+ 353 (0) 1 442 9903 niamh@niamhshaw.ie

Science. Technology. Arts. Engineering. Maths (STEAM)

Performer | Theatre maker

Astronaut in Training



About Me

Dr Niamh Shaw, Irish engineer, scientist and performer is passionate about awakening people’s curiosity and merging performance and theatre with communication, engineering, science, art, and technology. She is interested in pushing boundaries in telling the human story behind science, particularly through Space themes, creating science events for both family and arts audiences. Niamh provides specialised communication, ideation and futures workshops in the private sector and academic/research institutes and is a keynote speaker on thought leadership and creative mindset in the workplace.

Niamh promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) careers and women in STEM in her public speaking activities and contributing on national TV, radio, and press. She has spoken at a number of events including TEDxUCD and & World Science Festival, Brisbane and Scintillating Science with Dara O’Briain during Science week 2016. She recently co-founded a communications training centre for academics and researchers, in collaboration with University College Dublin and Tyndall Institute Cork. She hosts STEM-related events for corporate clients and the general public including Bright Club, Dream Big, Shakespeare Lives in Science. She also writes a multimedia column aimed at adults to encourage new ways to engage with STEM, Socialising Science for the online journal Headstuff

Niamh is passionate about all things Space and plans to get to Space within the next 8 years. She is Core Lectures Associate Chair for the International Space University’s annual Space Studies Programme coming to Cork this summer 2017. She is an alumnus of the 2015 programme and lectured in 2016 as part of the Humanities department activities. She is the artist and journalist for Crew 173, a team of six simulated astronauts who will complete a Mars analog mission at Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah desert in January 2017.

As the artist in residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, her STEAM lecture/performance piece, To Space, toured internationally including Edinburgh Fringe (2015), Adelaide Fringe (2016), Edinburgh International Science Festival (2016), and Cheltenham Science Festival (2016) supported by Culture Ireland, ESA and the Arts Council of Ireland. Her next project ‘A Hand in Space’ has been funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s 2017 Discover programme, working with ESA’s Astronaut Centre in creating a new multimedia performance about the massive group effort behind human space exploration. She has presented her work in STEAM at scientific conferences including the International Astronautical Congress (2016), European Geosciences Assembly (2017, 2016, 2015), and European Planetary Sciences Congress (2015).

Her other work in science art & technology and public engagement includes My Place in Space (Cheltenham Science Festival 2016, Science week 2014,Festival of Curiosity 2014), Memory of Place (Festival of Curiosity, 2016, 2015), ’To Space’ (Edinburgh Science Festival 2016, Adelaide Fringe 2016, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015), Dream Big (Int. Space University, 2015) ‘Speaking with Plants’ (UCD Science Expression, 2014), That’s About The Size Of It (Dublin City of Science 2012, Dublin Fringe Festival 2011), Boys of Foley Street (ANU productions, Dublin Theatre Festival 2012). Her work has been supported by the European Space Agency (2015), Science Foundation Ireland (2014), The Arts Council of Ireland (2014, 2011), Arts@CERN (2011), Show in A Bag (2011), Dublin City Council Drama Bursary (2011), and is an alumnus of MAKE (2011), The SPACE Programme (2011), The Festival of Curiosity Residency (2013), and The Robert Wilson Watermill International Spring Residency, New York (2010).

She is a member of function(core), a transdisciplinary and international collective composed of scientists, musicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, actors, architects, physicists, chemists, futurists, writers, and creative technologists, who form teams called cores around unsolvable problems. She co-founded STEAMakers a global initiative to provide quality public engagement events incorporating creative technologies. Recently voted one of Ireland’s leading science communicators, she is the Dublin point of contact, on behalf of Blackrock Castle Observatory for Ireland’s national Space week and is the Space Ambassador to Northern Ireland for the ESA’s education and resource office (ESERO UK).

Niamh believes that we can be many things at the same time. She is curious, always and embraces failure every day.

Niamh performed My Place in Space at the UCD Festival Day 2016. The mixed audience of kids and adults loved her interactive performance and willingly joined in the fun. Niamh always brings such enthusiasm to communicating science. Alex Boyd

Public Engagement & Outreach, University College Dublin

Previous Clients

Working with Niamh was an absolute delight. ‘My Place in Space’ is a high energy interactive show which kept both children and adults engaged throughout. Hana Ayoob

Programme Co-ordinator, Cheltenham Science Festival

STEAM Art |Theatre | Events

What begins as a show about space slowly shifts to become something far more profound and personal about dashed hopes and disillusion – and the crucial importance of retaining a sense of wonder. David Kettle

Theatre Critic, The List, Edinburgh Fringe

Shaw is a compelling storyteller, interweaving these explanations and demonstrations with dramatized autobiographical flashbacks…..For anyone who’s ever stared in wonder at the night sky, who’s ever felt the weight of their own childhood expectations, who’s ever had dreams that felt too big for them, To SPACE is an absolute must see. Justina Ashman

Theatre Critic, Adelaide Fringe 2016

her musings are fascinating and a lot more philosophical than one may expect in a tiny dark room at the top of a café in the middle of the Fringe….. it will stretch your intellect and your imagination.


Speaking | Presenting

Crowds of excited space enthusiasts descended on the Limerick Institute of Technology’s Millennium Theatre on Wednesday evening, to hear from Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden, and Limerick’s very own Space Tourist Cyril Bennis.

Moderated (and created ) by the brilliant Dr Niamh Shaw, the evening began when the two special guests were both asked what made them decide they wanted to dedicate their lives to space exploration. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end as the night had to come to a close.. with everyone already smiling from ear-to-ear after hearing such wonderful stories and adventures. Cian O'Regan

Blogger, Irish Space Blog

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