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Published: 28 June 2013

Surrey Space Centre lecturer nominated for Sir Arthur Clarke award

Dr Chris Bridges, lecturer in On-board Data Handling at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), has been nominated for a prestigious ‘Arthur’ award, recognising his outstanding contribution to space electronics and his passion for sharing this knowledge.

Sponsored by the UK Space Agency, the annual Sir Arthur Clarke awards – named after the iconic science fiction author and known as the ‘Arthurs’ – are the Oscars of the UK space industry, recognising exceptional contributions to the space sector by individuals, groups and organisations.

Dr Chris Bridges, Surrey’s On-Board Data Handling Group lead, has been nominated in the category of Education and Outreach, joining a shortlist that includes some of the most celebrated names in space research. The nominees have been selected by a judging panel chaired by Angie Edwards, a UK board member of the Arthur C Clarke Foundation and niece of Sir Arthur.

Dr Bridges’ nomination recognises his cutting-edge work in designing on-boarding computing for space, overcoming the unique challenges posed by the hostile space environment. Tasks that we take for granted on earth – such as sending communications or images – represent real challenges when travelling at around seven kilometres a second, with little or no atmosphere, a wide temperature range, and hazards such as radiation, heavy ions and electrons.

In addition to lecturing in On-board Data Handling at the University, Dr Bridges is the SSC Lead Engineer and Researcher for the STRaND (Surrey Training Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) programme – a joint collaboration between the University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, soon to enter its second phase. 

Dr Bridges joined Surrey Space Centre as a PhD student in 2006, having discovering his own fascination with space while studying Electronics and subsequently working at aerospace defence company BAE Systems. He is keen to share knowledge about space – not only in his role as Surrey’s lecturer in On-board Data Handling, but also in the media and via social networking websites.

“It's a real honour to get nominated in space education and outreach by the British Interplanetary Society,” says Dr Bridges. “Fostering the sharing of new ideas and getting people excited about space is something I'm really passionate about. Space has always been exciting but, in our booming space economy in the UK, I believe our young leaders and new social media technologies will only spread that message further to new younger generations and promote space in and outside the UK.”

The 2013 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards will be announced at the UK Space Conference in Glasgow, on 16th July, at a dinner hosted by well-known celebrities with a link to science and space.

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