David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson

"There are lots of routes into a career in the space sector."

David studied A Levels in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and General Studies and then graduated with a degree in Physics with Medical Applications.

His first job was then six years working for the Police/Home Office Scientific Development Branch. Initially in the less-lethal weaponry programme, he eventually project managed the evaluation of TASERs for their use in the UK. 

He then moved on to drugs investigation, where he worked with University College, London and St Bartholomew’s Hospital to develop an X-ray crystallography system to search for drugs in parcels. 

David then moved on to the Institute of Physics where he became the Midlands regional manager. This wide-ranging role had him doing everything from public engagement to classroom teaching, lobbying MPs, appearing on radio shows, working with branch committees, serving IOP members and much more. In that role, he took his first meeting about the space Academy in 2008 and has frequently worked with it since. He finally joined as a staff member in 2021.

Other roles

Senior visiting fellow in physics and public engagement at the University of Lincoln

At the office

David oversees all the National Space Academy's operations and projects. It is his responsibility to make sure that our activity aligns with the vision and direction of our key stakeholders. 

David manages the Core Team and the National Space Academy budget. He builds relationships with partners and funders, sets up new opportunities all over the world and leads the National Space Academy to reach as many people as possible with science education and inspiration.

Away from the office

David extends his love of all things spacey into authoring science fiction novels. He has had two published and was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award. 

He plays the tuba well and other brass instruments to a more mediocre standard. He’s married and has two teenage children and three tiny dogs. 

David and his wife have now pledged to do, what they are calling, City Quest where they will be travelling to all major cities in the UK, 76 cities, in 3 years!

We asked David...

Given the chance, would you go to space?

Yes, but my wife is less keen for me to go. Also, having needed a lie down after using the space-sickness exhibit in the Space Centre, I’ll be needing a fair few sick bags.

What’s the best thing about science?

If you enjoy doing experiments, then working feels like playing rather than a job.

What’s the best thing about working at the National Space Academy?

The people. All of them.