David Willetts, former UK Minister for Science and Universities, has joined the Board at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) as a non-Executive Director.
David Willetts was appointed to the UK Government Cabinet Office as Minister of Science and Universities in 2010 and during his tenure, which came to an end in 2014, he was a strong supporter of the UK space sector and visited SSTL on numerous occasions. In August of this year David Willetts was nominated for a life peerage in the House of Lords.
Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, commented on the appointment of Mr Willetts to SSTL’s Board, saying “David has long been an advocate of British science and technology excellence, and a tireless ambassador for promoting and encouraging the growth of the UK space sector. We are delighted that he has accepted the appointment to our Board, and we believe that David’s breadth of experience in the fields of education and science will be beneficial to SSTL’s strategic goals and our focus on innovative solutions to space-based applications.”
David Willetts views his new appointment with enthusiasm, stating “I enjoyed working with the British space industry during my time as Science Minister and am delighted to be taking up this post with SSTL, one of our innovative world leading space companies.”
2015 has been a momentous year for SSTL. In February the Company appointed Patrick Wood as Group Managing Director, and in May unveiled its new Spacecraft Operations Centre at its Guildford Headquarters site. In June SSTL celebrated its 30th anniversary, and in July the Company secured its first geostationary satellite platform contract, and launched the DMC3/TripleSat Constellation of 1 metre Earth Observation satellites, together with Carbonite-1, a micro-satellite mission to demonstrate new Earth Observation technologies, including HD video from orbit.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with 450 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 47 satellites for 20 international customers – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.
Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.
About David Willetts
David Willetts is Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
He was Minister for Universities and Science, attending Cabinet, from 2010-2014. He was the Member of Parliament for Havant from 1992-2015. Before that David worked at HM Treasury and the Number 10 Policy Unit. He also served as Paymaster General in the last Conservative Government. In August 2015 David was nominated for a life peerage in the House of Lords.
David has written widely on economic and social policy. His most recent book “The Pinch” was published by Atlantic Books in 2010.