Award recognises pivotal role in UK space science

Professor Alan Wells (pictured) from the Department of Physics and Astronomy has been honoured by the Royal Astronomical Society with the 2016 Service Award for Astronomy.

The RAS today announced the 2016 winners of its awards, medals and prizes. Each year the RAS recognises significant achievement in the fields of astronomy and geophysics through these awards.

Professor Wells has played a pivotal role in UK Space Science for over 40 years. Since joining our University in 1973, he has been Space Projects Manager and then Founding Director of the University’s Space Research Centre.

He has played a crucial role in the proposal, development, design, test, launch and operations of many iconic space science mission instruments and without him, the UK and wider international community would have been far less likely to see the fruits of these remarkably successful projects.

In addition to his crucial role in many successful space missions, he has been one of the prime movers in the establishment and continued operation of the Millennium Commission-funded National Space Centre. Furthermore, since retiring, he has worked tirelessly for the East Midlands and City of Leicester in establishing a Space Technology Cluster in the region.