Contacts and Bio

Rob O’Sullivan

Communications Officer
Blackrock Castle Observatory
Tel: +353 21 432 6120

Rob is an experienced science communicator with a strong track record of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Currently working in the creation, administration, and delivery of educational programs at a Science Foundation Ireland Discover Centre - MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory.

His "edutainment" approach to science communication has seen him deliver across programs such as Bright Club, The Cheltenham Science Festival, Body and Soul Festival, and more. He is currently applying his research and writing skills to the scripting and installation of an entirely new science exhibit at the observatory.

Rob is a strong media and communications professional with a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology from University College Cork. This experience has been applied to roles in charity, NGO, and grassroots political backgrounds. Rob is currently Ireland’s National Outreach Coordinator for World Space Week and the International Astronomical Union. With the team at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory, he works to raise awareness of the benefits Ireland receives through their involvement with groups such as the European Space Agency and The European Southern Observatory. His primary motivation is to facilitate increased accessibility to space science and STEM fields for groups that have been traditionally marginalised.

Niall Smith

Munster Technological University

Niall studied astrophysics at University College Dublin and graduated with his PhD in 1990. He lectured in the Department of Applied Physics & Instrumentation in Cork Institute of Technology for 18 years before becoming the Institute’s first Head of Research in 2005. Niall is the Founder-Director of the internationally award-winning Blackrock Castle Observatory. In 2017, Niall was the host Director for the International Space University Space Studies Programme which is the largest conference programme ever to come to Cork, lasting a total of 9 weeks and involving over 320 global space experts. Niall’s research focuses on space topics including ultra-high precision photometry and the uses of small satellites in low earth orbit for a wide range of functions from high resolution imaging to space cybersecurity to rural broadband. He was the Higher Education representative on the National Steering Group for the Irish Government’s recently published Space Strategy for Enterprise and considers Space 4.0 to be a significant opportunity for the Irish business community.

About the ESO Science Outreach Network

The ESO education and Public Outreach Department has established a network of contacts in the ESO Member states and other countries. The goal of this ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON) is to act locally as ESO's media and outreach representative, in order to promote ESO's mission and achievements, and demonstrate the many inspirational aspects of astronomy.

More information about ESON is available on: