Suzie Imber - Space Physics

On the 24th of November Suzie Imber became the latest guest speaker to be welcomed at The Cookie Club at UCC. Suzie is an associate professor in Space Physics at the University of Leicester, studied at Imperial College London, moved to Leicester for her PhD and then took a position as a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre. However, she is probably better known as the winner of the BBC Two television series Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? This had candidates competing to show that they had the right stuff to go into space. She is a keen mountaineer, rower and was the first person to chart a number of remote peaks in the Andes.

Suzie started with a brief summary of her very interesting and packed life so far. Her talk stressed the importance of seizing every opportunity and embracing the different challenges we face in life –educational and social. There were excerpts from the BBC TV programme and insightful anecdotes about responding to the tasks faced by the potential astronauts. Possibly the most memorable tale for many students would be Suzie recounting the training task they were set in the aptly named ‘Vomit Comet’ – the reduced gravity aircraft used by NASA to simulate the feeling of weightlessness in 20- to 25-second intervals. I feel that no further explanation is needed here. We would like to thank Suzie for coming to The Cookie Club and being a superb role-model to the 55 students who listened to the talk.