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ESA appoints two new Directors

As of today, ESA has appointed two new Directors – the Director of Science and the Director for Technology, Engineering and Quality. ESA Council approved the Director General’s proposal to appoint the new Directors at its meeting on 15 December 2022.

Carole G. Mundell has been appointed as Director of Science, succeeding the current director Günther Hasinger. Dietmar Pilz has been appointed as Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, succeeding the current director Torben Henriksen. Their expected take-up of duty dates are in 2023.

Carole Mundell
Carole Mundell

Carole Mundell, a British national, is currently President of the UK Science Council, and Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and founding Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath. Previously, she was the Chief Scientific Adviser in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and before that was Chief International Science Envoy and Head of the Global Science and Emerging Technology Department, both at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

With PhD in astrophysics and BSc in natural philosophy, she worked at the University of Bath and the University of Maryland (USA), receiving numerous awards and recognition for leading international research.

She succeeds Günther Hasinger, who has held the D/SCI post for the past four years. During that time, Günther Hasinger led ESA’s initiatives driving innovation and leading to progress and economic development. In his role he helped to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers, and stimulated global information exchange and communication.

Detailed biography.

Dietmar Pilz
Dietmar Pilz

The Council also appointed Dietmar Pilz as the new Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality. A German national, Dietmar Pilz has worked in the aerospace industry for the past 23 years. He is currently with Airbus Defence & Space at Immenstaad, Germany, as Head of Space Chief Engineering and Products, as well as Head of Site for Friedrichshafen. Previously at Airbus, he was Head of AstroBus and EO/Science/Exploration, and Head of Payloads and Life Support Systems.

With the former EADS, Dietmar Pilz worked in various technical and project management positions in Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Germany. With a PhD and Diploma in Electrical Engineering, he was a research scientist at Rockwell Scientific in Thousand Oaks, USA, before joining EADS.

He will succeed Torben Henriksen, who served as acting D/TEC for the past year. During that time, Torben Henriksen led ESA’s initiatives driving the longer-term technology development – including generic technologies bringing benefit for all technical domains – while also supporting research and development infrastructure such as laboratories, test facilities and specialist sections covering every aspect of the space environment.

Detailed biography.

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