Winners of the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards 2016

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation and the British Interplanetary Society are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Sir Arthur Clarke Awards.  The finalists, three in each category, were invited by Ms Walda Roseman, Chair of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation Board and Mark Hempsell, President of the British Interplanetary Society, to attend the Awards Ceremony at the Reinventing Space Conference Gala Dinner in the Royal Society in London on Thursday 27 October 2016 where the winners of each of the 10 Awards were announced.  Mrs. Angie Edwards, niece of Sir Arthur and Chair of the Judging Panel was there to officiate.

The Winners of the 2016 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards are:

1. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Team

The SSTL Galileo Team with Gary Lay and Elizabeth Rooney
For the successful completion of all 22 payloads for the European satellite navigational system Galileo.

2. Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual

Dave Honess, Astro Pi
For the Astro Pi project that put two Raspberry Pis on to the International Space Station as the platform for students to run their own code in space.

3. Space Achievement – Academic Study/Research

Dr. Harry Ward and the University of Glasgow LISA Pathfinder team
For the development of the Optical Bench Interferometer at the heart of the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft.

4. Space Achievement – Education and Outreach

The UK Space Agency Principia Education Team of Jeremy Curtis, Libby Jackson and Susan Buckle
For the many education and outreach activities that they organised to maximise the value of the Principia Mission’s inspirational impact.

4a. Space Achievement – Special Individual Outreach

Tim Peake, ESA
For the exceptional way he used the Principia Mission to inspire the UK and the world of the value of science and engineering and the potential to fulfil dreams.

4b. Space Achievement – Education

Mike Grocott, Space School, Banbury
For setting up the first Space Studio School in the UK and a life-long dedication to Space education.

5. Space Achievement – Student

Joseph Dudley, UKSEDS
For his work and support for UKSEDS serving in succession as PR Officer, Membership Officer, Secretary and Chair.

6. Space Achievement – Media, Broadcast and Written

David Shukman, BBC News
For his outstanding work as BBC television’s leading Science Correspondent covering Space Stories from the Philae landing to Tim Peake’s Principia Mission.

7. Lifetime Achievement

Pat Norris, CGI
For a 50 year space career starting with NASA, including an outstanding contribution to the Apollo programme, then ESA, including work on the Hubble Space Telescope and then Logica, now CGI.  He has chaired UKSpace and the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Space group.

8. International Achievement

The Global VSAT Forum (GVF), David Hartshorn, Secretary General
Founded in 1997 the GVF is now a forum for the satellite industry with more than 200 members; strengthening and promoting the satellite industry.

Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony

The Award Ceremony, part sponsored by the UK Space Agency, began with a Reception where Mark Hempsell, President of the British Interplanetary Society, presented Dr Helen Sharman with her Honorary Fellowship Certificate to mark the 25th anniversary of her trip to the Mir Space Station as Britain’s first astronaut in 1991 and to recognize the amazing contribution she has made as a Space Ambassador promoting STEM education, astronautics and an active manned –Space programme in the UK.  Tim Just, Head of Space at Innovate UK, as sponsor of the Reception, then spoke about Innovate UK and introduced Rick Tumlinson, CEO Deep Space Industries, who reminisced about his meetings with Sir Arthur whose remarkable connections enabled him to open doors not only to the inner sanctums of the science and technology world, but onto the film sets of the latest movies as well

At dinner Angie Edwards, Chair of the Judging Panel, kicked-off the award ceremony by quickly reminding everyone that Sir Arthur was her uncle.  Her father Fred was Sir Arthur’s brother and became custodian of his UK ‘Clarkives’.  “When Dave Wright and Jerry Stone approached Arthur to ask if he’d like to put his name to these Space awards he was absolutely thrilled.  Though his name had been associated for some years with science fiction awards, as a scientist, his joy was always hard science and to be recognised and asked to be involved with something that was to do with hard science and space meant an enormous amount to him.  He was truly honoured.”  Angie then cleverly made the link between the imagination and vision of Sir Arthur and the reality of Tim Peake’s ‘Principia’ mission to the ISS and the excitement it caused amongst the children at her school.  Then, with the wonders of science and the support of the Internet, Tim miraculously appeared on the massive screen behind her, all the way from Houston.

After a quick “Hi Tim” Angie handed over the lectern to Lord David Willetts, who as Space Minister had made ‘Principia’ happen.  He presented Tim with his well-deserved Special Award for Individual Outreach which magically appeared on screen to be warmly accepted by Tim.  Tim then announced the winners of the Education and Outreach Award which unsurprisingly went to the UK Space Agency Principia Education Team and the Media Award which went to BBC News’ David Shukman for his reporting of Tim’s mission to the ISS, from start to finish.  Lord Willetts presented both these awards and then announced the winner of the Special Education Award, Mike Grocott for founding the UK’s first Space Studio School in Banbury.

Helen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut, was then invited to present the Awards for the Industry/Project Team which, won by the SSTL Galileo Team, was collected by Elizabeth Rooney, a leading figure within the SSTL team and the In-Orbit Test/Operations manager for the Full Operational Constellation.  Helen followed this by presenting the Industry/Project Individual Award to Dave Honess for his leadership of the Astro Pi project that put two Raspberry Pis on to the International Space Station.

Mark Hempsell, President of the British Interplanetary Society, then took to the stage to announce the winner of the Academic Study/Research award and present it to Dr. Harry Ward and his LISA Pathfinder team, mostly kilted, from the University of Glasgow for the development of the LISA Optical Bench Interferometer and the Student Award to Joseph Dudley, Chair of UKSEDS, for his long and dedicated service to UKSEDS.

Finally, the moment many had been waiting for, Walda Roseman, Chair of the Sir Arthur C. Clarke Foundation Board, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pat Norris for his 50 years’ service to the Space industry and the International Achievement Award to David Hartshorn, Secretary General, the Global VSAT Forum for its support and promotion of the Satellite industry.  Walda took the opportunity to tell the audience about the 100th anniversary of the birth of Arthur C. Clarke in 2017 and the Foundation’s plan for a year of celebrations. To end the evening Alistair Scott Past President, BIS announced the date of the next Awards Ceremony at the UK Space Conference Dinner in Manchester on 1 June 2017.

The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards recognise and reward those individuals and teams that have made notable or outstanding achievements in, or contributions to, all British space activities in the previous year, but, once again, include International and Lifetime Achievement categories open to all. Better known as ‘The Arthurs’, they have been presented annually since 2005.  Unusually, nominations can be made by the general public, but a Nominations and Judging Panel, made up of senior representatives from all areas of the space sector, ensures that all areas are covered.

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