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Piyal Samara-Ratna

Principal Engineer, University of Leicester

Piyal is the Principal Engineer for the Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology, Earth Observation, Research (METEOR) centre at Space Park Leicester. He is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering from UCL and over 17 years experience working in the space sector. He is a senior mechanical engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope Mid-Infrared instrument, with a leading role within the instrument systems team, leading instrument assembly and integration activities at NASA. He has also worked on numerous projects spanning deep space exploration, planetary exploration, space nuclear power and Earth observation. He is interested in technology transfer and has achieved particular success with medical device development. His current role is focused on accelerating spacecraft development through the application of space 4.0 technologies including digital twins, concurrent design, artificial intelligence and advanced modelling.