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7th Meeting of the 202nd Session (2022-2023)

The UK and Scotland’s participation in the global space industry as we undergo an industrial revolution in space

Will Whitehorn

Will Whitehorn

Will Whitehorn FRAeS FCILT FMS
Edinburgh Napier University

On Monday 24th April 2023, at 7pm

Will Whitehorn was born in Edinburgh and graduated with an Honours degree from the University in Aberdeen before spending his early career as a Helicopter Search and Rescue Crewman in The North Sea (British Airways Helicopters 1982-1984).

In 1987 he joined the Virgin Group working in a variety of sections of the company and in 2004 became President of Virgin Galactic. In 2007 he took on that role in an executive part time capacity and became special advisor to Sir Richard Branson. He left Virgin at the start of 2011 but remains a consultant to Virgin Galactic.

In 2016, he became Chair of Clyde Space Ltd, the UK’s leading independent space satellite manufacturer. After chairing Clyde Space for a number of years he has helped organise its sale to ÅAC Microtec this year and was invited to join the Board of the Swedish holding company and is currently a Director of the newly named ÅAC Clyde Space AB.

From September 2018 - July 2021, Will Whitehorn was a Non-Executive Board Director with the Royal Air Force as a rank equivalent of Air Vice-Marshall.

In September 2019, he joined UKspace as President of the trade association which represents the UK space industry. In June 2021, Will joined Seraphim Space Investment Trust Fund PLC as Chair of the world’s first listed space technology investment fund. In January 2022, Will was invited to join the British Government’s space advisory panel, the UK Space Exploration Advisory Committee (SEAC) which reports to the government’s UK space agency.

These are but a few of the many and diverse positions Will Whitehorn has held in industry at senior management and non-executive director level as well as chairing many scientific and government committees.

In August 2021 Will was appointed Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University