Portia Bowman

I am a space engineer by training, I have a degree in Physics and a Masters in Space Exploration Systems. 

I have been working as a system engineer in the space sector since graduating in 2014, on Science and Exploration programmes with the European Space Agency, from the Cygnus Pressurised Cargo Module that sends supplies to the International Space Station, to Exomars – the rover mission heading to drill into the surface of Mars to look for signs of life, and EarthCARE, a climate monitoring satellite. I am currently UK Innovation Manager at D-Orbit, working on new product and service ideas that will help to create a sustainable space economy and feed into the development of the rapidly expanding UK Space Sector.

Since starting at D-Orbit in 2020 I have played a key role in the development of the new UK organisation, growing the team from 4 to 10 people. I manage new ideas and concepts for space based products and services from idea through to implementation. I am the lead engineer on 3 programs, I manage the engineering efforts across the team and ensure the designs meet the customer requirements.

After graduating in 2014 and struggling to find a job in the space sector, I co-founded the website SpaceCareers.uk, which provides space specific careers advice and a jobs board aimed at students and recent graduates. The website has been accessed over a million times and my work on this was recognised with a point of light award from the UK Prime Minister.

SpaceCareers.uk is a project of UKSEDS, the UK’s Student Space Society, of which I am on the board of trustees and have been involved since 2013. UKSEDS provides a link between students and the space sector in order to support the next generation of talent, and is leading the way in diversity and inclusion initiatives in the space sector.