30 November 2017 – SSPI UK, the UK Chapter of the worldwide Space and Satellite Professionals International network, is delighted to announce that ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, and Head of the UK-based European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT), Magali Vaissiere, has been named UK Space Personality of the Year 2017.
The board of SSPI UK Chapter voted Ms Vaissiere as winner of this annual honour for her many impactful ongoing contributions to the UK space and satellite sector and the enhancements which she has spearheaded to raise awareness and integration of space and satellite technologies and applications in wider industry and society.
Ms Vaissiere has been instrumental in the establishment and continuing development of ECSAT, in Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK, whose principal goal is to stimulate the development of commercial space-based products and services, and to encourage engagement between space and non-space sectors.
She has worked tirelessly to engender inclusion and collaboration in the space sector and within ESA (European Space Agency). She has made many contributions towards extending the focus of ESA towards commercial markets and ‘downstream’ applications that help improve organisations and communities.
“Magali has made great strides in breaking down barriers between different satellite domains, and she has successfully raised the profile of satellite services with non-space based organisations,” commented Betty Bonnardel, President of SSPI UK.
“Magali’s contribution to growing the space economy in the UK and Europe continues to be immense and she is a great ambassador for the sector,” Bonnardel added.
Ms Vaissiere has 24 years of experience in the space and satellite industry, being involved first with ground-based radar systems and subsequently with satellites. She says: “The major lesson I have learned is that our industry is always moving; furthermore, with its global nature, and the rapid evolution of technology, changes, and opportunities, are coming ever faster.”
“Today’s highly dynamic satellite communications market embraces two different worlds: the worldwide space business involves many interconnected areas of policy, with multiple governmental and institutional stakeholders. Meanwhile the telecom world is a place of continuous innovation and opportunity, all against a backdrop of fast-paced market economics,” she continued.
“Our driving goal at ECSAT is to bring these two worlds together, to expand the utilisation of space assets deeper into the fields of telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, among others, as well as supporting awareness and uptake of space applications among new communities of users,” commented Vaissiere.
“I consider this award as an acknowledgement of the achievements of our whole ECSAT team to strive to make the benefits of space and enabling technologies available to more organisations and people through collaboration, and I thank SSPI UK for this great honour,” she added.