George Danos (BEng Computing and Electrical Engineering 1993) built on his lifelong interest in space and astronautics as well as his entrepreneurial background and scientific knowledge to become co-founder and President of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation.
What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?
“The most valuable learning from my time at Imperial was how to think scientifically and apply ordered reasoning and methods in research, in business and in life. I have completed my time at Imperial having learned how to dream high and confidently aim for my vision and goals.”
Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?
“My studies at Imperial were equally shared between Electrical Engineering and Computing. At the beginning of my studies I had little or no exposure to computers and programming. During the computing part of my course I was exposed to one of the greatest academic computer laboratories in the world (one that hosted the UK’s most powerful supercomputer) I was hooked! Like a sponge I sought to absorb as much knowledge and understanding on computing and programming and apply these to my life thereafter, something that set strong foundations for my future career.”
What is your fondest memory of your time here?
“There are many fond memories. I guess the fondest is when we had invited prominent astronauts to visit the society that we were running (IC-SEDS). The enthusiasm in us and the entire audience during their visit was unforgettable!”
Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.
“After my studies, back in the 90s, I started my career with a job at Virgin Media - during its early days - and ended up being the founder of one of the Virgin group companies. An experience that stimulated my mind and gave me the strength for my current position. When I returned home, to Cyprus, I founded the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) bringing into action my lifelong interest with space and astronautics.
As co-founder and President of CSEO, I currently bring together the elements of my vision, entrepreneurial background, technological and scientific knowledge into working passionately to stimulate, energise and guide our numerous researchers in space R&D projects, space outreach and advocacy, enhancing the local space industry in Cyprus, formulating new planetary exploration missions and bringing about synergies with our network of partners and the international aerospace community.
These efforts have brought into fruition a number of recognitions and notable achievements for our teams and projects. With our organisation’s many projects and plans, I continue to dedicate all my efforts towards my vision for a better tomorrow, by galvanising human potential and pushing the boundaries of scientific exploration and technological innovation.”
What are your plans for the future?
“My dreams and plans are all with the CSEO vision and goals. It is my goal to see our short-term and long-term projects in space and planetary exploration missions being successful and making new discoveries in this ongoing quest for knowledge and understanding of the cosmos around us.”
How do you feel your Imperial degree has helped you now that you’re based in Cyprus?
“My time at Imperial College is something I keep close to my heart. I valued every moment and everything I learned and experienced there. I guess it shaped me into who I am today. It gave me the technical and scientific foundations in life that I carry with me all the way to now. Being in a University with such a track record of inventions and scientific discoveries was catalytic. I was enthusiastically visiting labs of other departments learning and satisfying my endless thirst for knowledge. And of course, being next door to the Science Museum, which I was visiting almost every week, ignited and galvanised my imagination into dreaming and reaching high.”
What would be your advice for current students?
“Make maximum use of your time at Imperial College. One day you’ll look back and smile fondly with the memories and opportunities it has opened for you.”
What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
“Cyprus - home - was calling me back, in my heart, to return. Leaving the UK to come and live here was a difficult decision. No one decision is ever black or white. In retrospect I am very happy I came back, as life here is very fulfilling - I do though look back to my 15 years in London very fondly!”
What are you most proud of in your life?
“My time at Imperial, my career, my family, my work team.”
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
“No matter how many obstacles you find in materialising your dreams, never give up! Perseverance will one day bring your goals to you - as long as you’re noble and true to yourself and others.”