Professor Colin Pillinger

It was with great sadness we received the news of Colin Pillinger’s passing earlier today, Thursday 8 May 2014. We offer Judith and the family our deepest sympathy and condolences.

I first met Colin in mid-1998 when I was PR Director for Matra Marconi Space(UK) and Colin had just made contact with my colleagues on our Filton, Bristol site. At the time Beagle 2 was a cardboard model made by Judith and their daughter, Shusanah, and Colin was looking for PR support and commercial sponsorship. With the Farnborough Air Show coming along my Bristol colleagues stepped in to create graphics, a new model and a superb video. Little did we know what we were getting into, but soon Colin, and his beloved Beagle 2, were to be TV celebrities. He was a hard task-master. He knew what he wanted to do and how he would do it. Who else could have ‘got’ all the way to Mars? I was pleased and proud to support him and the Astrium industrial-lead team at all the key milestones of the Mars Express/Beagle 2 programme and remember well Christmas Day 2003 at the Open University in Camden when he announced that nothing had been heard from Beagle 2, but he would never give up! He was an example to us all and I’m sure inspired a whole new generation of UK scientist and engineers.

Alistair Scott
President, BIS

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