Dr Iya Whiteley

Dr Iya Whiteley is a Director of the Centre for Space Medicine at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL. She conducts applied research, designing and developing techniques to explore the interaction of people, technology and the environment to improve quality of life in space.

Iya is a broadly qualified Human Computer Interaction and Cognitive System Engineer with over 12 years of experience in the aerospace domain and a background in clinical psychology, multicultural crew selection and cockpit design.

At Emirates Airlines, Iya conducted psychometric evaluations of candidates during the aircrew recruitment process. More recently, she has directed an ESA funded research project to develop psychological support tools for crews on exploration missions to the Moon and Mars.

Iya was trained as an Astronaut Instructor at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC). At EAC Iya worked as a Human Behaviour Performance Expert and also developed training courses for new European Astronauts.Iya is a space psychologist, and adventurer who is passionate about exploring the extreme states of human experience and healing the inner space.

She is a mother, scientist, pilot, skydiver, and scuba diver. She has served on government space committees and is a published author in Space Psychology and newborn development. Iya sees connections between seemingly disparate topics like space psychology, communication with non-human beings, and global healing practices.

She believes the next generation will play a key role in exploring both inner and outer space across art, design, science, engineering, medicine, and wellness. Based on her experience in enhancing human performance, Iya focuses on early childhood development. The period between birth and 9 months is a crucial window for shaping neural connections and abilities.

As a result, she is passionate about finding new and innovative ways to help the next generation reach their full potential and solve problems in new and creative ways.

Throughout her career, Iya has demonstrated her commitment to this mission by teaching origami to children, designing training programs for astronauts, creating innovative aircraft displays, and adapting a method to read the thoughts of top surgeons.

She is constantly searching for new and innovative techniques, often drawing inspiration from diverse cultures, to help people explore, grow, and heal their inner space in a fast-paced modern world.


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