Professor Sir Martin Sweeting OBE FREng FRS

Martin Sweeting is an aerospace engineer whose pioneering approach to microsatellite design has helped small and inexpensive satellites perform sophisticated space missions. Current developments in this field include the design of mini-, micro- and nano-satellites for Earth observation, communications and navigation services.

In 1985, Martin founded Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (better known as SSTL) — the world’s first small satellite technology firm, which fundamentally changed the economics of space exploration. Today SSTL continues to specialise in the design, manufacture and operation of satellites weighing under 500 kilograms, and delivers valuable services to customers across the globe, having built and launched over 40 satellites.

In recognition of his contributions to the field of spacecraft design, Martin received an OBE in 1996 and was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2002. He has also received the Faraday Medal of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the CalTech–JPL von Karman Wings Award, and the COSPAR–Chinese Academy of Sciences Jeoujang Jaw Award for international space development.

Subject groups

  • Engineering

    Space technology


  • Royal Society Mullard Award

    For his major contribution to the research and development of low-cost, lightweight satellites for diverse missions. This activity led directly to the establishment of the highly successful Surrey Satellite Technonlogy Limited.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting OBE FREng FRS
Elected 2000