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East Midlands Chamber News

Rosetta Comet project manager is keynote speaker

Dr Gerhard Schwehm of the Rosetta Comet missionThe 2015 Engineering Simulation Show, being held at the Derby Roundhouse in April, has secured Dr Gerhard Schwehm, the project manager of the 2014 Rosetta Spacecraft Mission as its keynote speaker.

As Head of Solar System Science Operations Division, Dr Schwehm was a key member of the team which made history, when on Wednesday 12 November the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully landed a spacecraft on the speeding surface of a comet, for the very first time.

The story was broadcast around the world and heralded as a landmark in the history of space exploration.

At the show, on 16 April, Dr Schwehm will talk about enabling technologies, drilling simulation and the latest developments of the Rosetta Mission to an anticipated audience of over 1,000 professional engineers.

David Reeks, director at show organisers, GSE Media, said: “This will be the second Engineering Simulation Show and follows on from an extremely successful event in 2014. But, we are always looking for new features and new ideas and what better than welcoming a keynote speaker who has helped make astronomical history.

“We are very much looking forward to meeting Dr Schwehm, to hearing him speak about the Rosetta Mission and are sure visitors to the Show will appreciate just how unique this opportunity is.”

Rosetta was the first spacecraft ever to land on the surface of a speeding comet, the first to orbit a comet and the first to fly alongside a comet as it heads towards the inner Solar System.

Because comets are remnants from the formation of the solar system it is hoped Rosetta will unlock further clues about the development of life on Earth.

Dr Schwehm gained his PhD in Applied Physics from the Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany. He worked at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) modelling the dust environment for Halley's comet.

He then became ESA’s first planetary scientist, working on the Giotto mission which provided the first close-up images of a comet nucleus, Halley's Comet.

Dr Schwehm became lead scientist on ESA's Rosetta mission in 1985.

The Engineering Simulation Show will be held at the Derby Roundhouse on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 April 2015.

Entry is free but tickets should be booked in advance at www.theengineeringsimulationshow.co.uk.