Southwood named as ESA's new science chief
Oct 24, 2000
The European Space Agency has appointed David Southwood, a space physicist from Imperial College in London, as its next director of science. Southwood will replace the current director, Roger Bonnet, next May. Southwood, who is 55, has many connections with ESA and is currently principal investigator for the Cassini Saturn Orbiter Magnetometer. He is also involved in the management of the agency's Earth observation programme and has played an active role on many space science committees.
Southwood received his PhD from Imperial College, London, in 1966 and was appointed as lecturer in the physics department in 1971, where he rose to become head of department in 1984. He studied the propagation of waves in the solar and terrestrial environment, joined the Galileo spacecraft team, and was also involved with the solar probe, Ulysses, and Cassini, the Saturn orbiter.
In 1997, Southwood left Imperial on a three-year leave of absence to become head of the Earth observation strategy at ESA, a post he held for over two years. He is currently Imperial College pro-rector. "It will be hard to succeed Roger Bonnet", says Southwood. "However, it is wonderful to have been given the opportunity."