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Astrosat promotes from within for new COO, Georgy Dean

Multi-award winning Edinburgh-based space services and management company Astrosat has appointed Georgy Dean, previously Head of Operations, as its new interim Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Ms Dean has a background in teaching physics and was recruited to Astrosat in 2015 from her M.Sc. degree in Space Science and Engineering. She met Astrosat CEO Steve Lee at a careers fair in Leicester, where he was a speaker and approached him for advice on starting her own space sector business. After seeing her enthusiasm and knowledge, Mr Lee hired her on the spot.

Ms Dean said: “I’ve always loved space, and fell back in love with physics when I was teaching. I wanted to work with the new, the innovative, things that no-one had ever done before, so Astrosat was the perfect job for me.

“Since I started, I’ve been able to offer more, and do more than I could elsewhere. Because it’s such a young, dynamic company, it uses what works, not ‘how it’s always been done’.”

While working remotely as a senior project engineer, Ms Dean saw potential improvements in its ways of working, for example, by implementing the issue tracking software product JIRA company-wide to provide greater transparency and stability to Astrosat’s project management. Within months, she was promoted to Head of Operations.

Steve Lee, CEO of Astrosat, said: “Georgy has done outstanding work for the business in the past while operating remotely, and I’d always said if she was here at Astrosat HQ in Edinburgh, I’d make her COO on the spot. I’m delighted to have secured the opportunity to make good on that.”

On the deficit of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers, Ms Dean said: “There’s always been an attitude, rightly or wrongly, that girls struggle in STEM subjects because they feel greater societal pressure not to be wrong, and STEM subjects are very much right-or-wrong answers.

“I think the world is full of women who are perfectly capable of having a very successful career in space, or other fields in STEM, and I want to show that. Astrosat is a great example of how we can show the way.”

Astrosat has had great success in finding Earth-bound applications for space-based or ‘downstream’ data, that is, large data sets beamed down from orbiting satellites.

The company has made its name by using this data to provide real time information to disaster responders, in the case of Recovery and Protection in Disasters (RAPID), or improvements in energy efficiency of urban areas, with ThermCERT.

Georgy Dean can be seen introducing a video which provides an overview of Astrosat. It can be seen here