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Professor of Space Engineering, University of Surrey

Prof. Ryden is currently Interim Director of the Surrey Space Centre which is a research unit within the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. The centre currently focusses on space applications, exploration and instrumentation and has a long history of building space experiments (including experimental satellites) and space instruments.

Keith’s field of research concerns the effects of space radiation and space weather on spacecraft, aircraft and ground systems and also how to protect them. He has been involved in a numerous national and international (e.g. European Space Agency and NASA) projects to develop space environment models has invented and flown novel instruments to measure and investigate such issues – his instrument designs are used today for example, in the European Space Agency ‘Galileo’ satellites and the Japanese Meteorological satellites. He has strong research links with the UK Met Office and Ministry of Defence in the field of space weather as well as with the space industry. Keith has developed a new Masters-level module ‘Space Environment and Protection’ at Surrey.

After graduating from the University of Bath in 1986 with a First in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Keith joined the Royal Aerospace Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, then part of UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), to carry out research into improving the effectiveness and survivability of UK defence satellites. In parallel he completed a part-time MSc in Satellite Engineering at the University of Surrey, graduating with Distinction. Keith led the design, construction and launch of MoD’s 50kg STRV1a research satellite which performed its mission successfully from 1994-1999. In 2007 he was appointed to the position of Technical Fellow at QinetiQ (a spin-out from MoD) where he led a team dedicated to understanding radiation environments and effects. In 2012 he joined the Royal Academy of Engineering study team looking into Extreme Space Weather which reported in 2013. Soon thereafter he took up a post at the University of Surrey as Reader in Space Engineering.

Keith is currently a member of the UK Space Environment Impact Expert Group (SEIEG), which advises the UK Government on space weather risks. He is Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET.


  • –present
    Professor of space engineering, University of Surrey