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Space skills champion receives award from Major Tim Peake – University of Reading

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Space skills champion receives award from Major Tim Peake

Release Date 01 June 2017

Kathie Bowden with Major Tim Peake at the UK Space Conference 2017

A skills champion who helps young people get their foot in the door of the space industry has been named as the winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Centenary Award for Space Achievement.

Kathie Bowden, who works at the Institute of Environmental Analytics (IEA) at the University of Reading, was presented with the Individual Award for Education and Outreach at the UK Space Conference 2017 in Manchester on Wednesday 31 May by British astronaut Major Tim Peake CMG.

Ms Bowden coordinates SPIN (Space Placements In Industry) linking industries and organisations working within or alongside the space sector, or using space-derived data, with the most talented and enthusiastic undergraduates to undertake a funded project or to work alongside industry colleagues for at least eight weeks.

She is committed to promoting STEM subjects in education and to increasing the diversity of young people aiming for careers in the space sector.

"This was about the whole SPIN team who put the programme together and helped deliver it" - Kathie Bowden, Institute of Environmental Analytics

Ms Bowden is the UK National Space Skills and Career Development Manager for the UK Space Agency. She trained as a geologist and worked for BP for 10 years, using Earth Observation data for exploration worldwide. Based with the IEA, she is seconded to the UK Space Agency and has worked closely with the space industry, developing programmes to help deliver the skilled employees of the future for the space sector.

The Sir Arthur Clarke Centenary Award has been awarded nationally since 2005, and are given in recognition of notable or outstanding achievements in work connected with the space industry.

Ms Bowden said: “It is lovely to feel valued; winning was a total surprise. I was blown away just to be nominated and to be chosen as the winner from such stellar company is amazing and totally unexpected.

"This was about the whole SPIN team who put the programme together and helped deliver it – all the companies that took students, and the fantastic students who delivered projects above and beyond all our expectations. It was great to see so many former SPIN-terns in the audience.”

About the IEA - The Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) was founded in January 2015 and is a unique flagship centre, funded by the HEFCE Catalyst Fund and hosted by the University of Reading. Harnessing the expertise of world-leading academics and commercial organisations, the IEA is developing the technologies and skills that are urgently required to transform big data into commercially-relevant solutions.

Led by CEO, Colin McKinnon, the IEA aims to become a leading worldwide centre of excellence supporting the development of the environmental big data analytics market. The IEA works closely with clients to help them tackle environmental challenges drawing on a range of advanced data analytics expertise from within the core team and across the partners. Key sectors include insurance, agri-food, infrastructure, transport and utilities.

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