Craig Clark MBE - CEO/CTO


My Job at Clyde Space

My function at Clyde Space is varied. For the most part I handle company strategy as well as getting involved in the general running of the company. We have a growing team here, so I'm less involved in the detail of day-to-day business, but I meet every morning with our management team so that together we can ensure that we deliver products and contracts on time and in budget. I also provide technical input to our engineering programmes, mostly to provide another perspective on the engineering problem. I enjoy getting involved in mission and space application designs (because of my specific experience in this area), as well as in a peer review capacity.

Another major part of my job is in business development. This ranges from networking at conferences, etc. to preparing proposals. I have gained a fair bit of experience in systems design of a power systems and small satellite missions and this lends itself well to the preparation of proposals. I enjoy proposing alternative technical solutions that can result in a change in spacecraft design; it's work I enjoy and it is pleasing to see satisfied customers at the other end.

Another satisfying part of my job is getting the opportunity to network with the rest of the space community all over the world. I am privaleged to work in an industry where most of involved are truly passionate about their jobs and I've been fortunate to make many good friends as a result.

Qualifications and Honours

BEng (hons) Power Engineering, 1994, University of Glasgow.

MSc Satellite Engineering, 2001, University of Surrey.

Craig was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2013 for Services to Technology and Innovation.

Life Before Clyde Space

I have been fortunate to have always worked in the small satellite industry. My first degree was in Power Engineering, which although covered large power stations, generators, etc. it was mostly about power electronics, motors and drives and control theory. This stood me in good stead to get a position as a power Systems Engineer at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. I had an excellent time at Surrey, especially in the early part of my career when the company was small enough for all the staff to know one another and know their families. During my time at Surrey, I worked on over 25 different missions, was head of the Power Team for about 7 years, studied for my MSc in Satellite Engineering and did my part to help Surrey grow into the space industry big-boy it is now (300 staff at last count or so I heard recently). After 11 years at Surrey, in 2005 I left to head back to Scotland and at the same time started Glasgow's first space company, Clyde Space.

Outside Clyde Space

When I'm not busy working at Clyde Space, I tend to spend most of my time with my family. My wife Lynn and I married in 1995. Our kids are now aged 7 and 9, so there is never a dull moment, but it is a great age and they are loads of fun.

I'd say the most interesting out-of-work activity I do is playing the drums. I have played for several bands, original music, Orchestras, Big Bands, you name it. It is great fun playing the drums, and I definitely don't do enough of it. My first band was in Cumbernauld and was called 'The Custard Experiment'; I don't remember custard being involved, it was just an odd name. Along with my son, I'm also a member of Victoria Park Athletics Club who train at Scotstoun athletics track where Itrain for the 100m (a good way to keep fit).

Another of my interests is in reading. Although I don't consider myself a hard-core Sci-Fi fan, I do enjoy reading decent Science Fiction. My ideal read is a book that has a stab at where we'll be in the not so distant future. Again, I'm not expert in this area, but I have read a few novels and, if you are interested, I would recommend the following: Ian M. Banks; A fantastic imagination. I love, most of all, his Culture novels and the shere scale of the 'world' that the stories take place. Probably my favourite Banks novel is Excession, but if you are new to Culture novels, I would start with Consider Phlebas. Stephen Baxter; It was a Stephen Baxter book that first got me hooked into Sci-Fi novels. His 'NASA Series' is an excellent read, especially if you have an engineering and/or space background. Also, the 'Manifold Series' will just blow your mind. I would also recommend novels by Alastair Reynolds (who used to work at ESA), Ken MacLeod and Peter F. Hamilton (the Night's Dawn Trilogy is a 'can't put down' read).

Other Info

I am a member of the UK's Space Leadership Council, who advise the UK Space Agency on future direction.

I am a member of the Entrepreneurial Exchange here in Scotland. This group has been very useful in helping me learn how to go about growing a company; I would recommend it to anyone crazy enough to start a company themselves.

I am a member of the British Interplanetary Society (or BIS). The BIS are not only extremely useful for those interested in space in general, but they are also excellent at supporting the British Space industry (including Clyde Space).

I am a member of the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) through which I am a Chartered Engineer. Within the IET I also do my best to participate within the Satellite Systems and Applications Professional Network.

I am a member of the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics).

My Linkedin profile can be found here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/craigsclark.

Or follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/craig_s_clark.