Published: 29 January 2024

Surrey Space Centre supports Alton College with new space technologies programme

Space and education experts at the University of Surrey are helping develop a module in Space Engineering for students at Alton College, a local centre of Further Education. 

Alton College’s students will benefit from the industry-leading facilities and expertise at Surrey Space Centre. Together, the tutors at both institutions are developing a hands-on curriculum which will equip students with the skills needed by Surrey and Hampshire’s thriving space sector, which has an income of over £3bn and employs over 5,500 people. 

Professor Keith Ryden, Director of Surrey Space Centre, said: 

“We already have a strong track record of educating space engineers, thanks to courses like our respected undergraduate degree in Astronautics and Space Engineering and our postgraduate MSc in Space Engineering. We’re excited at this opportunity to introduce students at an earlier stage to this fascinating area – and it’s a much-needed set of skills.” 

The collaboration to develop the new module is being carried out under Surrey Space Centre’s SpaceCraft programme, funded by the UK Space Agency and the University of Surrey, which enables students and companies to develop practical engineering skills and makes it easier for organisations to create space-flight equipment and conduct space experiments. 

Alton College recently secured £500K investment for a new space technologies programme from the North Hampshire and Surrey Local Skills Improvement Fund. The College will use the funding to maintain its leading role in developing skills for students to become the next generation of industry professionals. 

Ashley Grute, Assistant Principal – Vocational Curriculum, at Alton College said: 

“We are really proud to be playing a key part in preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers for the space and satellite industry. Working with Space South Central and the Universities of Surrey and Portsmouth, our Space Technologies programme will enable us to inspire young people to develop the relevant skills to work in this exciting sector.

"The fact that in this region there are so many employers and job opportunities in Space and Satellite means our students will be highly sought after when they complete their studies.” 

Dr Louise Butt, Director at Space South Central, the regional space cluster for Hampshire and Surrey, said: 

“With over 150 space companies, our region is characterised by some of the most well-known and dynamic players in the sector, boasting significant capabilities in satellite manufacture, launch technologies, next-generation communications, robotics, and autonomous systems, as well as a full range of satellite data-enabled service capabilities.

“The continued growth and success of the UK space sector relies on the talent of tomorrow so I’m delighted to see local-led investment in industry-focused facilities and training. The collaboration between Alton College, regional universities, and space-related industry will ensure a pipeline of skilled and capable future professionals.”  

Find out more about SpaceCraft: SpaceCraft | University of Surrey

Share what you've read?