Charlie Ryan

absolutely thrilled to be in the final!! Good luck Julian!

Favourite Thing: I just like to find things out. I get a huge thrill from finding something out, especially when you can explain why it happened. This rarely happens though, and normally you don’t work out an exact answer! When something does work through though it’s always the best feeling!



Sir James Smith community School, Cornwall 1996 – 2002


Southampton University, 2002 – 2006. Queen Mary University of London, 2006 – 2010.

Work History:


Engineering department, Queen Mary University of London

Current Job:

Post Doctoral Research Assistant

Me and my work

I’m working on producing a very small rocket engine for miniturized spacecraft!

I am working on the development of a type of mini rocket thruster, that can be used to move tiny shoebox-sized spacecraft in space, called cubesats. Because these spacecraft are so smaller, they are much easier to move round in space, so my tiny rockets will hopefully work for then! Want to know more? Ask!!

My Typical Day

A lot of lab work trying to get the mini thrusters to work. Apart from that, answerring questions on here, and i’m also advising on a sci-fi film, which is pretty cool!

Our mini thrusters are at the experimental stages – i.e. they don;t work too well! So I’m busy testing them in a vacuum chamber. This is a car engine – sized metal box, from which all the air is sucked out, which then simulates the spacecraft environment. Into this i put the thrusters, and then pray that they work!

What I'd do with the money

Bring in local young adults and introduce them to lab work

The university i work at is in a deprived area in the east of London, with many people living on low wages. I’d like to get young adults from the local high schools and colleges more involved with the university that’s right on their doorstep. I’d especially like to get them involved with spacecraft engineering, which is what i do.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll go about doing this yet though!!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

comitted, curious, and a geek

Who is your favourite singer or band?

the beatles, i’m a huge 60’s music fan.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

To go into space, to play at the hammersmith apollo, and to have a full head of hair!

What did you want to be after you left school?

An astronaut. Then i grew 6 inches, and now wouldn’t fit in a capsule.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes, sometimes. I went to a school in the countryside, where everyone got into trouble. I was quite well behaved compared to some though!

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Tell us a joke.

What is a spacemans favourite game? astronauts and crosses!!