13 June 2018 Community news

Space scientist and ROOM board member earns top UK honour

Leading space scientist David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and a member of ROOM's editorial board, has been awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II

David Alexander with Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown in space
David Alexander with Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown in space

David Alexander, a Rice University professor of physics and astronomy, director of the Rice Space Institute and member of the ROOM editorial board, has been named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his efforts to link the United States and United Kingdom in the space industry and higher education.

The appointment was announced as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which recognises exceptional achievement and service to the UK. All British honours are awarded on merit and are conferred by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.

The OBE was founded in 1917, but honours have been bestowed on the monarch’s birthday since the reign of Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century.

“I am extremely honoured to be receiving this recognition,” said David. “The special relationship that exists between the UK and the US is incredibly important and is exemplified by our many partnerships in scientific research and education.

“My passion has always been to build on that relationship for the advancement of space exploration in its many forms,” he added. “I am humbled to have my work recognised in this manner and look forward to continuing to promote our two countries’ shared excitement for space for years to come.”

David Alexander, who joined the Rice faculty in 2003, specialises in solar research and leads the Rice Space Institute, whose mission is to become a world leader in space science research and space technology development by fostering interdisciplinary research and education in collaboration with academic, business, industry and government partners.

He currently serves on the advisory boards of SpaceCom, Deep Space Industries and the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture at the University of Houston and on the editorial boards of ‘ROOM - The Space Journal’ and Space Science Reviews.

ROOM managing editor, Clive Simpson, said everyone on the team was delighted that David’s work and commitment has been recognised in this way. “As a board member he has been instrumental from the very beginning in helping steer and establish the magazine’s reputation across the international space community. We all offer our most sincere congratulations.”

The OBE will be conferred at an investiture to be held at Buckingham Palace later in the summer.

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