Mark Hempsell joined the Society in 1971 and has been a member of the Council since 1990 and was the Society’s President from 1997 to 2000. He was editor of the Journal of British Interplanetary Society from 2005 to 2009.
He has a B.Sc in Physics from Imperial College (1978) and an M.Sc in Astronomy and Astronautics from Hatfield Polytechnic (1982). He joined British Aerospace’s Space Division in 1978 working on several satellite programmes such as the European Communications Satellite and Inmarsat 2. Later as Business Development Manager he ran infrastructure studies on launch systems (including BAe HOTOL and the MacDonnell Douglas Delta Clipper), European space stations and the BAe Multirole Capsule. In 1991 he joined the University of Bristol rising to Senior Lecturer in Astronautics with research centring on space infrastructure and the associated system engineering processes. In 2009 he joined Reaction Engines Ltd as Future Programmes Director.
Over his career he has had over 40 journal papers published covering a wide range of subjects mostly around the space infrastructure from space station design, through the theory of system engineering processes, to exploring the role of expanding space capability as a means to combat threats to humanity.