Published: 09 June 2023

Meet Paul Morris, the space engineer here to help small businesses find their feet in the space industry

Space engineer Paul Morris is the friendly face of SpaceCraft, Space South Central’s programme to open the specialist facilities at Surrey Space Centre to small and medium-sized enterprises, reducing the barriers of entry to the space industry and boosting relevant skills to meet the growing demands of the sector in Surrey and Hampshire.

With a career covering organisations like Airbus, QinetiQ and being an ESA-qualified operator, inspector and instructor, Paul is the perfect person to offer advice and practical help to businesses with bright ideas.

After completing an electronics apprenticeship at the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Paul became a craftsperson in the Space Department, ultimately spending 27 years there.

“Over that time I worked on several different electronic payloads,” he says. “I helped design, build and test them before they were launched into space or fitted to aircraft.” The Merlin space weather monitor and Raysure were two of the projects he helped implement.

“Surrey Space Centre has many fantastic facilities” he continues, “including thermal vacuum chambers, vibration rigs, impact test rigs and radiation sources. These are all crucial for testing electronic assemblies to ensure they’ll survive in the harsh space environment.”

His move to SpaceCraft at Surrey Space Centre means he’ll be able to share his expertise with entrepreneurs and smaller companies.

I can’t wait to hear about the new, novel projects with which start-ups need help. The Space Centre has all the equipment people need to take their ideas to fruition. We can help them finesse their designs, and help with the build and testing in readiness for launch. I’m excited to see what businesses come to us with.

Upskilling others is an important part of what Paul will be doing, both with businesses and students across the South Central region.

“There’s such a thirst for skilled space engineers – there simply aren’t enough of them around. I’ll be working with people to boost their practical skills, which are in such demand. The strength of the space industry in Surrey and Hampshire means there is so much potential and a great need for more specialists.”

Get in touch

If you work in a small or medium-sized business with aspirations in the space sector and need maker space and expert support from a space engineer, get in touch with James Hodges at j.hodges@surrey.ac.uk.

Related content