Skip to main content
Newsletter Sign up newsletter signup
Title Image

Meet the Team

Richard Ambrosi
Executive Director

Professor Ambrosi is an expert in space instrumentation and space nuclear power systems and leads the development of Space Park Leicester’s innovative research, science, enterprise and education offer.

Richard first joined the University of Leicester in 2000, after completing a PhD in Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then he has lent his expertise to a number of international space missions, including the Swift Gamma Ray Burst Mission and ExoMars. Over the past decade, Richard has been leading the development of radioisotope power systems for the European Space Agency.

He has also previously chaired the UK Space Agency’s Space Exploration Advisory Committee and serves on a number of national and international committees.

Vaughan Shayler
Head of Operations

Vaughan is passionate about great service delivery. He has helped organisations in the public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors in various roles, including as IT Director, Operations Director and Head of Transformation. He also built a business improvement system for IT companies that was taken over by a global organisation.

His mission at Space Park Leicester is to provide all its users with the tools and support they need so they can focus on their growth and success.

In his spare time, Vaughan runs a local community football club for players aged 5 – 19, and tries to cycle and run a few times each week. 

William Wells
Commercial Director

Will is the University of Leicester’s Commercial Director. His activity covers a wide range of commercial areas: managing a team; developing commercial/collaborative partnerships with industry; developing commercial propositions and business plans; developing products and services; and delivering a strategy to support sustained research and enterprise growth within the college. Over the past 5 years he has been the commercial lead on the University’s Space Park Project.

Will graduated with a federal history degree from the University of London in 1994 and he completed an executive MBA with distinction at Leicester Business School in 2004. He is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Alex Wheldon
Head of Strategic Communications and Marketing

Alex is an experienced and creative marketer and communicator. He has experience within the engineering, third and higher education sectors.

He enjoys strategy development and planning and thrives on developing successful teams.

Excited by the growth of the UK space sector, he’s looking forward to telling the story of Space Park’s impact on everyday lives in the years ahead.

In his spare time Alex leads a local Beaver Scout section, coaches a junior football team and plays tennis.

Chris Hewitt
Partner Support Manager

Chris has a passion for customer excellence. A career in the hospitality sector, and extensive event management experience, positions Chris perfectly to lead a small team supporting our partners at Space Park Leicester. Partner Support are here to ensure the Space Park community realises its potential to successfully collaborate and grow.

In his spare time Chris is a keen golfer and sports fan. He enjoys experiencing new cultures on his travels.

Josh Barker
Education and Outreach Officer

Josh is experienced science communicator having spent a decade writing, developing and delivering informal science education. Over his career he has worked across a wide range of ages and abilities with a focus on Family audiences and Primary and Secondary age students. He is passionate about getting people excited and engaged with a range of STEM subjects while increasing their science capital. His role sees him developing and delivering outreach opportunities here at Space Park and for our Space City neighbours the National Space Centre.
When he’s not championing and celebrating space science, he can be found enjoying music, badly playing the piano and playing boardgames with his friends.

Fiona Flanagan
Partner Support Provider

Fiona joined the University of Leicester in 2013 following a number of years working in retail customer services. Having completed an apprenticeship in Business and Administration, Fiona furthered her education through ILM Management and Customer Service Practitioner programmes.

Fiona enjoys baking, creating fake-away recipes (replicating take away & brand favourites at home) and trying to grow sunflowers.

Vinay Patel
Head of Commercial & Innovation

Vinay obtained his bachelor’s degree in Forensic Engineering in 2010 at Sheffield Hallam University where he also started his career at the Universities Materials Engineering Research in 2007 as Senior Analytical Officer supporting various materials characterisation analytical equipment and engaging in various consultancy activities.

Since then, he has worked on over 300 failure analysis, materials testing, and innovation and research projects for a wide range of industrial partners, saving or generating millions of pounds for those companies. He is a Chartered Scientist & Engineer and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, as well as a member of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining.
His activity involves matching business and technological requirements with the expertise and capabilities on offer at Space Park Leicester and the wider university as well inward investment and leading on the co-location offer at Space Park.
Vinay brings a proven track record of developing new innovative products in the space engineering and aerospace industry, as well as forging successful partnerships with industry and academia to secure external funding.