UK satellite star takes skill to US

August 31, 2001

An academic whose company is the first non-American supplier of a spacecraft to the US government has won the 2001 World Technology Award for space.

Martin Sweeting of Surrey University was one of 23 innovators in a wide range of fields honoured by the World Technology Network for projects the judges believed would have the greatest "ripple effects" in future.

He said the award reflected his development work on micro-satellites over the past two decades. The space industry has only recently started to use micro satellites in preference to more conventional craft.

As chief executive officer of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, Professor Sweeting has overseen 20 launches in 20 years.

The next will be PICOSat, built for the US air force space test programme, which Nasa will launch from Kodiak Island, in Alaska, in mid-September.

The company has a turnover of some £10 million a year and returns an annual profit of about £1.5 million to the university.

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