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Dr Adam Baker

Senior lecturer in space engineering, Kingston University.

Overview

Dr Adam Baker is an experienced scientist and chartered aerospace engineer who has also worked on the commercial side of business.  He teaches Astronautics and Space Engineering at Kingston University, and his academic credentials include a PhD and M.Eng. in materials engineering from Oxford, and a diploma in spacecraft system engineering from the Technical University of Delft.

He has worked for more than 15 years in the aerospace industry, on the development of new composite materials, propulsion, power systems, satellites and launch vehicle systems. He worked for ESA and Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1990s, as a project manager for QinetiQ, formerly the UK Defence Research Agency, and a leading provider of contract research to the Defence and Security industries between 1999-2002. Dr Baker has also worked as a senior engineer and business development manager for SSTL - Surrey Satellite Technology Limited - selling low cost space missions across the Globe. Until late 2010 he was general manager for Virgin Galactic, a business unit of the Virgin Group developing a spaceplane capable of sending tourists for brief flights into space.

Dr Baker currently consults for a number of UK based space companies advising them on winning business in the space industry and helping deliver technology programmes. He also currently runs two small space companies and has ambitions to see Britain launch its own satellites into orbit before the end of the decade.

 

 

Qualifications

Year gained Subject
1998 PhD in Composite materials for future aircraft engines. Oxford University.
1994 M.Eng (First class) in Metallurgy and Materials, Oxford University.
1994 Diploma in Space Studies, International Space University, France.

Career Highlights

Year Position held
2011 - Senior lecturer in space engineering, Kingston University.
2010 - Consultant providing advice on rocket launches, space propulsion and business development in the space industry.
2009 - 2010 General manager, Virgin Galactic.
2002 - 2009 Senior enginer/advanced technology manager, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
1999 - 2002 Project manager, QinetiQ, formerly UK Defence Evaluation Research Agency.

Research

Adam M Baker, Rachel Bird, Stuart Eves, F Brent Abbott; Affordable SAR constellations to support homeland security; SSC09-III-3; presented at the 23rd annual AIAA / USU conference on small satellites; Logan, Utah; August 10-13, 2009.

George Tyc, Joe Steyn, Norman Hannaford, Jonathan Gebbie, Ben Stocker, Adam Baker, Michael Oxfort; RapidEye - A cost effective Earth observation constellation; IAC-08-B4.3.03; presented at the 59th International; 29 September - 3 October 2008; pp. 13. Astronautical Congress, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Adam Baker, Andrew Cawthorne, Mike Cutter, Alex da Silva Curiel; Reading the fine print from orbit: It's not just about the resolution; SSC08-IV-5; presented at the 22nd annual AIAA / USU conference on small satellites, Logan, Utah ; August 11-14, 2008; pp. 8.

Principal author of (space exploration) Commerce chapter, UK Space Exploration Working Group Report: see http://www.stfc.ac.uk/PMC/PRel/STFC/UKSEWG.aspx. August 2007.

Media Highlights

Dr Baker is available for media interviews, both live and recorded. He is able to speak plainly and concisely about his area in an accessible, easy and interesting way. He has previously appeared on ITN news.

Major Research Collaborations

Dr Baker and the Astronautics & Space Research Group at Kingston University have recently been offered an award by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) for three months of work studying environmentally friendly propulsion systems for Cubesats. A Cubesat is the smallest form of satellite currently built, around 1kg in mass and about the size of a large coffee jar. Cubesats are being built by universities worldwide and are also being used to test technologies for larger commercial satellites. Moving Cubesats around in space once they have been launched is a major challenge as rocket propulsion systems tend to be designed on a large scale. This study will look at how rocket propulsion systems can be made small enough and inexpensive enough to benefit these missions, while also researching environmentally friendly propellants that could be used in future space missions. Kingston is collaborating with industrial companies AMPAC In-Space propulsion, based in Cheltenham and EADS Innovation Works, based in Bristol to deliver this work to UKSA.

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