Suzanne climbing a snowy mountain

Space scientist announced as special guest for the 2019 Claudia Parsons Memorial Lecture

Loughborough University is delighted to announce Dr Suzanne Imber will be speaking at this year’s Claudia Parsons Memorial Lecture.

photo of Dr Imber sat down facing the camera

Dr Suzanne Imber

On Wednesday 15 May, Dr Imber will discuss her journey to becoming a space scientist, and how advances in the space industry will change our everyday lives.

Dr Suzanne Imber was educated at Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire, and Imperial College London, where she graduated with first-class honours in 2005.  She later attended the University of Leicester, completing her PhD in 2008, titled Auroral and Ionospheric Flow Measurements of Magnetopause Reconnection during Intervals of Northward Interplanetary Magnetic Field.

After her studies, Suzanne moved to the US to take a Research Scientist position at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She returned to the University of Leicester in 2011 as a Research Associate, working on the European Union ECLAT project and was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2014 for a project entitled Rough Winds do Shake the Magnetosphere of Mercury.

In 2017 she won the BBC2 series, Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?, and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester and holds an Adjunct Faculty position at the University of Michigan.

Dr Imber’s main research interest is the study of the interaction of the solar wind with the planetary magnetospheres of the Earth and Mercury. Her goal is to understand how energy and momentum are transferred to the Earth’s system from the solar wind, and what implications this has on the internal dynamics of the magnetosphere.

The Claudia Parsons Memorial Lecture series aims to raise the profile of women working in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics background, by showing some of the brightest and most inspiring individuals.

It is part of the University’s Athena SWAN activities. Athena SWAN is a national programme that recognises the work undertaken to address gender equality and support the future careers of women.

Dr Eugenie Hunsicker, Director of Equality and Diversity in the University's School of Science, commented: “Dr Suzie Imber is an inspiring woman—not only is she an excellent physicist but she is also a world-travelling mountaineer and has done fantastic work on raising the profile of physics and of women scientists.  

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate her achievements and showcase her to local students through this lecture.”

The lecture is free and staff, students and members of the public are all welcome to attend, but those interested must register online to secure a place.

It will start at 2pm and will take place in the Lecture Theatre WPT0.02 West Park Teaching Hub, with light refreshments served beforehand from 1.30pm.

From 3.15pm there will also be a series of short presentations about gender by researchers from a variety of disciplines at Loughborough.

Claudia Parsons studied Automobile Engineering at Loughborough College from 1919-22 and was the first woman to circumnavigate the world by car. The University will be opening a brand new hall of residence named after Claudia later this year.