New Director for RAL Space
01 Jun 2015



Dr Christopher Mutlow today takes up the reins as Director of RAL Space at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Dr Mutlow brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role.

Dr Christopher Mutlow, the Director of RAL Space.

Dr Chris Mutlow, Director, STFC RAL Space

Credit: STFC RAL Space

Prior to his appointment as Director, he was Head of Earth Observation and Atmospheric Science Division at RAL Space. In his 28 years at RAL he has led and been involved in a great many international projects. These include the Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer which takes the most precise measurements of global sea surface temperature to aid climate research; and a number of space instruments, developed to measure greenhouse gases, atmospheric pollutants and data on the destruction and recovery of the ozone layer. Most recently he led the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer for ESA’s Sentinel 3 mission to provide ocean, land and atmospheric data.

He is currently a co-Director of the UK Space Agency’s Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation and Space Technology, and a member of their Earth Observation Advisory Committee.

He said, “RAL Space is a key part of the national and international space infrastructure so I am both honoured and excited at being appointed to this new role, to deliver new science and impact for our communities and the UK. I am looking forward to collaborating with our colleagues from industry, academia and government in the many existing and future programmes we expect to be involved in over the next 10 years. Thanks to the investments made by STFC and the hard work of my predecessor, the immediate future is particularly bright for us as we start moving into our new, purpose built facilities over the next month.”

The new STFC space development and test facility, R100, for RAL Space and the global space community opens in July 2015. It will help drive and build the UK’s capability in space research, and foster new commercial opportunities to shape and expand economic activity.

Professor Richard Holdaway, outgoing Director of RAL Space, said, "It’s been both a pleasure and an honour to be Director of RAL Space for the last 16 years. Chris came through a highly competitive open process before being confirmed as my successor, and I know that he will lead the department to great success over the coming years."

Dr Andrew Taylor, Executive Director National Laboratories, said, “RAL Space has gone from strength to strength under Richard’s direction. He leaves a legacy of excellent international collaborations and many successes, including the new R100 facility, so there are very big shoes to fill. I know that Chris Mutlow will do so admirably – he is already providing the UK’s voice on several international committees and he has exceptional leadership skills.I look forward to working with him as he leads RAL Space in this new chapter. “

More information


  • Marion O’Sullivan
    STFC Press Office
    Tel: 01235 445627
    Mob: 07824 888990

  • Sarah Smart
    Head of Communications
    RAL Space
    Tel: 01235 445742
    Mob: 07837 634683​

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries