Meet some of our team and speakers for our event.

Kieran Arnold

Director of Ubiquitous Connectivity

I have held various senior technical and executive roles over the past 30 years which included R&D Chief Technical Officer for Orange / France Telecom R&D, Head of payload systems Engineering   Airbus Space & Defence. I am currently Director of Ubiquitous Connectivity in the Satellite Applications Catapult and General Manager of the Westcott Site where we host our 5G testbed. I am leading on two major 5G projects , firstly a project funded by  SEMLEP for Milton Keynes Smart City 5G deployment and DCMS funded project for Dorset Council  providing  Rural connectivity using satellite and terrestrial connectivity.

DR Ashweeni Beeharee

Head of Communication & Systems Engineering

Dr Ashweeni Beeharee is the Head of Communication & Systems Engineering, leading a specialist team of telecom and systems engineers. He joined the Satellite Applications Catapult in 2013. Through a mix of technical expertise, business acumen and user centred design experience, he has shaped a number of high impact R&D work as well as technology driven business initiatives throughout his career. He leads the catapult activities in seamless communications (including satellite communication and 5G), with strong engagement in a number of verticals such as transport, public safety, agriculture and health sector.


As a European CEN WG15 (eCall) expert, he led the work on eCall over satellite, which has particular significance for the agriculture sector. He is on the supervisory board of ITS Europe (ERTICO). He is a BSI (British Standards Institute) subject matter expert on satellite technology. He is catapult’s representative for the standards body ETSI and 3GPP. He actively works with European and International administrative bodies, contributes to white papers on connectivity and satellite technologies. He is equally member of the business support team at the Westcott Incubation Centre

Portia bowman

UK Innovation Manager

As UK Innovation Manager for D-Orbit, Portia has a broad remit in her role developing and commercialising new products and services for D-Orbit. Her background is in Space Systems Engineering and she has worked on cutting edge projects across the sector including Earth Observation, Planetary and Robotic Exploration, Space Surveillance and Tracking and In Orbit Servicing.  Portia is a TedX speaker and has won awards for her volunteering contributions to the sector, including co-founding SpaceCareers.uk. D-Orbit is a leader in space logistics and orbital transportation and recently launched their third InOrbitNOW mission– WILD RIDE – delivering customer payloads to their requested slots. D-Orbit’s ambition is to provide services to space operators to enable sustainable expansion and the blossoming on-orbit economy.

Alexander de carvalho

Co-Founder – PUBLIC

Alexander de Carvalho co-founded PUBLIC with Daniel and is the Chief Investment Officer. Alexander previously worked in investment banking and private equity for 8 years at a top-quartile fund. Subsequently Alexander has become a venture investor and entrepreneur, building the Healthtech start-up Doctify, and is also a non-executive board member of Heineken.

PARmijt chima

Head of Engineering, Harper Adams University, Shropshire, UK

Parmjit is a multi-disciplinary academic specialising in mechatronics, robotics and IoT systems. With over 30 years’ experience as an academic and manager Parmjit currently leads the Department of Engineering at Harper Adams University. Harper Adams University is the leading niche university tackling the future development of our planet’s food production, processing, animal sciences, engineering, land management and sustainable business. Placed on a 635 hectare farm Harper Adams has the world’s first Hands Free Hectare and Hands Free Farm to grow and harvest crops using autonomous machines without any human intervention. Harper Adams University are a founding partner in the Agri Living Lab.

Alan Cox

Chief Commercial Officer – Satellite Applications Catapult

Alan Cox is Chief Commercial Officer for the Satellite Applications Catapult. Prior to that, he was Managing Director of the International Space Innovation Centre, a forerunner of the Catapult. Alan began his career in Defence working for GEC Marconi and BAE Systems before moving to Finmeccanica in 2004, where he gained experience of the Air Traffic Management and Space sectors. Alan has held senior management positions in the areas of commercial, business development, project management and operations and has helped to develop start-up enterprises, which have won customer awards for programme excellence.

Mike curtis-rouse

Head of Manufacturing for Space

Mike is the Head of Manufacturing for Space at the Satellite Applications Catapult. With a background in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy, and robotics, he is an expert and thought leader on disruptive technologies across multiple sectors.  Currently, his focus is the development of the UK’s space manufacturing eco-system, covering spaceports, launch vehicles and orbital manufacturing. Mike works extensively with nascent and established rocket companies, as well those organisations exploring manufacturing in LEO, and beyond. He is an advisor to several launch vehicle companies, an NED for Space Store, and CTO for two disruptive technology companies. 

Marcos damien perez

Co-Founder and CTO – Lift Me Off

Marcos Damian Perez is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Lift Me Off (LMO). With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MSc degree in Engineering Sciences he has more than 10 years of experience in the space industry, heavily involved in the fields of satellite Attitude and Orbit Control Systems (AOCS), Chemical Propulsion Subsystems and in the development of sensors for Space Situational Awareness (SSA). He has been directly involved in many missions from design to operation in space. At LMO he is currently leading the development of technologies to support the future In-Orbit Servicing market.

richard harrington

Chief Executive, Buckinghamshire LEP

Richard has lead responsibility for strategy development and delivery at the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Bucks LEP), which is at the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain.  He is currently leading the implementation of the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy and the successor Buckinghamshire Economic Recovery Plan, supporting the existing business base, that generates economic output worth over £17 billion per annum. 


Richard has steered impressive growth across the strategically important Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, that includes Silverstone Technology Park, Westcott Venture Park and the partnership promoted Aylesbury Woodlands mixed use development and is further securing funding to invest in incubation and innovation centres, supporting the development and implementation of the skills plan for Buckinghamshire, and supporting Growth Hub activity to grow local business and attract inward investment. A town planner and surveyor by training Richard ensures that the Bucks LEP remains focused on delivery of tangible economic outcomes.

Simon Hill

Technicial Director – Excelerate

Simon is the Technical Director at Excelerate Group and is charged with overseeing all of the research & development, network & security services, technical sales and design consultancy, technical escalation and training functions within the business. Simon joined Excelerate at its inception, bringing with him an entrepreneurial spirit and a broad base of technical knowledge and has been instrumental in a vast catalogue of high profile and successful projects for customers.

hammad jeilani

Co-Founder – Apian

Hammad is a co-founder of Apian, a medical drone startup disrupting the status quo of healthcare logistics. As a trainee doctor and space-enthusiast, Hammad believes the medical industry can leverage space technology to deliver faster, smarter and cleaner healthcare. Apian graduated from the Westcott Business Incubation Centre in 2019 and has since joined the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, raised over $2m and launched trials across the country with the aim of creating the NHS Air Grid for autonomous logistics to make people and the planet feel better.


Dr Chang Liu

Founder – Extend Robotics

Chang is an entrepreneur in academia and leading start-ups. He is the founder of Extend Robotics. He was previously a research associate in Imperial College London and University of Southampton on autonomous aerial robotic navigation.

Stuart Martin

CEO – Satellite Applications Catapult

Stuart Martin is CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult. He joined the Catapult in January 2013 from Logica (now part of CGI) where he had led all the company’s activities in the Space domain for seven years. Stuart is a former vice-chair of UKSpace, the British trade association representing the Space industry, and council member of Eurospace – its European equivalent. He is a Non-Executive Director of three Catapult spin-out companies, a member of the Advisory Board for Seraphim Space Venture Capital Fund, and sits on the UK Space Leadership Council, the top-level cross-industry, academia and government stakeholder group responsible for overseeing and delivering UK space policy.

Stuart is a passionate advocate of the Catapult programme, which he considers to be a vital element of the UK strategy to secure and accelerate economic growth from emerging technologies. Furthermore, for satellite applications, he believes the UK is well on its way to securing a world-leading position, making the UK the place to be if you want to do business in Space.

nigel mackenzie

Project manager, Westcott Venture Park

Nigel is a Chartered Surveyor with over 35 years experience in commercial property investment and development specialising in construction of bespoke buildings for occupiers in the industrial and technology sectors . For the past nine years he has acted as a development consultant to the owners of Westcott Venture Park , overseeing a development/investment programme of approximately £ 25 million and offering strategic advice on the repositioning of the Park as a centre of excellence for space propulsion , communications and related engineering research and development . 


gina mercier

Business Development Agriculture – Satellite Applications Catapult

Gina has over fourteen years’ experience working in Business Development within the public and private sector across speciality chemicals and technology industries.  In her role at the Catapult Gina works with key players from industry, government, and academia to identify and promote the use of satellite technologies in agriculture and food applications. Satellites provide a wealth of data, connectivity and information that can be used to inform and assist agriculture practices and create more robust and resilient food supply chains.  Gina is leading the development of the Agri Living Lab which brings together expertise from across agricultural technology and satellite applications with state-of-the art testing facilities and real-world trial environments. Created with the vision to provide access to a collaborative and robust testing, the Agri Living Lab aims to provide organisations with access to specialist knowledge and capabilities from research, technology and business support to rapid product and service design, prototyping and testing.


david pile


Regional Director Space Systems UK, Europe & MENA  – Northrop Grumman Corporation 

David Pile is the Regional Director UK, Europe and MENA for Northrop Grumman Space Systems.  Northrop Grumman Space Systems is one of the world’s leading space companies providing reliable, agile, and affordable solutions to solve our customers toughest space problems.  Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, David has over 16 years’ experience of working in various roles across the aerospace and defence sector.

christian von scheidt

CEO – E-Nano

Christian is a multi-skilled Project Engineer with experience in Project Management and Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. He holds an MSc in Engineering from the University of Hull and Mechanical Engineering from the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology. Christian is a CEO and cofounder of E-Nano, a robotic startup that focuses on autonomous collection and processing soil and environmental data to help their clients reduce costs and increase performance of their fields. The company’s robotic solution integrates sensors, 5G, and AI to provide sophisticated analytics to optimize field maintenance.

Adrian Smith

Head of Digital Transformation

Adrian is a passionate digital health and education evangelist with one foot in the NHS and the other treading a range of related paths. He is particularly interested in the use of digital technologies to address preventative care and to support long-term condition management. In addition to his role within Arden & GEM, he is currently working in a range of areas where the interplay of AI and ubiquitous connectivity is shifting where and how healthcare is delivered.

Martin Smye-Rumsby

Westcott Area Manager, Satellite Applications Catapult

Martin is inspired by space exploration and is passionate about using space technology to improve life down here on planet Earth.  Accordingly, he is a member of the Planetary Society and Vice-Chair of the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society.  With a record of helping to deliver improved capability in both the private and public sectors, Martin has successfully worked with start-ups, aerospace primes, central government, the military and with universities. He understands the specific challenges involved in getting new capability to market and into service using either waterfall or agile methodologies.

John vesey

Health and Wellbeing Business Manager, Satellite Applications Catapult

John has worked in numerous roles supporting the public sector to harness the benefits of satellite technology. His current role focuses on developing sustainable services for the health and social care sectors, that are underpinned by digital transformations and shifting where care is delivered. John also plays a pivotal role in the formal partnership formed with NHS Arden & GEM CSU that has already delivered a number of innovative projects harnessing the power of satellite technology within healthcare.

joshua western

Co-Founder – Space Forge

Josh co-founded Space Forge in 2018. Space Forge is developing the world’s first fully reusable platform to unlock the benefits of space for manufacturing and experimentation at scale. Space Forge is transforming return from space to deliver revolutionary experiments and products, for the benefit of humanity.

Prior to co-founding Space Forge, Josh worked for Thales Alenia Space across marketing and sales and was also seconded to the UK Space Agency where he worked on everything from Critical National Infrastructure to technology harmonisation with European Space Agency member states.

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