Inspirefest 2017

Dr Niamh Shaw

Engineer, artist & performer

An engineer, scientist and performer, Dr Niamh Shaw is passionate about awakening people’s curiosity and merging performance and theatre with communication. With a keen interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths (STEAM), she aims to push boundaries in telling the human story behind science, creating events for family and arts audiences. She speaks on thought leadership and provides specialised communication, ideation and future workshops in the private sector. She also co-founded a new communications centre for academics in Ireland with University College Dublin and Tyndall National Institute.

Since she was eight years old, Shaw has wanted to go space, but did very little about it for a very long time. In 2011, she decided to make her life an art experiment in exploring the pursuit of lifelong dreams, presenting her work in theatrical and other publicly engaged platforms. As part of this, she plans to get to space within the next 8 years.

She is artist in residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork. Her last STEAM theatre piece, ‘To Space’, toured internationally from 2014 to 2016 and her next offering, ‘A Hand in Space’,  sees her working closely with the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. She is the Dublin point of contact for Space Week Ireland and is Northern Ireland space ambassador for ESA’s education and resource office (ESERO-UK).  As an alumnus of ISU’s Space Studies Programme (SSP) 2015, she lectured on the humanities programme in 2016 and is core lectures associate chair for SSP17, coming to Cork this summer.

She recently returned from a simulated Mars mission at MDRS in the Utah desert as crew artist and journalist, bringing the ‘Stargazer Lottie’ doll with her to inspire the next generation to dream big.

An advocate of women in STEM, Shaw was recently voted one of Ireland’s top 10 science communicators by, acknowledging her work in STEAM and her contributions on national TV and radio, and in press and public speaking events.