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ESA Council announces new Directors for Science and Technology, Engineering and Quality


The ESA Council met today in its 314th session and took some important decisions regarding the Executive’s senior management.

ESA’s 22 Member States approved the Director General’s proposal to appoint a new Director of Science (D/SCI) and a new Director for Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC). The expected take up duty dates are in the course of 2023.

Carole G. Mundell has been appointed as Director of Science, succeeding the current director Günther Hasinger. Dietmar Pilz has been appointed as Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, succeeding the current (acting) director Torben Henriksen.

Carole Mundell, a British national, is currently President of the UK Science Council, and Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and founding Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath. Previously, she was the Chief Scientific Adviser in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and before that was Chief International Science Envoy and Head of the Global Science and Emerging Technology Department, both at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

With PhD in astrophysics and BSc in natural philosophy, she worked at the University of Bath and the University of Maryland (USA), receiving numerous awards and recognition for leading international research.

She succeeds Günther Hasinger, who has held the D/SCI post for the past five years. During that time, Günther Hasinger led ESA’s initiatives driving innovation and leading to progress. In his role he helped to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers, and stimulated global information exchange and communication.

The Council also appointed Dietmar Pilz as the new Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality. A German national, Dietmar Pilz has worked in the aerospace industry for the past 23 years.

He is currently with Airbus Defence & Space at Immenstaad, Germany, as Head of Space Chief Engineering and Products, as well as Head of Site for Friedrichshafen. Previously at Airbus, he was Head of AstroBus and EO/Science/Exploration, and Head of Payloads and Life Support Systems.

With the former EADS, Dietmar Pilz worked in various technical and project management positions in Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Germany. With a PhD and Diploma in Electrical Engineering, he was a research scientist at Rockwell Scientific in Thousand Oaks, USA, before joining EADS.

He will succeed Torben Henriksen, who served as acting D/TEC for the past year. During that time, Torben Henriksen led ESA’s initiatives driving the longer-term technology development – including generic technologies bringing benefit for all technical domains – while also supporting research and development infrastructure such as laboratories, test facilities and specialist sections covering every aspect of the space environment.

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About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia are Associate Members.

ESA has established formal cooperation with four Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

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