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Leicester academics called on to help advance Space science in Europe

Universities Space Research Association (USRA), a non-profit organisation which is advancing knowledge through Space and aeronautics research, has elected the University of Leicester as one of the newest members of its association.

Based in Washington, D.C., USRA was formed in 1969 as an entity through which universities and research organisations could cooperate with one another, and with the governments of other nations, to advance the development and application of space-related science, technology and engineering.

When the organisation launched in 1969, it established nine geographic Regions for its member universities but within the past few weeks, for the first time in its history, its Council of Institutions voted to establish a new European region called Region X (10).

The University of Leicester is one of only nine European universities to be elected to Region X and as a result it will have a voice in the governance of the USRA.

Professor Richard Ambrosi, who is a Professor of Space Instrumentation and Space Nuclear Power Systems at the University of Leicester and is also Executive Director of Space Park Leicester, has also been elected to the USRA board representing the new Region.

Richard said: “I’m honoured to take on this appointment on the Board of Trustees representing Region X.

“For more than 60 years space research has been pioneered in Leicester. We’ve made ground-breaking discoveries, created instruments which are operating in space and have been involved in many space missions over the decades.

“We’re delighted to be involved in Region X which will serve as a platform for USRA to explore new opportunities and collaborative partnerships both within Europe and globally.

“The establishment of Region X also holds the potential to enhance collaborative endeavours with the European Space Agency.”

Speaking about the establishment of the new region, Jeffrey A Isaacson, President and CEO of USRA, said: “At a time of increasing international collaboration in space, we look forward to fostering new partnerships among universities, governments, and other organisations toward the development and application of space-related science, technology and engineering.”

The universities in the new Region X are:

  • University of Bern
  • University of Cologne
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Padua
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Stuttgart
  • University of Zurich
  • Politecnico di Torino