Dr Leah-Nani Alconcel PhD, MRAeS, FHEA

Dr Leah-Nani Alconcel

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Associate Professor
UG Admissions Tutor

Contact details

School of Metallurgy & Materials
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Alconcel is a spacecraft engineer and Aerospace Engineering course lecturer in the School of Metallurgy and Materials. She is Deputy Admissions Tutor for the School.

She has research interests in payload instrument development and calibration, data management for space, and pedagogical methods for inclusive STEMM teaching.


  • PhD – University of California, San Diego
  • MSc – University of California, San Diego
  • BSc – University of Southern California
  • Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Fellow of Advance HE


Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2011- The Aurora Explorer

Dr Alconcel has over 14 years of experience working as an engineer and manager on planetary exploration missions throughout the solar system including the Cassini mission to Saturn, JUICE mission to the Jovian system, and the Cluster multi-spacecraft mission investigating the Earth’s magnetosphere. She has worked on the full life cycle of space missions, from concept and design through to build, launch, operations and end-of-life.

Dr Alconcel has long-standing interests in both photography and public engagement in science. She has developed and delivered outreach activities for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, Imperial College London, and many other schools events and festivals. She is passionate about inclusivity in STEMM teaching, and particularly in aerospace and space engineering. She actively strives to recruit and retain a diverse student cohort to the School’s courses.


Dr Alconcel teaches space-focused material on the Aerospace Engineering course.

Modules include:

• Space Mission Analysis and Design (module lead)
• Spacecraft Systems Engineering and Design
• Aerospace Power Systems

She also supervises individual and group research projects.


Catch a comet at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014

• Space-based dataset management and archiving
• Long-term trends in and stability of calibration parameters of payload instruments

Other activities