Anu Ohja

Occupation: Director of the UK’s National Space Academy and a Director of the National Space Centre

Research Areas: Education, Skills, Human Spaceflight, Exploration Science


"Space is a topic that captures the imagination, and I use it as a vehicle to deliver education."

Source: TES Magazine


Early Life

Anu grew up in the 1970's and was captivated by the early crewed missions to space. As a teenager he saved his pocket money and cash from his paper round to buy a telescope. His memory of seeing Saturn's rings for the first time still makes him feel emotional. Anu didn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up, but knew he wanted to keep on learning. He became a teacher of physics and maths.

Career Highlights

Anu combined his skills in education with his passion for space. He has developed programmes working with schools which use the topic of space to boost students' grades. He led the experiment programme for Tim Peake onboard the international space station (ISS). He leads teacher training for the UK Space Agency and ESA. Anu is a Director at the National Space Centre and leads the National Space Academy programme.  Alongside this, Anu is an advisor on human space flight and exploration science. He investigating a project to design a planetary sampling tool. The tool will be used in future missions to the Moon and Mars. Anu continues to teach at high school and university level.


Anu's work in science education training has been widely recognised. In 2010, Anu was presented with the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Inspiration by the UK space sector. In 2014, he was appointed OBE for services to science education in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Other Interests

Anu is a keen free diver, scuba diver and skydiver. He has made over 1,500 jumps! He was an analyst on the Red Bull Stratos mission when Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space.