AWE embarks on collaboration with Space Park Leicester

AWE is establishing a new collaboration with Space Park Leicester which will explore manufacturing development, testing and qualification methods to support future space science and exploration missions. The collaboration will bring additional employment opportunities to Leicester.

Collaborative projects will include enabling space exploration technologies, in addition to designing new space missions to the most challenging regions of the solar system. The collaboration will drive innovation in advanced environmental testing and analysis methods, and help to grow the UK supply chain for low-volume high-quality components.

The new partnership builds on two decades of joint working between scientists at both organisations. AWE was a strategic partner for the qualification campaign of the Beagle 2 lander programme, and more recently provided vibration test facilities for the Mid-Infrared Instrument aboard the James Webb Space Telescope, two missions with leading roles for the University of Leicester.

Mandy Savage, AWE Executive Director Engineering, said:

“We are pleased and excited to deepen our partnership with the University of Leicester, and we look forward to working together on novel and cutting-edge space exploration technologies. By driving forward innovation in this sector we can grow the UK supply chain, as well as creating more opportunities to train and develop STEM talent.

“We want to continue developing our relationships with leading industrial and academic partners to build resilience and strengthen capabilities across UK industry in support of our mission. This collaboration with Space Park Leicester will do exactly that.”

Professor Richard Ambrosi, Space Park Leicester Executive Director, said:

“AWE’s team working alongside our researchers and established partners will unlock new scientific insights and establish a fertile environment for the creation of high-tech jobs and supercharge the already flourishing space industry in our region.

“AWE will be a vital collaborator in our work on the European Space Agency’s ENDURE programme to develop advanced radioisotope power technologies for space exploration. In addition, we will be exploring and developing new testing and qualification methods that will support future space science and exploration missions. We are looking forward to exploring the exciting opportunities that lay on the horizon for this partnership.”