Employee Spotlight: Pablo Sierra Heras, Senior Systems Engineer

Pablo Sierra Heras

What’s your role?

My role as a systems engineer is to lead the mission design team. The main purpose of the mission design team is to forecast and help others forecast the future in order to make the best decisions with respect to our satellites and ground stations. That includes helping with the design of our constellation, developing the tools needed to forecast the future, etc. Ever wonder when a satellite will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere? How to design a constellation to accomplish a given mission? How much power is available on a given satellite? We can help you with that!

Describe your journey to Spire.

I grew up in a little village in the interior of Spain. To be honest, I wasn’t passionate about space when I was a child. I enjoyed math and physics, so I decided to move to Madrid to study aerospace engineering since it seemed like a good place to apply those skills to solve cool problems. And it was during university when I found my love for space, as I began to understand the challenges that mankind faced to put things up there.

After my time in Madrid, I moved to Toulouse to get a master’s degree and finish my studies. It was a great learning period — I learned French, some Italian and even to fly small planes! After a few internships in big, medium and small-sized companies I discovered that a startup environment was the best fit for me, so I moved to Glasgow to join Spire in 2019!

Pablo Sierra Heras cyclingWhat keeps you busy outside of work?

Definitely sports! I was a decent cyclist when I was at high school, but I quit when I started university. Now I’m still cycling but on an amateur level, and I’ve practiced or am practicing a lot of other sports, including basketball, water polo, running, hiking, swimming, skiing, kayaking, and scuba diving.

Sports is a hobby that I share with my family and some friends, which helps me strengthen relationships. Sometimes I even mix tourism and sports by traveling to sporting events or going on a run while visiting a new city. It’s great to discover places that are not on the guides!

2022 was an intense year with respect to new challenges. I ran a trail race, my first marathon and my first Half Ironman (2 km swimming, 90 km cycling and 21 km running). Perhaps a full Ironman will be my next challenge…

What Spire value do you relate to the most?

Reliable and relentless. These values are significantly related to the sports I practice. You need to be relentless to run a marathon and reliable when playing team sports. I apply the same philosophy in the work environment and in life in general in order to keep growing and improving.

Sketch by Pablo Sierra HerasWhat’s something unique about you that most people don’t know?

I have a hidden artistic side. I enjoy oil painting, watercolors, and even just sketching with a pencil. However, I don’t do it as often as I’d like to.

What inspires you most about the work you do every day?

I enjoy designing things and thinking about how to make things work, whether it is a code, a project, or a satellite constellation. It is a great challenge to simplify things and find the easiest way to solve a complex problem. I also enjoy applying math and physics to solve everyday problems. And one of the best parts is working with such talented people, who help me learn every single day!

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