The 28th Annual
INTERNATIONAL VON KÁRMÁN WINGS AWARD
Professor Sir Martin Sweeting
Group Executive Chairman
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL), UK
The Athenaeum, California Institute of Technology
Thursday, 6 p.m., September 13, 2012
Hosted Reception 6:00 p.m.
Banquet 7:00 p.m.
Fred W. Bowen
Master of Ceremonies
Ares J. Rosakis
Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science
Dr. Jeff Ward
Responsive Space Expert and former
Managing Director, SSTL
Dr. S. Pete Worden
Center Director, NASA Ames Research Center
Mr. Elon Musk
CEO and Chief Designer, SpaceX
Presentation of the International von Kármán Wings Award to
Professor Sir Martin Sweeting
Awards will be presented by
Chair, Aerospace Historical Society
John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories
Sir Martin Sweeting
Born in 1951, Sir Martin pioneered the concept of rapid-response, low-cost and highly-capable small satellites utilizing modern consumer commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ (COTS) devices to change the economics of space. Having achieved a PhD in Electronic Engineering & Communications, Sir Martin led a university team to build and launch the UK’s first two research microsatellites at the University of Surrey, forming a university spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) in 1985. SSTL has now designed, built, launched and operated in orbit 36 nano, micro, and mini-satellites, including the international Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC), the RapidEye constellation and GIOVE-A, the first Galileo navigation satellite for ESA. SSTL has also developed a highly successful satellite know-how technology and training program and has worked with 14 countries, enabling emerging space nations to achieve their first space missions and to access space directly, benefiting their environment and economies. In 2004, SSTL formed a subsidiary company, DMC International Imaging (DMCii), to coordinate the DMC Consortium members (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey, Spain and UK), providing imagery during disasters such as the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. It also supports commercial and government applications, including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping. In 2008, SSTL formed another subsidiary, SST-US, based in Colorado specifically to address the US space market. SSTL has grown to 485 commercial staff with annual revenues of £100M and total export sales in excess of £600M in 18 different countries. SSTL is currently manufacturing 8 smallsatellites for launch in 2012–13 for Russia, Canada and Kazakhstan, alongside 22 navigation payloads for the Galileo Full Operational Constellation for ESA/EC and a new constellation of 3 high-resolution (1-metre) Earth Observation minisatellites with capacity leased to customers through a novel business model. A low-cost medium-resolution SAR minisatellite (NovaSAR) is underway for launch in 2014 supported by the UK government. SSTL is also developing a small geostationary telecommunications satellite.
Sir Martin is also Director of the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), leading a team of 90 faculty and doctoral researchers investigating advanced small satellite concepts and techniques. SSC acts as the research laboratory for SSTL—real academic-commercial synergy—and is currently researching tiny nanosatellites and interplanetary missions to the Moon using COTS technologies.
Sir Martin has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Society, appointed OBE and knighted by HM The Queen. He has received the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal; the Royal Society Mullard Prize; the Institute of Engineering & Technology Faraday Medal; the Royal Institute of Navigation Gold Medal in recognition of the successful GIOVE-A mission for the European Galileo system; the Elektra Lifetime Achievement Award by the European Electronics Industry; the Times Higher Education Supplement Award for Innovation for the DMC; the Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement award and featured as one of the UK’s “Top Ten Great Britons.” In March 2012, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Design, presented by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. He is a member of the UK Space Leadership Council.