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StepSpace / 18 Nov

From Meet-ups To Martian Tech Autumn Has Been Busy

Not many offices in Belfast can say that they have been developing a sensor to be used on Mars but that’s just one of the many exciting challenges we have been taking on at StepSpace in the last couple of months.

It’s been a busy time for our team and everyone who works here. We have welcomed new tenants, facilitated the expansion of others, introduced some more colour with a tropical aquarium and hosted some pretty interesting tech meet up events to boot.

The second Belfast Digital Meetup, sponsored by PA Consulting, was organised by Queen’s University graduate and software engineer Laura Mannus and hosted in StepSpace. Laura wanted to bring together a group of people from the local tech sector to network and collaborate on all things digital and we were more than happy to help her with her events.

Over 40 people came along to hear from an exciting line up of digital influencers which included key note speaker and java expert Fred George, principal consultant at Fred George Consulting,

who talked about microservices. Fred is a consultant with over 44 years’ experience in the industry, counting at least 70 programming languages and working with HP, Morgan-Stanley, American Express, IBM and USAA.

He was followed by Jon Kyle from PA Consulting who discussed Serverless APIs with GraphQL and Claire Burn, a software engineer from Rapid 7 and a key contributor to Women Who Code, who talked about inclusion in digital and design failures.

A third meet up date will be announced soon so keep in touch with Laura on

We were proud to work with PA Consulting again when they brought the international NASA Space Apps Challenge to Belfast for the first time.

The NASA Space Apps Challenge is a hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists and everyone enthusiastic about curiosity came together to address challenges faced on earth and in space.

StepSpace is designed specifically to inspire creativity and innovation so it made sense for us to host this group of problem solvers as they stayed up until the small hours of the morning fixing some of the galaxy’s biggest challenges.

The Local People’s Choice Winner came from a group of Queen’s University students who are in the middle of an MSc in Electronics. Their challenge was to ‘Make Sense out of Mars’. Over the weekend they designed an Electro-Magnetic Sensor for sensing the Martian surface which also saves the time and energy of the Mars Rover.

With innovation like this happening in just 48 hours in Belfast imagine what our tech companies will do in the years to come.

You can find out more about the NASA Space Apps challenge by visiting @SpaceAppsNI on Twitter or

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