The University of Southampton
Position: Outreach Leader in Astronomy

Outreach Leader Dr Sadie Jones loves exciting potential students about physics, astronomy and sciences and showcasing the world-leading astrophysics research carried out at Southampton.

Dr Sadie Jones

Inspiring the next generation

“The main part of my role as Outreach Leader is organising the Soton Astrodome mobile planetarium visits to local schools and colleges. I design these visits to excite the students about physics, astronomy and science, and to showcase the world-leading astrophysics research carried out at Southampton.

“There is a great sense of community in Physics and Astronomy and I work with an ever-increasing outreach team made up of undergraduates, postgraduates and academics. They work with me on large events such as BBC Stargazing Live.

“I get really excited when I see physicists of various ages and at different stages of their careers all working together to inspire the next generation of physicists and astronomers.

“I also organise astronomy events on campus for schools and the general public; meet up with teachers in our Southampton Schools’ Physics Partnership, and regularly attend conferences with other science officers across the UK. I also work with academics to develop new activities such as the SETi Cipher Challenge – an online physics challenge for 14-18-year-olds.”

Studying and working at Southampton

“I did my PhD at Southampton and the diversity of the research that goes on in Physics and Astronomy is amazing. The academics are really excited about their research and that enthusiasm filters into their lectures.

“Since working here I have learned about some really awesome research such as the theoretical research into parallel universes and research into lasers and fibre optics for communication systems.

“I am continuing my research into one chapter of my PhD thesis. When this is completed I am hoping to complete some social science research on outreach demonstrators at UK universities.”

Career highlights

“The highlights of my career so far have been being asked to be a regular Science Correspondent on BBC Radio Solent; being accepted to give a talk at the Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference, in Poland; and surviving four days of back to back astrodome shows at the Big Bang Fair, in Birmingham, where we showcased our astrophysics research to more than 1,600 people.”