Project management

Leading industrial-academic partnerships for technology development

University of Bern


When the European Space community needed microwave technology with new levels of performance no single organisation had the capability to deliver.  Bringing together world-leading expertise from academia and industry, a team was formed and managed from contract negotiation through to hardware development and delivery.

Project Brief

• Form and lead a world-class industrial-academic team

• Develop and deliver new technologies to push performance boundaries

• Provide project management from contract negotiation to final delivery.


Three organisations formed the core team, bringing expertise in microwave physics (analysis, simulation and testing), microwave hardware design and manufacture (including specialist materials processing) and project management. A fourth partner was contracted to provide a bespoke cryogenic thermal-control system.

Early simulation, breadboard and prototype activities focussed on main risk areas and through a number iterations provided invaluable input to system design. Hardware elements were developed and tested on multiple sites before final integration, characterisation and validation.

Systems were delivered with world-class performance and areas for improvement identified for the technology’s next iteration.


✓ A highly expert industrial-academic team was formed

✓ Next-generation space technology was developed through two projects

✓ Next-generation performance levels were achieved

✓ An follow-on contract was awarded by the same customer to iterate the technology for a new mission.

[ Photo: © University of Bern ]