New staff join space centre

A cube satellite similar to the ones that had been planned for the Centre for Space. Photo:...
A cube satellite similar to the ones that had been planned for the Centre for Space. Photo: Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy.
Another round of staff appointments has been made at Alexandra's Centre for Space Science Technology, although the head of research position remains vacant.

A centre update issued this week said three new staff had been appointed since December: Jonah Belk, of Dunedin, as its first intern; and Dr Jessica Lin, of Christchurch, and Dr Andrew Middleditch, of Queenstown, as head of product development and research scientist respectively.

The centre was also in the final stages of recruiting a data scientist, and beginning the interview process for a geographic information system specialist, the statement said.

The appointments will take the centre team to 17 staff.

Chief executive Steve Cotter this week confirmed the director of research position was still vacant.

The resignation of the inaugural research director Delwyn Moller was confirmed in September last year, just six months after she took up the role.

Mr Cotter said the director of research role had not been filled for two reasons.

"We haven't found the right candidate, and the science team has proved to be a high-performing, self-managing team, which gives us extra time to find the best person for the role."

He said a "great deal of work" had been done at the centre over the past 18 months and "the culmination of this work" would be announced in late March-early April.

Work at present included preparing the beta launch of the New Zealand Earth observation data hub and developing two prototype technologies to present to potential partners and customers.

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