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National Space Award for the University Centre

Win for new Cornwall-based Space Technologies course at the prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke Awards.

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Published Friday 16 December 2022

The outstanding achievements of the University Centre Truro and Penwith in creating a brand-new Space Technologies qualification has been recognised at a prestigious national award.

The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards recognise and reward those individuals and teams that have made notable or outstanding achievements in, or contributions to, space activities in the UK.

The awards have become established as the Oscars of the Space industry. Known as ‘The Arthurs’, named after Arthur C. Clarke, the Science fiction author and writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey’, they have been presented annually since 2005.

The presentation of this year’s award to Heidi Thiemann, the College’s space training project manager, took place following the second day of the Reinventing Space Conference held by the British Interplanetary Society at Aerospace Bristol, under the wings of the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last supersonic airliner ever to fly.

Dr Thiemann, Truro and Penwith College’s, Cornwall Space and Aerospace Technology Training (CASTT) Project Manager, received the award for Space Achievement, Education and Outreach Individual for her role leading the team in launching the world’s first degree-level HNC/HND course in space technologies at the University Centre Truro and Penwith. The newly developed course provides a fascinating insight into engineering for space missions and ground stations and is due to be rolled out across the UK later this year.

Heidi said: “I’m really proud that the work of the team at Truro and Penwith College has been recognised with this prestigious award. We are now looking forward to recruiting the next generation of space students in September 2023 and supporting them as they launch their careers in space.”

The programme was co-developed by CSATT with Pearson, with many other institutions also having input into the final qualification. The qualification is also backed by support from Spaceport Cornwall, Goonhilly Earth Station, University of Leicester, The Open University and University of Exeter.

The world-first qualification follows the University Centre’s introduction of the University Level Space Engineering Technician Apprenticeship in early 2022, which has the HNC qualification embedded, and continues to ensure a steady supply of talented Space Technicians for engineering companies across the UK and in particular Cornwall, where engineering firms will form a vital part of the space sector supply chain which is expected to be worth £1bn to the Cornish economy and create hundreds of jobs.

Martin Tucker, Principal at Truro and Penwith College, commented:  “Winning this award was wonderful recognition for Heidi and the CSATT team who have worked so hard to provide support and training for local companies in Cornwall’s new Space Sector soon to result in the first horizontal launch from Newquay.

“The development of this new course with Pearson aligns with the work of the South West Institute of Technology which has helped the development of our Engineering resources in the new Valency Building.  We hope to see the first full-time cohort in Space Technology starting in September 2023 and graduating into well-paid skilled jobs in Cornwall in July 2026 alongside graduates from our other full-time engineering courses.”

CSATT continues to support training and development for small and medium sized employers linked to the rapidly developing Space Sector in Cornwall and is happy to talk to companies with an identified training need.

The HND course is open to full-time, adult, applicants for a September 2023 start as part of our new suite of engineering qualifications, including HNC/D Mechanical Engineering and HNC/D Manufacturing Engineering (currently awaiting approval). If you’re interested in applying, go to the UCAS website; or contact HEAdmissions@truro-penwith.ac.uk

Find out more about our Space programmes and other Higher Education opportunities at the University Centre Truro & Penwith open evening at Truro College on Thursday 12th January, 5-8pm.

A stock image of a rocket launch.
Learners can expect to gain fascinating insight into engineering for space missions and ground stations.


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