Dr Matt Perkins speaks to astronomy & physics students in North Yorkshire

11 July 2014

Dr Matt Perkins with students from King James's SchoolSpeaker Dr Perkins travelled from Surrey to Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, for a 2 hour talk with students at King James’s School before the end of term.

As CEO of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), a spin-off company of Surrey University, Dr Perkins was well placed to explain how intellectual rigour and technological innovation can allow the students to reach quite literally for the stars – the aim of any Speakers for Schools talk.

The audience – who comprised A2 Physicists and GCSE Astronomers – were interested in hearing about the general uses of space-based technology for communications, GPS and mapping applications; SSTL’s role such as designing and launching satellites for the USA, Russia, China and a host of other nations including Nigeria and Algeria who are part of the new African space race; some of the ‘BIG’ science projects such as Hubble, James Webb telescope, Mars rovers and the Rosetta mission to land on a comet. The students were amazed to see how a group of engineers at SSTL had re-engineered a mobile phone to control a nano-satellite (a 30cm device), which is now in orbit around the Earth.

The second part of Dr Perkins’ S4S talk was spent chatting to students, who were able to probe him further with questions such as “So, where do you get the intercontinental ballistic missiles from to launch your satellites?” or “I’d really like to work for you. How can I do my work experience at SSTL?”

Speakers for Schools would like to thank Dr Matt Perkins for his time, and all the staff and students at King James’s School for their involvement in an informative and enjoyable event.