Get to know the faces behind our exciting challenges…

STEM-X Launch prize Director Ross Barber. Founding team member for Launch Prizes STEM competitions for high school students

Ross Barber

Director

Ross Barber is the Founding Director of STEM-X Launch Prize. He has helped launch over 30 young people’s experiments to the International Space Station (ISS)!

Ross started Launch Prize during the 2020 pandemic. His aim was to motivate young people who missed out on their education through various lockdowns around the world.

He believes this virtual challenge is an exciting opportunity that will inspire students to create breakthroughs to real world problems through Science, and spur them on to explore the possibilities of STEM careers.

Nicole Stott

NASA Astronaut

Nicole's experience includes 2 spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on the International Space Station, including 1 spacewalk!

Nicole painted the first watercolour in space, and as an artist she combines her artwork and spaceflight experience to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges.

Dr. Steve Swanson

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Astronaut Steve Swanson has flown on 2 Space Shuttle missions and 1 Russian Soyuz mission. He was the commander of the International Space Station and he’s completed 4 spacewalks!

Steve was also honoured with several awards including NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal.

At STEM-X Launch Prize, Steve is our operations consultant. He brings decades of experience in elite roles to help us make our students dreams a reality.

Dr. Michael Foale

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Dr Michael Foale is the most experienced British astronaut in the history of spaceflight. He has logged a total of 375 days in orbit! In his 26-year career as a NASA Astronaut, Mike flew on several shuttle and Soyuz missions and even serviced the Hubble telescope.

Mike has guided thousands of students in various STEM outreach programmes over the past 10 years, working alongside Launch Prize director Ross Barber. He is a senior judge for Launch Prize. He makes sure we select the best experiments before sending them to his old colleagues on the International Space Station!

NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli is the Director of Advanced Programs for the Civil Space line of business for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Tony Antonelli

NASA Astronaut

Legendary NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli shares heaps of invaluable advice to STEM-X Launch Prize students. He piloted two space shuttle missions STS-119 and STS-132 to the International Space Station. The space missions delivered power-generating solar arrays and the Russian Mini-Research Module 1 to the ISS.

Tony is an engineer and a US Navy test pilot. He currently leads a team that is formulating the future benefits and operations of the International Space Station.

Barbara Morgan

NASA Astronaut

Barbara Morgan is an American teacher and astronaut and is the first teacher to travel into space! She flew on the space shuttle Endeavour on Aug. 8, 2007, on STS-118. The mission was an assembly-and-repair trip to the International Space Station (ISS).

Barbara operated the shuttle’s and station’s robotic arms to install hardware on the ISS and to support spacewalks. Whilst in space, she also conducted lessons for school children!

Dr. Dave Williams

NASA Astronaut

Dave is a Canadian Astronaut, Medical Doctor, Cardiac and Nero Surgeon and pioneer of telemedicine. He has flown on 2 Space Shuttle missions and completed 17 hours of spacewalks (which earned him a Canadian record). His first mission was called Neurolab, which studied the effects of microgravity on the brain and the nervous system with the crew as subjects and operators of the experiments.

Bill McArthur

NASA Astronaut

Veteran NASA astronaut Bill McArthur lived in space for nearly 8 months on board the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir.

He has travelled almost 16 million kilometres (10 million miles) in space.

Following his expeditions, Bill went on to manage the Space Shuttle Safety and Mission Assurance Office, then the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project. Since 2011, he has been the director of Johnson’s Safety and Mission Assurance directorate.

ISSET and Launch Prize lead Space Scientist Julie Keeble. Julie is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at King's College London

Dr Julie Keeble

Chief Space Scientist

Julie Keeble is our expert in space science, she has been responsible for ensuring that all Mission Discovery experiments are launched to the International Space Station. Julie is a lecturer in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King’s and is a jointly affiliated with of the Centre for Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences. Her research focuses on the role of sensory nerves, pain, inflammation and thermoregulation.

Chris Barber

ISSET Founder & Education Specialist

Chris founded ISSET over 20 years ago with the aim of instilling the NASA "you can do it" spirit in young people. ISSET uses space to drive students towards success and Chris has worked with space centres, schools and young people all over the world.

Having been a deputy head teacher in two large high schools, Chris also has a long record of leadership and transformation in education. He took his last school from below average to become the most successful school in England and Wales.

Prof. Steve Harridge

King's College London Consultant

Steve Harridge is Head of the Centre for Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King’s College London—a world top 10 University. He has been Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King's College London since 2005.

Steve leads the team who will build your winning experiments before they launch to the International Space Station! Through Steve’s work Launch Prize have access to the incredible team and facilities at Kings College London.

Dr Hannah Wilson from King's College London is currently working on experiments bound for the International Space Station, she will be part of the team that build successful experiments and launch them to the Space Station.

Dr Hannah Wilson

Space Scientist

Dr Hannah Wilson is currently working on experiments bound for the International Space Station. She will be part of the team that builds your winning Launch Prize experiments and launches them to the Space Station.

Dr Wilson can’t wait to getting stuck into more exciting experiments that could better help humankind. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Human & Applied Physiological Sciences at King’s College London.

Dean morgan a graphic designer for the International Space School Educational Trust.

Dean Morgan

Design & Communications

Dean Morgan has over a decade of experience as both a freelance and in-house designer. His work has been featured in various publications & workspaces such as New Scientist, BBC, National Geographic & Google Headquarters.

Dean created the branding for Launch Prize and his main focus areas are branding, visual identity & publication design. He strongly believes in Launch Prize’ goals, which guide his work attitude.

Guymon Cheung film director and producer, having worked in Hollywood with stars Drake, Rihanna, Ariana Grande

Guymon Cheung

Creative Director

Guymon Cheung started his film career working on music videos in Hollywood CA. with artists Drake, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.

Guymon has won awards from the British Film Institute Network. He also directed pieces starring Andrew Howard, who is known for movies such as the Hangover and Limitless.

He says “I’m delighted to be involved with such an exciting team. I can’t wait to see participants ideas. The thought that together we can change the world blows my mind.”

Karim Saleh, King's College University london graduate

Karim Saleh

STEM-X Launch Prize Host

Karim Saleh was the first graduate from a UK School of Pharmacy to work at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He developed two biomedical experiments which launched to the International Space Station.

Coming from an Asian, African & European background has gifted him with a worldwide perspective. He says "Being international has let me dream of the extent of our potential as humans when chasing a common goal. I'm very excited to be part of an awesome team that aims to inspire the next generation of people to venture to the stars and beyond.”

Webjects

Web Development

Webjects create innovative platforms for a varied scope of high performing businesses. Their ideology is all about simplicity, however complex the project..

After 10 years in the industry they’ve not only perfected customer orientated websites but built a family of clients who wouldn’t go anywhere else for web design and development.

Launch Prize is thrilled to have partnered with such a strong reliable local brand.

SpaceX dragon capsule sat on NASA Kennedy Space Centre Florida launchpad waiting to launch America. With inspirational quote from NASA apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin - I know the sky is not the limit because there are footprints on the moon and I made them