Our Team

Alison Ahearn

Director of Programme Development
Chair of the Advisory Committee

Alison Ahearn is  the SSE²F Programme Developer and chair of the SSE²F Advisory Board. She remains as a Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, teaching undergraduates and postgraduates in civil engineering law and management. At College level, she works with the Educational Development Unit on teacher-development and the formalising of systems for recognising the learning achieved by students outside the classroom. Alison joined UKSDC for its first London final and brings boardroom experience from her 10 years as Chair of the Zebra Housing charity (student accommodation).  Alison has a particular interest in industry-academic partnerships and versimilitude in project-based learning.

Jenny Lyons

SSE²F Director Education and Outreach
Board Member

A passionate believer in the benefits that practical science brings to school based learning. Jenny has taught in both the private and public sectors, and additionally worked with a variety of agencies to promote and fund the setting up of Science Clubs. She received a BSc from University of Westminster in biological sciences. She has attended University of Sussex and received an endorsement to teach chemistry after receiving her PGCE from University of Middlesex.
Having worked voluntarily for the UK SDC, she is now excited to have the opportunity to extend their project based learning methods to a wider audience, and is looking forward to the continued success of the Space Science Engineering Foundation (SSE²F), the EUSDCMEASDC and UKSDC and Galactic Challenges.
When not working with SSE²F and GC, Jenny enjoys the great outdoors by taking part in Open Water Swimming challenges, as a member of the UK Wild Camping group, and as an assessor and trainer for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.


Sam Hession

Head of Events and Administration
Secretary to the Trustees and Board Administrator

Sam originally joined the SSE²F as the programme coordinator of the Global Space Design Challenge (GSDC), who’s sole purpose is to support the SSE²F charity. She has since become the secretary for the SSE²F and its overall Programme Coordinator. Sam is calm and efficient and as our Programme Coordinator, she enjoys using the super organised side of her personality to ensure that all our events run smoothly. Previously she spent 25 years providing world class customer service in the air with British Airways. Now that her wings have been clipped she is looking forward to being involved in all phases of the SSE²F charity programmes as well as organising and running the GSDC with the rest of the team. On her days off she can be found hanging out at the beach, paddle boarding, or officiating a basketball game.

Bethan Mann

IT, Web Master and Administration

Bethan has 12 years of experience in customer relations, working most recently for HSBC bank. She has also worked within adult and paediatric health care settings and has spent time abroad caring for children with special needs. Bethan is also an avid cook and has enjoyed employment as a chef and has even catered for re-enactment events in the past. Her focus is on developing worldwide Environmental Design Challenges (EDC) for 15-18 year olds and Eco Meets (Eco Meet) for 9-14 year olds.
When Bethan is not working she likes to spend her free time with her family, taking her young son on trips out to national parks, sea-life centres and the zoo.

Corinne Barker

SSEF Junior Programmes Director

Corinne first competed in UKSDC in 2016/17 and was part of the EU team at the 2018 ISSDC. Since then Corinne has volunteered at in person and online UKSDC’s and GSDC’s, and ran the World Space Week Space Rangers competition. She finished her masters in Physics from Oxford University and now focuses on Galactic Challenge programmes for 9-14 year olds as part of our team. Corinne is often found rowing or coxing on the river and enjoys playing netball.