Winners of the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2012

The winners of the prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke Awards were announced on 26th October 2012 at an awards ceremony hosted by Lord Cobbold at the House of Lords.

Each sponsored award was presented to its winner by UK impressionist Jon Culshaw, an avid amateur astronomer and a contributor to Sky at Night and Stargazing Live. The awards recognize notable contributions to the UK space sector. The Platinum sponsor for the Lunch was Reaction Engines Ltd.



Best Space Activity – Industry/Project
Sponsored by INMARSAT

This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by teams or individuals in all space activities. This includes any activity by a commercial or government organisation that designs, manufactures, supplies or operates space systems, equipment or hardware, or supports and promotes the space industry.

NigeriaSat-2 Team, Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd

SSTL has now supplied three NigeriaSat satellites and completed two training programmes in conjunction with the University of Surrey. NigeriaSat-2, SSTL’s most advanced satellite to date and the first on its high performance EO platform was launched in 2011 to become part of the disaster monitoring constellation, DMC 3 with three 1m resolution satellites. A £115m contract to purchase imagery from this system was signed in 2011.

Best Space Activity – Academic Study/Research
Sponsored by UK Space Agency

This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space research. This includes research carried out in any subject related to space whether in science, engineering, medicine, humanities, art or design.

Professor Ian Wright and the Rosetta Ptolemy Team, The Open University

Ian Wright and his team have taken a highly sensitive mass spectrometer which normally fills half a laboratory and reduced it to a shoe-box sized space instrument for ESA’s Rosetta mission. They have fine-tuned this highly complex instrument through a series of in-flight operations and have skillfully activated it as Rosetta flew by asteroid Lutetia. Published results show the possible first in-situ detection of asteroid outgassing.

Best Space Education and Outreach
Sponsored by The British Interplanetary Society

This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space education and outreach. This includes: formal education at all levels, informal education, education about space, education for the space community (e.g. workforce development), education using space assets/resources, and outreach to the general public or specific target groups.

Heather MacRae, Venture Thinking

Heather has worked tirelessly with many organisations this year to expand and extend the UK’s participatin in Mission X’s “Train Like an Astronaut” programme (see culminating in her organising the international Mission X conference in London. The attendees from schools in the UK and as far away as Japan were joined by representatives from international space agencies. NASA Edge broadcast the conference. Her work with schools has inspired several to use space as a context to teach different topics.

Best Space Education – Student Achievement
Sponsored by ESERO

This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements by an undergraduate or postgraduate student of no more than 28 years of age on 12 April 2012 for any space-related activity, from basic research to awards and outreach

Charlotte Lucking, Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of Strathclyde

Charlotte, who began her PhD research centred on trajectory design and mission analysis for satellite-on-a-chip devices in October 2009, is a truly outstanding PhD student. She was awarded the conference Best Paper Prize from 52 papers from industry, academia and space agencies rather than from students, at the 8th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation in Berlin in April 2011. She was also awarded the Frank J Redd Scholarship at the 25th AIAA/USU Small Satellite Conference in August 2011 and has recently won an IET Hudswell International Research Scholarship.


Best Space Media – Broadcast and Written
Sponsored by Reaction Engines Ltd

This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements in space media. This includes any media related to space such as journalism, documentary, drama or other entertainment or scholarly record in any of the following forms: written, filmed, broadcast, web/internet-based or staged.

Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson, Space Boffins

The monthly Space Boffin’s podcast has secured space professionals with a wide range of backgrounds. Their relaxed but inquisitive style has ensured that despite the high profile of the guests the topics that are covered can be fully understood by all listeners. I believe this will allow younger listeners to see these people as role models and recognize that a space career is attainable. The breadth of topics covered to date has been fascinating and the delivery is always fresh. Space Boffins podcast is one of the most important space media developments in recent times.

Lifetime Achievement
Sponsored by BROHP

This award is made for exceptional achievement in an area of space activity. Examples of this might include lifetime achievement, breakthroughs in space science/technology, space undertakings of global impact/significance, etc.

Paul Money, Astronomer, writer and broadcaster

Paul is one of UK’s most accomplished amateur astronomers, with 30 or more years of service to amateur astronomy and to public outreach/education. He gives talks up and down the country, averaging 100+ per year. Awarded the Eric Zuker Award in 2002, he is an Astronomy Mentor. He publishes his own annual sky guide, “Night Scenes” and writes regular product reviews for “Sky at Night” magazine. Paul has coordinated the annual Horncastle Astronomy Weekend, held at Horncastle College, Lincs for ~25 years and acts as Resident Astronomer on solar eclipse expeditions and Northern Lights flights for Omega Holidays.

International Achievement
Sponsored by The Arthur C Clarke Foundation

This award is made for significant or outstanding achievements which either feature or further an important international aspect in an area of space activity. The nomination and judging of this award is carried out by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, European Space Agency

Jean-Jacques Dordain has not only devoted his professional life to space, but he has also championed the development of new technology in the fields of international cooperation as well as space education. He began his scientific career in the French Aerospace Research Agency (ONERA) and actually came to the UK for a short while in the 1960s to work with the Blue Streak/Europa design team.  In the 1970s and 1980s he was a professor at the National Higher School of Aeronautics and Aerospace in France where he conducted extensive research in rocket engines and carried out microgravity experiments.  He later served as the Executive Secretary of a high-level panel to assess the performance of the Japanese Space Agency. He has over the past quarter century risen through a number of posts within ESA, the European Space Agency, including, Director of International Relations where he was able to champion very effectively international space cooperation. He is now Director General of ESA–a position that he has held for almost a decade.  M. Dordain has been a key supporter of the International Space University in Strasbourg and took over as Honorary Chancellor when the first Chancellor, Sir Arthur Clarke, stepped down.

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