Group

Professor Suzie Imber News

Jan 11, 2024

International Women's Day 2024: Celebrating Women in STEM

May 11, 2023

How Organisations Can Support Women in STEM

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