(written from a Production point of view)
Hannah Cheesman (born 6 October 1984; age 35) is the Canadian actress who is the second person to play the role of Lieutenant Commander Airiam in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, succeeding fellow Canadian actress Sara Mitich as such. Remarkably, Mitich returned to the series as Lieutenant Nilsson, becoming the bridge replacement of Airiam after the latter's death in the line of duty.
When taking on the role, and informed by the producers that Ariam was once fully human, Cheesman was allowed to beef out herself the backstory of her character, "There was actually some interesting room to kind of create my own thoughts about what her backstory would be before receiving the information about exactly what had happened and why…what event had been the trigger for her turning into something other than just human." 
Cheesman is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada (performance) and the University of Toronto (Spanish). She began her career starring in several short and feature films, including Ingrid Veninger's low-budget independent film The Animal Project (2013), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2014, Cheesman co-created, wrote, produced, and starred in the critically acclaimed web series Whatever, Linda. For her work on the series, she received several awards, and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for "Best Performance in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media" and for "Best Original Program or Series Produced for Digital Media". In the same year Cheesman appeared twice in a recurrent guest role in the short-lived science fiction series Defiance, which was served by a host of former Star Trek visual effects staffers, most notably Gary Hutzel and Doug Drexler
In 2018, she wrote and directed the short film Emmy, which was selected to screen in the National Screen Institute's Online Short Film Festival. She has also worked in the writers rooms of Orphan Black and Workin' Moms.
Cheesman's own motion picture projects, which also includes the shorts Brunch Bitch (2013, Cheesman's first independent production) and Cheese (2016), are usually steeped in feminine themes which stems from her own activism in the feminist movement.