Launching Terrestrial Tech into the Space Marketplace

Dr David Alexander OBE, Director, RICE Space Institute

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All space hardware, supporting everything from satellite communications to rovers on Mars and sustaining a continued human presence in Low Earth Orbit and eventually on the Moon and Mars, is a result of the application of a wide range of technologies developed here on the ground.  Scotland is well-placed to contribute to the growing need for novel, intelligent, flexible and versatile technologies that expand the societal benefits of the space enterprise and expand the development of a space-based economy.  In this talk, we will explore how the exploration and development of space both inspires and is inspired by innovation in fields as diverse as medical imaging, intelligent systems and deep fried Mars bars.

David Alexander is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where his primary areas of research are solar physics, exoplanetary physics and earth remote sensing. Alexander also serves as the Director of the Rice Space Institute where he is responsible for providing vision, direction, and leadership, managing the various institute programs, identifying and fostering research opportunities for our faculty, and interacting with government and the space industry. Professor Alexander was awarded an OBE in June 2018 for services to the space industry at home and abroad and to higher education.

David received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004 and was appointed a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is former Chair of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society and former Chair of the Solar Heliospheric Interplanetary Environment program. He has served on many professional committees including the NASA Advisory Council’s Heliophysics Subcommittee, the NASA Solar Heliospheric Management and Operations Working Group, and the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter Payload Committee. He currently serves on the advisory boards of SpaceCom, the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and on the editorial boards of Space Science Reviews and ROOM: The Space Journal. He has been named a GlobalScot by the Scottish government and was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Astronautical Society in 2018.

Professor Alexander joined the faculty at Rice in 2003. He received his Bachelor of Science in Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, and his doctorate on Relativistic Cosmological Models from the University of Glasgow.


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Session 4

Ten Traits that Differentiate the most Trusted Advisors

Getting value from data – productionising data science

Innovating with Immigration.


Austen Mulinder

Dr James McMinn

Jamie Kerr



Olivia Gambelin, Joseph Crispell

Kathryn Strachan

Peter Proud

Brian Baglow

Paul Neeson and Andrew Noble


Session 6

A Fyne future for graphical development

Launching terrestrial tech into the space marketplace

Tales from the Crypt(o)

Serverless Architecture


Andrew Williams

Dr David Alexander

Matt Summers

Julian Wood



Closing Keynote

Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President – AI & ISV Engagement at Microsoft Corporation 


Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards

The YSE Awards recognise the best undergraduate software projects, drawn from across all students studying computing science and software engineering in Scotland.

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