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Knowledge Exchange Fellows

The Satellite Applications Catapult has established the Knowledge Exchange (KE) programme to help us develop a deeper understanding of the scientific research base in the UK that is relevant to the Space sector. To further develop our engagement with universities, we have established a network of joint-funded positions known as Knowledge Exchange Fellowships.

Knowledge Exchange Fellows operate at a strategic level with their university. They work to identify intersections of existing or intended research strengths and un-met commercial need, and to promote and drive the development of agreed inter-disciplinary research and exploitation themes which will appeal to businesses and lead to commercialisation.

Dr. Susan Spesyvtseva: University of Strathclyde

Susan is a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Strathclyde in the Department of Physics and is currently Associate Dean (Knowledge Exchange) of the Faculty of Science. Susan’s role at the University of Strathclyde is to interface between research and innovation, by forming a key link with industry and research technology organisations (RTOs) to lead collaboration and knowledge transfer of the department’s applied research.

Susan’s expertise is in photonics, quantum technologies, space, and biophotonics. As a KE Fellow, funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult, Susan is identifying a roadmap that charts the development of key components, capabilities, and implementations of photonics and optoelectronics processing that establishes near-term and long-term prospects, researching new market opportunities for the exploitation of photonics in the UK space sector.

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Nathan Spiller: University of Oxford

Nathan is a graduate student at the University of Oxford in Soft Matter Photonics Group, under the supervision of Dr Stephen Morris and Professor Steve Elston. Nathan’s research focuses on the fabrication of liquid crystal devices for use in optical systems.

As a KE Fellow, funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult, Nathan is producing a roadmap that charts the development of the state of the art in photonics (key components, capabilities, and implementations) to establish near-term and long-term market prospects and its exploitation by key companies in the UK Space sector. Part of Nathan’s work is exploring the technology innovation, including matching candidate technologies with use cases, system sizing, and trade-off selection. Another dimension of Nathan’s work is focused on business innovation, working closely with an industry partner, Lumi Space, to determine how to translate the existing technology at the University of Oxford through commercialisation.


Richard Lamb

Richard leads on Knowledge Exchange at the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA), based at the University of Reading, a post jointly funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult. His role at The IEA and within the Catapult, aims to bring businesses and academics together to help solve environmental challenges by accessing the power of “Big Data”.

Richard has over 10 years’ experience working with businesses and organisations helping them to adapt to the changing climate, both at the Environment Agency and at Oxford Universities UK Climate Impacts programme (UKCIP). At the Environment Agency Richard led on the Governments Adaptation Reporting Power, part of the Climate Change Act. He spearheaded the EA’s adaptation programme internally and externally was responsible for the delivery of the support service to the UK’s major infrastructure providers, helping them fulfil their obligations under the Act, focusing on weather and climate related risks.

At UKCIP Richard was Training Manager where amongst many achievements, he created the Projections in Practice programme to support the launch of the UK Climate Projections – the world’s first publicly accessible, probabilistic climate projections.

Richard also has extensive experience in the learning and development field, having held several senior training management roles within the private and public sectors. Despite his numerous academic and work accomplishments, Richards’s greatest achievement to date is winning a Silver Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a climate change garden.

Dr. Anna Hogg

Dr Anna E. Hogg is a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow, formally affiliated with the UK Satellite Applications Catapult. During the Sea Level Rise from Space project, satellite Earth Observation data will be used to measure sea level variability, in order to generate a bespoke sea level rise service that aids UK coastline management. Dr Hogg is based in the Centre for Polar Observation and modelling (CPOM) at the University of Leeds.

Dr Hogg’s primary field of expertise is Earth observation of the Polar regions, where she has gained expertise in a wide range of Earth observation data sources and processing methods including the quantitative techniques of satellite radar altimetry and satellite radar interferometry. Dr Hogg has broad experience of collaborative research, having managed or led over 10 international projects funded by ESA, and through her role as a member of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling which has involved liaising with the NERC Ice Sheet Stability Research Program and the NERC Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transport program. Dr Hogg is deeply connected to the international Earth observation community, and through her role on the UK Space Agencies (UKSA) Earth Observation Advisory Committee (EOAC), she enjoys working with academics and space industry experts to plan a roadmap that will achieve scientific and industrial strategic goals that shape the future direction of our national Earth observation capability.

Dr Hogg is passionate about the translation of fundamental environmental science to generate socio-economic benefits by exploring non-commercial applications for Earth Observation datasets; such as by developing the worlds first Near Real Time ice velocity monitoring service, and supervising the development of the worlds first sea ice thickness mobile phone application.

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Claire Neil

Claire is a Research Fellow at the University of Stirling where her research specialises in the development of remote sensing algorithms for water quality assessment in optically complex waters including lakes, estuaries and coastal zones. She has particular interest in adapting remote sensing technologies to monitor inland and coastal waters from a regulatory standpoint to enable UK regulators and industry to fully exploit the advantages that Earth Observation can offer for comprehensive water quality monitoring. This is the primary focus of her NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship funded by Satellite Application Catapult which aims to develop satellite remote sensing as an official data resource for systematic monitoring and assessment of water quality.

Claire has over 10 years’ experience in EO and has dedicated her working life to improving our understanding of some of the Earth’s most complex environmental systems. Her expertise includes underwater optical modelling, radiative transfer physics, image/signal processing and algorithm development. Having completed a PhD in Environmental Optics at the University of Strathclyde, Claire undertook a CNES Research Fellowship at Laboratoire d’océanographie de Villefranche (LOV) in the South of France. She returned to Scotland in 2013 where she took up a position of Data Analyst and Modeller at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. It was here that her interest in developing satellite applications for end-users grew and she has since focussed her research on generating algorithms capable of accurately estimating water quality parameters in UK lakes and reservoirs.

Eloise Marais

Eloise Marais is a Research Fellow in Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. She conducted her PhD and postdoctoral research at Harvard University in Daniel Jacob’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group. Her research has been funded by numerous prestigious scholarships and fellowships, including an International Fulbright Science and Technology Award and a Harvard Center for the Environment Fellowship.

Her research group at University of Birmingham uses complex models, process-based information from chamber studies, and observations from ground-based and space-based sensors to provide mechanistic understanding of atmospheric chemistry and the influence of humans on the Earth system. Eloise has a particular interest in assessing the effect of rapid demographic changes on air quality and atmospheric composition in Africa. For this she makes innovative use of satellite observations, the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model, and observations from the NASA ATom aircraft campaign. More on her research projects, publications, and achievements can be found at

At Satellite Applications Catapult and Future Cities Catapult Eloise will develop the Tool for Recording and Assessing the City Environmental (TRACE). TRACE will be an online inventory of carefully curated Earth observations that city planners, stakeholders and environmental consultants can use to monitor city-scale air quality and vegetation health. This addresses the challenge of knowing citywide air quality in cities with monitoring capacity, the lack of air quality monitoring in most developing cities, and uncertainties about the health of urban vegetation. Initially TRACE will be developed for cities across a broad spectrum of development stages to demonstrate its flexibility: urban renewal (Birmingham, UK), semi-developed (Johannesburg/Pretoria, South Africa), and rapidly developing (Delhi, India).

Eleni Papathanasopoulou

Dr Eleni Papathanasopoulou is an economist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory researching the impacts of the marine environment on economies and society. She uses a number of quantitative techniques, including input-output models, to capture both the direct and supply-chain impacts of marine management and uses.

Her work covers a range of issues including: impacts on marine ecosystem services from alternative energy systems; identifying the social impacts of fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, tourism and marine protected areas, estimation of the distributional economic and social effects of changes in fisheries due to climate change and estimating regional economic impacts of projected harmful algal blooms. She has been the lead on the majority of these interdisciplinary projects managing teams of natural, Earth observation and social scientists as well as engaging with different stakeholders.

Her current Knowledge Exchange fellowship, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Satellite Applications Catapult, aims to link socio-economic and Earth observation data, provide a visual depiction of their content and demonstrate how socio-economic analysis can be informed by Earth observation information.

Rebecca Charnock

Rebecca Charnock is a Technical Business Development Officer at Aberystwyth University. This is a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship position jointly funded by Catapult, UK Space Agency and Aberystwyth University. This project seeks to support the development of the Welsh space sector by identifying the needs and opportunities available to support it with particular emphasis on identifying and supporting the development of the commercial downstream satellite applications sector in Wales.

Rebecca Charnock has over 20 years of combined experience in areas of agricultural research, environmental monitoring, remote sensing and GIS. Her recently completed PhD research focused on developing a methodology for classifying vegetation and invertebrate biodiversity within protected sites. This methodology integrated remote sensing data, satellite and aerial imagery (UAV) along with field data to produce vegetation maps and fauna habitat suitability models. Her PhD was sponsored by Welsh Government and Ecology Matters Ltd. Prior to this she has worked on a number of other research projects using and developing methods using downstream satellite applications. These have included a European funded project ‘Biodiversity Multi-Source Monitoring System’ (BIOSOS), to create a system for monitoring Natura 2000 sites and Interoperable Geographic information for Biosphere Study (IGIBS) which aimed to improve the connection between the UK’s National Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and the UK’s Academic SDI.

Previous research work in the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER, now IBERS, Aberystwyth University) has focused on agricultural plant breeding, an area now developing into one of the major areas within the downstream satellite applications sector.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a NERC knowledge exchange fellow (part funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult) at the University of Leicester. Her role is focused on supporting UK academics working in the environmental sciences and commercial companies using satellite imagery, helping them work together in collaborative activities. In particular, her activities are centred on applications in the fields of agriculture and on-shore energy.

Sarah has over 15 years’ experience working in the application of satellite imagery. Initially working for the University of Sheffield, she later spent 12 years working for commercial companies in consultancy and innovation management roles to enable new commercial services based on Earth Observation data. More recently she has returned to academia to work on research and mapping projects but now also supports the fostering of academia-industrial links. Her particular expertise is in remote sensing for land based applications, such as land cover, agriculture and forestry. She has a PhD in synthetic aperture radar systems and, when time allows, has personal interests in understanding long term natural and anthropogenic changes in the landscape.

Simon Jackman

Simon is a Senior Innovation Fellow at the University of Oxford in a jointly funded post with the Satellite Applications Catapult. He works across two of the Divisions of the University (Maths, Physical and Life Sciences and Social Sciences) with a focus on the translation of environmental science and data into applications for business and government. This involves bringing together researchers with businesses and the Catapult to develop new collaborations, projects and initiatives.

His previous role was Head of Innovation for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), engaging businesses in the translation of research in relation to sustainable agriculture, natural resources (oil & gas, minerals etc.), risk management (including insurance and other sectors), infrastructure and “big data” (including the Environmental Science to Services Partnership (ESSP) with the Met Office, Ordnance Survey, Environment Agency and Defra).He also developed strategic partnerships with leading businesses and government departments and worked closely with Research Councils, Innovate UK, Defra, the UK Met Office and others to develop activities and programmes. During his time at NERC, Simon led the spin-out of International Geoscience Services Ltd. from the British Geological Survey and IXO Therapeutics Ltd. from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

Stephen Fuller

Steve Fuller started working for The University of Nottingham in 2011 as part of the GRACE (GNSS Research and Applications Centre of Excellence) team. He has project managed a series of European FP-7 projects based on GNSS, organised professional training courses in GNSS and developed a programme of GNSS internships for postgraduate students.

As a KE fellow, Steve worked with the Satellite Applications Catapult to capitalise on the potential of satellite applications through bringing the research community and industry together.

Alice Bird: University of Exeter

Alice leads on Mining at the South West Centre of Excellence (SWCoE), based at the University of Exeter, a post jointly funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult. Her role at the SWCoE and within the Catapult aims to help demonstrate the capabilities that satellite technology can provide to mining and geoscience.

Alice’s expertise is exploration geology and the mining and geoscience sector in Cornwall and the South West but she is more than happy to support with any geo/mining topic across the world from illegal mining to geothermal energy to geophysics.

During the KE Fellowship, in 2020, Alice brought Minviro, a Cornwall based SME quantifying the environmental impacts of mining through Life Cycle Assessments and more, into the SWCoE to take part in a fully UKSA funded three-part sprint series to discuss. Through this scheme Minviro explored how satellite data and space tech could reinforce and elevate their current services or even create a new offering for the company.

Get in touch

Tell us about what interests you, and how you might want to get involved with our research and academic programmes and activities.

Eddie Ross

Knowledge Exchange Manager