About the University of Leicester


Award-winning space scientist, broadcaster and author, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, joined the University of Leicester as Chancellor on 1 March 2023. 

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE

Maggie is best known for her work on The Sky at Night, which she has presented since 2014. 

Born in London to Nigerian parents, she attended 13 different schools before she turned 18 and had undiagnosed dyslexia.

Maggie has always had the desire to go to space. However, when she told a teacher that she wanted to be an astronaut, they suggested that she go into the caring professions as that was a more realistic aim. 

She persevered with her love of science and obtained a physics degree and PhD in mechanical engineering at Imperial College London in 1994.

Maggie has worked for the UK Ministry of Defence, helping to develop aircraft missile warning systems and hand-held instruments to detect landmines.

She worked at University College London from 1999 to 2005, developing a high-resolution spectrograph for the Gemini Observatory in Chile.

Maggie worked on the Aeolus satellite, which measures wind speeds in the Earth’s atmosphere to help with our understanding of climate change. She also worked on instrumentation for the James Webb Space Telescope.

She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by the University of Leicester in 2018.

As Chancellor, Maggie is the ceremonial head of the University. The Chancellor acts as an advocate for the University both nationally and internationally and chairs the annual meeting of University Court.

Day-to-day executive management of the University is conducted by President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nishan Canagarajah.

Maggie’s tenure as Chancellor of the University of Leicester is five years.

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