Dr Alice Bunn – International Director of the UK Space Agency
Alumna of the Year Nominee 2020
Dr Alice Bunn is the International Director at the UK Space Agency and she is also a part of our SHS Alumnae family as she studied at the High School until Sixth Form. Dr Bunn studied Metallurgy at the University of Leeds, graduating in 1995. Following her degree, Alice spent a year abroad in Tampere at the University of Finland before obtaining her PhD in 1998 from the University of Cambridge. After university, she joined the London Science Museum as a Researcher and helped to develop exhibitions.
After that, Dr Alice Bunn joined the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as coordinator of Earth Observation Science in 2000 and was made Head of Earth Observation Future Missions in 2002.
In 2011, Dr Bunn joined the UK Space Agency and led the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters. The charter forces the international community to provide satellite imagery immediately after a disaster. She explored how satellite images can be used to save lives. In 2014, Dr Bunn was appointed Director of Policy of the UK Space Agency.
Dr Alice Bunn was one of 10 women to win Marie Claire’s Women At The Top Award in 2014. As she collected her award she said, ‘In a room full of testosterone, you need a bit of oestrogen’.
What is really exciting is that Bunn is an advocate for getting women into STEM subjects and into careers like aerospace. She has said: “Women are under-represented in aerospace, so it gives me great pleasure for the UK Space Agency to lead by example in working towards achieving gender balance”.
Throughout her career, Dr Bunn has also been involved in programs to encourage students to engage with space missions. She collaborated with the WISE Campaign to create a set of classroom resources based on the space sector to encourage primary school children to study physics!