THE SWINDON-BASED UK Space Agency has appointed Dr David Parker as its new chief executive.
He has been the acting chief executive since December 2012, and will take up the role with immediate effect.
His role will include meeting other experts from across Europe and addressing the problem of space debris in the increasingly busy orbital bands around Earth.
Dr Parker replaces David Williams, who has left to take up a post at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Sydney, Australia.
Mr Williams had been the chief executive at the agency, based in Polaris House on North Star Avenue, since its launch in 2011, when it replaced the British National Space Centre.
David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, said: “I’m delighted to welcome David Parker as the next chief executive of the UK Space Agency.
“He has been part of the agency since its creation and most recently played a leading role in securing £1.2bn of UK investment at the European Space Agency Ministerial meeting.
“His extensive experience of government and industry will be vital in realising our ambition for the continued growth of the UK space sector.”
Dr Parker has been involved in the UK space sector since 1990, having completed a PhD in aeronautics and astronautics at Southampton University.
He said: “Britain is working together for a remarkable future in space, and at the UK Space Agency, we are leading the way.
“I am extremely proud to accept this position. “The last two years have proved what we can accomplish in space through collaboration and targeted investment. “Britain is working together for a remarkable future in space, and at the UK Space Agency, we are leading the way.”
Rob Douglas, the chairman of the UK Space Agency Steering Board said: “I am confident he will be able to balance the scientific, industrial and public sector interests so that we can continue and build on the successes of the last two years “David has been part of the UK Space Agency since it was founded in 2010, and he understands well the ambitions of the UK space sector.
“I am confident he will be able to balance the scientific, industrial and public sector interests so that we can continue and build on the successes of the last two years.“