16 May 2008. Retiring at the end of this month, ESPI’s Senior Research Fellow and Representative of the Founders was today celebrated by the ESPI staff and the leaders of ESA and FFG, Jean-Jacques Dordain and Klaus Pseiner.
Rolf Skaar spent the past two years at ESPI in a double capacity as Senior Research Fellow and as Permanent Resident of the Founders. In the first capacity he carried out studies related to commercialization, innovation and the relation between basic science and industry. The resulting texts are contained in ESPI Report 4, ESPI Report 9 and the forthcoming ESPI Report 11.
In addition he prepared an ESPI Perspective on “More affordable satellite launchings”. All these publications – but in particular the first and last one – demonstrate Rolf Skaar’s original and highly creative way of approaching central topics of Europe’s space policy and its industrial aspects. Sometimes provocative and always thought-provoking, his research work has considerably helped ESPI to fulfil its claim to be a respected think tank. He is currently deeply engaged in studying whether his idea from his first study of In-Orbit Assembly could lead to a smarter and less expensive way for manned missions to the Moon and to Mars.
In his capacity as Permanent Resident of the Founders, Rolf Skaar was an irreplaceable support in shaping ESPI’s management structure. With his experience, fed through a highly distinguished career as President of Norsk Data during the 1980s and Chairman/Director General of the Norwegian Space Centre from the 1990s until 2005 he was a precious mentor in ESPI’s build-up phase. Rolf Skaar’s merits were appreciated in a ceremony with the ESPI staff receiving the thanks for his contributions as a researcher and as an immensely valued colleague. ESPI’s Treasurer Michel Jakob presented a lively review of the past years of collaboration joined by ESPI’s Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl, who has highly benefited from Rolf Skaar’s advice while taking office. The whole ESPI team then joined in celebrating Rolf Skaar.
ESPI staff with Rolf Skaar ( seventh from left)
Later, a dinner was given in honour of Rolf Skaar by the Heads of the Founding Members of ESPI, ESA and FFG. ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain visited Vienna for that purpose and joined with the Managing Director of FFG Klaus Pseiner in acknowledging Rolf Skaar’s work at ESPI. The Chairman of ESPI’s General Assembly Harald Posch, ESPI’s Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl and Treasurer Michel Jakob as well as further guests composed a particular gathering for this special occasion.
From left to right: Klaus Pseiner (FFG), Jean-Jacques Dordain (ESA), Rolf Skaar, Kai-Uwe Schrogl (ESPI), Giuseppe Morsillo (ESA), Ingolf Schädler (BMVIT), Harald Posch (FFG/ALR), Andrea Vena (ESA), in front: Michel Jakob (ESPI)