Coffee, Petit Fours and Smashing Things to Atoms

After a start at the 2011 Malvern Festival of Innovation my alternative career as an after dinner speaker is blooming this year. Rather than trotting out statistics about nanotechnology, entrepreneurship or discussing the innovation gap which I do in the day job, the after dinner circuit likes something a bit more entertaining. Fortunately I have plenty of material including Landing …

Landing on a Comet Puts Entrepreneurship Into Context

Like many of the others involved in sending a washing machine sized lander four billion miles to land on a comet I was glued to the news from ESA mission control yesterday. It’s almost twenty years since I worked on one of the instruments and while slingshotting around the Earth and Venus to rendezvous is easy – as long as you have …

400 Million Kilometres From Home and 18 Years Ago

I always chuckle when someone presents a business plan involving aerospace and expects to get to market within a few years. I left the European Space Agency’s R&D ESTEC in 1996 (the photo to the right was taken in around 1994) and one of the projects I worked on has only just come to life and most of the people I …