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Joseph Dudley & Dr. Heidi Thiemann  of Space Skills Alliance Named as the SSPI-UK Satellite Personalities of the Year

(16 November 2022 – London, UK & New York, NY, USA) – SSPI-UK, the UK Chapter of Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), is delighted to announce the recipients of the SSPI-UK Satellite Personality of the Year Award: Joseph Dudley & Dr. Heidi Thiemann of Space Skills Alliance.

Heidi and Joseph are thought leaders at the heart of the skills challenge in the UK space sector. They founded Space Skills Alliance in 2019, the UK’s Think Tank on all-things-space-skills. Access to the right skills and the right people is one of the primary challenges to business success and growth. Space Skills Alliance is on a mission to help educate and inform the government, industry and academia about these challenges, as well as to offer proactive solutions and advice about what needs to be done to solve some of these critical issues.

Space Skills Alliance implemented the 2020 Space Census, the first activity of its kind, analysing the demographic make-up of the UK’s space sector, publishing a number of highly informative white papers on the results in relation to demographics, women and pay.

Their joint efforts in this area did not start here, as they were responsible for building the website while working with UKSEDS, the UK’s national student body for space, has grown to become the main resource for early-stage careers in our sector.

Both Heidi and Joseph have made a massive impact to date on the discourse around space skills, especially in UK government, and their work continues to be of critical importance to the health and benefit of our sector.

Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli MBE, SSPI UK Chair, congratulated the winners: “Heidi and Joseph work on a critical pillar of our industry: space skills. The creation of a space census, as well as the mapping of the space sectors’ skills and competences in the UK provide valuable information. I look forward to the next generation of space professionals.”

Dr. Heidi Thiemann and Joseph Dudley said: “No one can go to space alone. It requires people with all types of skills and backgrounds, knowledge and perspectives, to work together towards common goals. Space is the great example of the power of collaboration to overcome incredible obstacles and to achieve great things. Our work in the Space Skills Alliance is driven by the belief that the foundations of the space sector are being laid today, and the decisions that we make about the kinds of values we embody and the people we include will profoundly and permanently shape our future among the stars. We are delighted to receive this award, and we hope that it will further highlight the importance of skills and recruitment to the continued success of our sector.”

Join us to celebrate the winners, not only of this Award but the winners of 2022 from other categories ASTERRA, Spire Global and Viasat, as well as our 2021 winners Hellas Sat (Christodoulos Protopappas), Speedcast and Willka Yachay and UltiSat.

About the Satellite Personality of the Year Award

The Satellite Personality of the Year Award is an award from the UK Chapter of SSPI that celebrates an individual for their achievements in the promotion and development of the satellite sector in the UK. The Award is presented each year at the Better Satellite World Awards Celebration, which honours organisations or individuals who have demonstrated the use of satellite to make a significant contribution to human welfare, good governance, safety, peace and security, improved education and other measures of global good. The first award was presented at the 2016 Better Satellite World Awards Dinner.

About SSPI

Founded in 1983, Space & Satellite Professionals International ( is on a mission to make the space and satellite industry one of the world’s best at attracting and engaging the talent that powers innovation. The space and satellite business has never seen a time of greater experimentation and disruption than we see today. Investment is the fuel for transformation, but people are the engine. SSPI helps the industry attract, develop and retain the talented people it needs to keep the engine turning. People who connect through high-profile events and gain recognition from prestigious awards. People who rely on SSPI for a broader understanding of the industry as much as for individual networking and career mentoring. From young people seeking a career path to industry veterans with wisdom to share, SSPI connects them all.

Talent, investment and opportunity flow to industries that make a difference. SSPI is the only organization that also promotes the enormous value of space and satellite through dramatic stories of our technologies and companies making a better world. Those stories overturn misconceptions about the industry that hold it back. They inspire our people and attract new ones to the industry. They help justify investment and give new customers a reason to care about our services and products. Through the stories we tell and the people we serve, SSPI inspires the growth of the $1 trillion space economy of the future.

For More Information

Victoria Krisman
Communications Manager
Space & Satellite Professionals International

 November 16, 2022