Career Profiles: David Gibbons

Questions about your career and its development

  1. What is your name
    David Gibbons.
  2. Where do you work and what is your role/job title
    Manager – ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland.
  3. What were the main ‘career decision’ milestones in your life so far?
    Studying Electronics allowed me to have a varied Career in Engineering from Developing Mobile Phones and Automotive engine management systems through to running technology companies in the Space sector including a “Rocket Science” company!
  4. Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
    I’ve been lucky to have had a number of people who helped me and allowed me to create opportunities to work in the Space sector, Some have become good friends including a former Astronaut and Space shuttle commander.
  5. Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
    Yes I have a happy and interesting lifestyle.


Questions about your current Job

  1. How did you go about getting your current job?
    Having experience of the Space sector and having grown a number of businesses, put me in a good position for the role.
  2. Describe a typical day?
    A lot of talking, helping people and answering questions, meeting a lot of interesting and exiting people.
  3. What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
    Promoting the Centre and that there is help to use Space technology if you want to start a business. And also growing and expanding the Space sector in Ireland.
  4. What are the main challenges?
    Getting people to realise that Ireland has a thriving Space Industry and that the Space industry is growing rapidly.
  5. What’s cool?
    The technology, the ideas and the people.
  6. What’s not so cool?
  7. What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
    Good technical and business understanding.


Questions about education and training

  1. What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
    Maths and Physics have been a large influence on my career
  2. What is your education to date?
    Master’s Degree, BSc Hons, I also did an engineering apprenticeship before going to University
  3. What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
    My first degree is Bachelor of Science but in Electronic Engineering, I think this captures the 2 most important aspects “Science and Engineering”.
  4. Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
    I sit on the board of the space industry skillsnet, the Irish space industry’s training organisation so I take specific courses from them.


Questions about yourself

  1. What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
    Knowing that things that I have worked on are now in Space and that the companies that made them are successful. And also Meeting Tom Stafford the commander of Apollo 10. They did the scouting mission for the moon landing and were 50 meters above the surface of the moon.
  2. What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?Determination and staying cool under pressure.
  3. What is your dream job?
  4. What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
    Be passionate about space and technology, you will need it as you will meet a lot of others who are very passionate about it.
  5. What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
    Passion for technology
    Visionary about what we as a race can do
  6. What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
    Anything that has science, technology and engineering as its core