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Meganne Christian: An Evening with a Future Astronaut

15 August 2023
6.30pm – 7.30pm AEST
Roundhouse, UNSW Kensington
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Meganne Christian

Meganne Christian | Aude Vignelles

Embark on a captivating journey into the realm of space exploration as we unravel the remarkable story of Meganne Christian, a trailblazer whose unconventional path has led her to the stars. With a degree in Engineering from UNSW Sydney, Meganne's path took her to the ends of the Earth as a scientist in Antarctica. From there she soared even higher, earning a coveted spot as an astronaut in reserve, with dreams of venturing into the cosmos. 
Discover the fascinating role of a reservist astronaut, as Meganne unveils the rigorous selection process and both the physical and mental training required to be part of this elite group, as well as the importance of space research and its impact our everyday lives. Join us for an evening of inspiration with Meganne Christian in conversation with Aude Vignelles as they unveil the secrets of her extraordinary journey and invites us to imagine a future where the stars are within our reach.

This event is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and UNSW Engineering as a part of National Science Week, and supported by the Powerhouse’s Sydney Science Festival

Want to delve deeper into space exploration? Post event head to Earth Conservation x Space Exploration on the Physics Lawn for more!


The Roundhouse is located at UNSW Sydney's Kensington Campus. Please note this is a live event only, and will not be available via livestream.   

To ensure the health and safety of all patrons, face masks are recommended and please do not attend the event if you feel unwell.


Wheelchair Access
The closest accessible drop off point to the Roundhouse is the north entrance via High Street, Gate 2, follow the road to Third Avenue and turn onto 1st Avenue West. More information on getting there can be found via our interactive accessibility map available here.

Assisted Listening
The Roundhouse has a hearing loop. Patrons wishing to utilise this need to simply switch their hearing aid to the T (Telecoil) setting to pick up on the wireless signal.

Auslan & Captioning 
Auslan interpreting services and/or live captioning can be provided for selected talks upon request. 

To book and discuss access services, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email


The Roundhouse is easily accessible via public transport and the closest light rail stop is UNSW Anzac Parade (L3 line). For more information, call the Transport infoline on 131 500 or visit

Free parking is available from 5.30pm in the Western Campus Car Park. For access to free parking, event patrons must park in the UNSW Permit Holder bays. The Western Campus Car Park is located here, on Anzac Parade next to NIDA. This car park can be accessed via Western Campus Drive through Day Avenue. 

Paid casual and visitor parking is offered via the CellOPark App and ‘pay by plate meters’ in all other UNSW car parks. For more information head here



For all other enquiries, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9065 0485. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9065 0485. For more information on all other relay calls visit here.

Meganne Christian

Meganne Christian

With a degree in Engineering and a PhD in Industrial Chemistry, Meganne's insatiable curiosity and drive for innovation have propelled her to remarkable heights. Her extensive research experience as a scientist in Antarctica, coupled with her selection as a reservist astronaut with the European Space Agency, showcase her unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and exploration. Meganne's passion for space research extends beyond her personal achievements, as she also serves as Reserve Astronaut & Exploration Commercialisation Lead at the UK Space Agency, where she is instrumental in shaping the future of space-based systems, technologies, and applications. With her visionary mindset and trailblazing spirit, Meganne Christian is a true inspiration for aspiring scientists and space enthusiasts worldwide.

Aude Vignelles

Aude Vignelles

Aude Vignelles is the Chief Technology Officer of the Australian Space Agency, supporting the team with strategic technology advice and program delivery to grow a trusted and respected Australian space capability 

Aude is a space and aeronautics system engineer who started her career at the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Netherlands. She became a source of expertise for the test campaign of all scientific programmes run by ESA from their early phase, such as Rosetta. She then moved to London where she started a career in the broadcast industry and successfully integrated the first digital terrestrial broadcast centre in the world. She continued this career in broadcast and media here in Australia with Foxtel and Austar. Prior to her current role, Aude was the Executive Manager, Satellite & Fixed Wireless Operations at nbn.