The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence (CoE), which is operated by Business Durham and based at NETPark in Sedgefield, County Durham, has expanded its team by welcoming Dr Kavitha Muthu as European Space Agency (ESA) Business Applications UK Regional Ambassador for the Midlands and North East. Kavitha brings over a decade of experience within the space sector, from conceptualisation to delivery of innovative applications using space technologies and Geographical Information Systems.

As ESA Business Applications UK Regional Ambassador, Kavitha will sit within the CoE to help stimulate space-related business development and drive economic growth through the exploitation of space. In this role, she will conduct outreach activities to foster innovation, provide advice on business ideas and raise awareness of the available funding instruments.

She is joining the CoE as the ESA Business Applications UK Regional Ambassador for the Midlands and North East. Jointly hosted by the North East CoE and the East Midlands CoE for Satellite Applications, which is operated by the University of Leicester, Kavitha, is one of five regional ambassadors under the Business Applications UK Regional Ambassador Platform.

Kavitha has a diverse range of work experience with roles such as Space Innovation Facilitator for the Satellite Applications Catapult; a Programme/Project Manager at Airbus; and Earth Observation (EO) Applications Engineer for CGI, a leading IT and business consulting services firm, based on her extensive work with EO, including a PhD in using EO and machine learning for landslide mapping.

She also has a track record in bid management; organising and delivering end user workshops; contributing to the development of commercialisation roadmaps; and building stakeholder engagements with SMEs, industry, academics and government departments to promote uptake of EO data and services/solutions.

Commenting on her appointment, Kavitha Muthu said: “I am excited to join the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence as European Business Ambassador. The North East region is recognised as being strong in the space sector, especially in areas such as intelligent transport and mobility, and I look forward to supporting the development of this expertise to help deliver sustainable space-based services and applications to new user communities and customers.”

Catherine Johns, Innovation Director of Business Durham and Director of the CoE, added: “We are delighted to have Dr Kavitha Muthu join us. Her extensive experience will be of great benefit in helping to encourage space and satellite-related activity. In particular, Kavitha’s expertise in utilising Earth Observation data to solve real-world problems sits perfectly with our approach in the North East – as demonstrated by our SAINTS initiative. Kavitha is a valuable addition to our team and we look forward to working together.”

Submitted on 15/01/2019