Geraint Morgan

The Open University

Dr Geraint Morgan, Senior Business Development Manager (Space Translation), School of Physical Sciences, The Open University

Dr Geraint (Taff) Morgan FRAS MRSC works in the School of Physical Sciences in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at The Open University. Having completed a degree and PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Leicester, he spent the first half of his career working for and with the late Prof Colin Pillinger and Prof Ian Wright, designing, building, validating and applying sample preparation systems for mass spectrometer instruments, including Ptolemy and GAP on the Rosetta and Beagle2 missions, respectively. In November 2014, after a 10 year and 4 billion mile journey Ptolemy returned the first and last mass spectra from the surface of a comet. The team’s interpretation of these historic results were recently published in Science and other peer-reviewed journals.

Since the launch of Rosetta in March 2004, he has led the agenda at the OU to translate the collective expertise to develop bespoke solutions to terrestrial challenges. By example, he led the multi-institutional, international consortium that was awarded a Wellcome Trust Strategic Translation Award, in 2008, to develop a novel diagnostic test for tuberculosis; he also led the team that has developed an award winning (2013 Silver BAE Chairman’s Award for Innovation) instrument for air monitoring that will be used on board all future UK submarines; more recently he and his colleagues have developed a sector disruptive technology for the world’s largest flavour and fragrance company, Givaudan.  Along with Simon Sheridan, he is a co-inventor on an OU patent, for a fluid control valve that has been successfully evaluated by a major UK satellite manufacturer, for satellite propulsion, and by NASA for planetary exploration and has been licensed to their company, Applied Science & Technology Solutions Ltd. 

Throughout his career he has invested in the best commercial instruments available and in building relationships with multinational companies and SMEs.  As a result, he has developed over a dozen strategic partnerships and has had PhD students industrially funded to develop novel analytical methods in areas as diverse as atmospheric monitoring, forensic drug detection, sports testing, potable water testing, cancer and disease classification.  In partnership with Anthias Consulting Ltd his laboratory hosts a highly successful training and method development facility that is widely used by academia and commercial companies globally. 

He is a member of the UK Space Agency Space Growth Strategy Challenge Panel and the External Advisory Board for the MicroNano Research Facility at RMIT University, Melbourne.  He was the lead author for a chapter on Encouraging Innovation in the 2015 Annual Report of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Forensic Science & Beyond and he has also given invited lectures around the world, including the inaugural TEDxESA event at ESTEC and presentations at Science at the Senedd at the Welsh Assembly.

He is a director of four start-up companies, two of which are alumni of the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre at Harwell.