San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The second annual public talk in memory of Professor Colin Pillinger will bring together two of his colleagues, Mark Sims and Geraint (Taff) Morgan to speak about the latest findings and the legacy of the Beagle 2 mission to Mars that Colin led.
Professor Mark Sims, head of the Space Research Centre at Leicester University, was mission manager for Beagle 2. Since Beagle 2 was located on the surface of Mars over ten years after it was declared lost, Mark and his team have continued to interpret images of the landing site. He will tell us about the latest findings, the significance of the UK landing on Mars and will lead onto the legacy of Beagle 2.
Dr Taff Morgan, who leads the Applied Science and Technology Group at the Open University, will describe how technical and scientific expertise gained working on Beagle 2 and other spacecraft is leading to exciting practical applications down here on Earth.
And as for bedbugs, well come along and you may feel happier in your hotel bed in future.
Professor Mark Sims
Mark Sims was born in Bristol and went to school in Keynsham before studying at Leicester where he now heads the Space Research Centre. He recalls his interest in space dates back to the time, when as a schoolboy, he queued to see the Apollo lunar samples which had been allocated to Bristol University on display in the Wills Building. His expertise in space instrumentation is reflected in his involvement with nine space missions. His project management skills were invaluable during the early stages of Beagle 2. He plays a leading role in decision making for government space strategy. His current research interests include using imaging techniques for human disease detection and development of clinical aids for patient well-being alongside innovative instrumentation for use in astrobiological and life detection applications in space and on Earth.
Dr Geraint (Taff) Morgan
Taff Morgan went to school in Aberystwyth and following chemistry degrees at Leicester joined Colin Pillinger’s group at the OU to develop instrumentation to measure trace quantities of global warming gases in the atmosphere. The methodology was put to good use in designing the instrument on Beagle 2 which was aiming to detect the chemical signatures of life, past or present. Over the last decade he has translated the technology of sniffing compounds on Mars (with Beagle 2) and a comet (with the Rosetta Philae lander) for a wide range of applications. These include novel diagnostic tests for TB, cancer and the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, air monitoring for future Royal Navy submarines, commercial studies with flavours and fragrances and collaborating on developing pioneering technology to revolutionise satellite propulsion.
About Professor Colin Pillinger and the Annual Colin Pillinger Memorial Talk
Colin Pillinger (1943 – 2014) was born in Bristol and attended Kingswood Grammar School (now King’s Oak Academy). He graduated with a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from University College of Swansea and from 1968 to 1974 was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, where he studied the returned Apollo lunar samples.
Colin had an illustrious career in instrument development and analysis of extra-terrestrial samples at the University of Cambridge and later at the Open University, where he founded the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute. He is probably best known as the leader of the Beagle 2 Mars mission.
This series of lectures was established by the Pillinger family in 2015 in memory of Colin, his career and his connection with Bristol.
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University of Bristol
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