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Dr Peter D Curtis - Curriculum Vitae



2006 -> Open Source Software and Documentation I have become involved in the Open Source Movement having become converted to Linux. I am currently writing software for Linux Mint and have written or am resposible for the upkeep of 8 of the Applets and Desklets available for the Cinnamon Desktop. Includes use of JavaScript and GIT. I have provided a large web site with "Howto" type documentation covering most aspects of open source software for the desktop environment.

1997 -> Consultant. The terms of my very early retirement were exceedingly favourable but contained conditions on working for a two year period in the same field. The period has been spent providing support to local SMEs on computer matters - hardware and software upgrades, training and web site design. It has roots right back into the 70s when I wrote operating system and application software for minicomputers and the early 8080 and Z80 microprocessors. It indulges a long standing interest in optimising man-machine interfaces.

1989 - 1996 Meteorological Office - Branch Director

Policy Activities. A major part of my activities involved the formulation of policy and strategy for the space activities of the UK Met Office and I was a representative on many of the committees of the Space Agencies. I have been the delegate to the EUMETSAT Scientific and Technical Group (STG), the chairman of the STG WG on Climate Monitoring and became a Delegate to Council. I was a delegate to the ESA Programme Board for Earth Observation (PB-EO) and have been a member of numerous ESA, EUMETSAT and UK expert groups, project boards and grant committees. I worked part time at the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and was the Met Office representative on the BNSC Earth Observation Programme Board (EOPB). These activities refined my skills on policy, international negotiation and committee work on large programmes some with a twenty year horizon and budgets of over £1.5 Billion.

Branch Director: During this period I also managed the Remote Sensing Instrumentation Branch. Initially I had 25 staff working largely on satellites activities with the number rising steadily to 35 as the work expanded to include radar and other ground based remote sensing. The programme covered Research using airborne instrumentation on the C130, Procurement of the AMSU-B instruments now operational on the NOAA spacecraft, Calibration and characterisation of satellite instruments, and a Studies programme on new techniques and systems.

1988 - 1989 Space Science Department RAL as Departmental Resource Officer and Head of Administration Group for Space Science Department. I retaining my responsibility for studies, technology and new space projects as well as the new responsibilities. This posting provided skills in programme and resource management at a programme size of £12 Million/annum, 250 staff and circa 100 projects/sub-projects.

1987 - 1988 BNSC Division at RAL where I gained overall responsible for the co-ordination of RAL programme of Studies, Technology and New Projects in Space Science and Earth Observation. This broadened my experience into Space Science (astronomy and planetary science).

1986 - 1987 British National Space Centre (BNSC). I was seconded 50% of my time to the BNSC Policy and Programmes Directorate to assist in preparation of the BNSC Space Plan. This link continued at a 20% level until I left SERC. This provided me with valuable experience of working in a central policy area, national and international committee work and briefing to Ministers.

1984 - 1986 Atmospheric Science Group at RAL with responsibility for the Millimeter Technology section, the Environmental Test Facilities and for Management of Studies and Proposals. This broadened both my management and technical base.

1983 - 1984. Space Support and Technology Group at RAL. I led this newly formed Group (20 staff) supporting a range of projects on a matrix basis. This provided the challenging and very valuable experience of managing staff who were older and those at the same nominal grade.

1981 - 1983. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) of the Science and Engineering research Council (SERC) I joined RAL, on promotion, as Section Head responsible for a team of 10 scientists and engineers providing support over a wide area of aerospace electronics and structures including the RAL stabilised balloon platform which had it's first successful flights during this period. I also held the position of Instrument Scientist during phase B for the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) now flying on ERS-1 and providing key climate data. I also the initiated and became project leader for the UK component of the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) experiment with JPL, still flying and providing data on the NASA UARS spacecraft. This period provided my first experience of working on and successfully initiating international projects.

1977 - 1981. Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough where I worked on Research and Project Support in the Defensive Weapons Department with one promotion in post. This period provided valuable experience of the initial phases (Feasibility and Project Definition) of large projects as well as my first management of staff. During the period I also became a member of and secretary to the CVD Microcircuits Development committee and the technical sponsor for various analogue and digital microcircuits including microprocessors.

1970 - 1977 Oxford University Department of Atmospheric Physics. My career spanning 25 years in the Satellite field started with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics followed by employment as a Research Officer. I had an end-to-end involvement in satellite instrumentation covering, specification, design, implementation, calibration and in-orbit evaluation. My contributions included the design, development, evaluation and some of the data analysis of the Pressure Modulator Radiometer (PMR) experiment flown on the Nimbus 6 spacecraft which successfully gathered global temperature measurements in the Mesosphere. Latter work involved contributions to the design and test of the Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder Experiment (SAMS) for atmospheric composition flown successfully on Nimbus 7. I also provided the preliminary designs for the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU) which is still flying as an operational meteorology instrument on the NOAA series as a consultant. This was a formative period which provided me with many basic tools - scientific, technical and management - and a reputation on which my career has been built.

Personal Details:

Nationality: British

Date of Birth: 2nd March 1948

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Revised: 9th July, 2020