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Launching a Rocket: 8 Years On

IET Bristol Summer Prestige Lecture


Developing a launch vehicle for low earth orbit satellites (otherwise known as a rocket) faces some of the most demanding engineering challenges a company can tackle. These define the focus of the early years from first engine design and test through to PDR and CDR of the whole system including the launch system itself. Orbex also decided that going green was its long term direction which made some of the technical challenges that much harder still. Since the first IET Bristol talk 8 years ago, Orbex has also acquired the lease to build its own spaceport and built the team to cover the myriad of other matters that must be addressed before launch day as well as developing the launch vehicle itself.

Location: Bill Brown Design Suite, Queens Building, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TH
(See for preview of venue)

Project Control
Business Planning


Continuing Professional Development

This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.

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11 Jul 2024 

6:30pm - 9:00pm

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  • Bristol Local Network

Registration information

Limited parking by parking meter available on Woodland Road (RingGo app or coins - approx. £4.20 for the whole evening's parking).  Alternative is Trenchard Street car park off of Park Row, 5-10 minutes' walk away.


Picture of speaker not available

Martin Coates

Founding investor and ex-CEO - Orbex

Martin Coates is a founding investor and ex-CEO of Orbex.  He holds EEE and MBA degrees with early work experience in trucks, laser shot guns, turbine generators and mobile phones. He left corporate life in 1992 to set up his first business in customer care and billing systems for mobile phone companies. Since then he has setup, sold, repurchased and done an MBI (management buy-in). The businesses were all technology based in different sectors covering mobile, food, data analytics and, of course, space; mostly software with hardware, but a couple were purely SaaS. Martin has worked in several countries and sold to over 100, and is also a past-Chair of the IET Bristol Network.

Reasons to attend

Will be of interest to anyone interested in space launches, business development or entrepreneurship - plus general local area networking at IET Bristol's annual Summer Prestige Lecture event.


Bill Brown Design Suite

Woodland Road
Bristol City
United Kingdom


18:30 - 19:00 Networking and refreshments (NB: hot buffet food is planned)

19:00 - 20:00 Presentation by Martin Coates

20:00 - 20:30 Q&A

20:30 - 21:00 Futher networking

21:00 Close




Free of charge