As part of the “Space career paths” series: an interview with Michał Drogosz

Please tell us about yourself and what is your job.

I am the Chief Executive Officer of SYDERAL Polska. We are the company providing electronics and software for space applications, we  focus on upstream technologies. It means that we are developing components for satellites or other vehicles which will be operating in outer space. I will give you an example of our project. We are working on the Control Unit for the instrument generating quantum keys. It’s very novel technology, which purpose is to use quantum physic laws and the photon entanglement phenomena for ultra-secure encryption. SYDERAL Polska is developing control electronics which will ensure an effective generation and distribution of quantum keys. Another example of our activities is a control unit for the Antenna Pointing Mechanism. Our electronics is controlling the motors which moves antenna and enable communication between the satellite and Earth.




OK, but what is my role in the company? In general, I am responsible for the overall management and development of the company. It includes quite a lot of activities. I can divide them into three main categories:

The first are activities related to business development.  Together with a Business Development Manager we are working on company’s strategy and it’s adjustment to the market reality. Our main target is to growth the company, it’s mean to find new projects, identify new products, represent the company and maintain good relationships with the European Space Agency, Public Administration and customers. The second category of activities are related to the operations. It’s mean daily management of the company. I need to guarantee that we have appropriate team and means to realize our work. I’m also supervising projects from contractual and financial point of view. Last but not least category is financial management- I need to take care about the positive cash-flow and company profitability.

What might you choose the space career path?

I will describe you my career path. I graduated the University of Science and Technology in Kraków, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics. I was always interested in space technologies and history of space exploration. However, I didn’t  take seriously opportunity to work in space industry. There were two main reasons why: firstly – I thought that to work with space technologies you really ned to be a geniuses – something definitely not for me, secondly – at the time when I graduated (2009) there were no many opportunities in Poland to work in space industry.  Our country join to ESA in 2012 – before that, Polish space sector almost didn’t exist. However, I was lucky and at the day of my graduation I found a job advertisement to the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (CBK PAN).  They were looking for a thermal/mechanical engineer – my master thesis fit well with the profile of the candidate they were looking for. I sent the CV, they invited me for an interview and I was lucky again – they selected me for this position. It was a really great place to start work with space technologies. CBK PAN has a vast experience in delivering  flight hardware for different missions , there are great scientists and engineers who want to share their knowledge. I can tell you that it was a brilliant start of my space carrier.

So what is more important? To have a knowledge or to be a genius or maybe to have a luck to start the space career?

In my case it was a bit of luck. Of course you need to have some knowledge that’s clear. In my case the reason why they selected me to work in a space research centre was that my master thesis fit to their requirements.

But what is the most important – be active and don’t be afraid to try.

So you are the passionate?

Yes, I could say that I am. I work  for a space sector for over 10 years.  It is still a great adventure for, I’m happy to be a part of such an ambitious business.

I think this sector will be bigger and bigger. It should be easier to get a job here?

Definitely yes. In my opinion, to get a job in space sector  is much easier Today than 10-15 years ago. The Polish space sector is developing rapidly and there is a great demand for the employees.

Why young people should want to work in space sector?

What I would like to say to young people – the feeling that you are working on something that will be sent to space is really amazing.  I can’t imagine to work for a different business. What is also important is a fact that the space business will be growing. There are quite a lot of different technologies which needs to be developed in next years or even next decades. One of them is the technology which I mentioned at the beginning : the Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).With the further development of quantum computers, QKD may be the only way to securely encrypt information. Another example of technology which will be developed in coming years is telecommunication and 5G. This branch certainly require a space segment. I also would like to mention a problem which needs to be solved in the near future – space debris. Not operating satellites and parts of launchers are orbiting around the Earth being a threat for working spacecrafts. We, as a human kind, needs to find an effective way how to clean up our orbit. Another very promising are is optical communication which can be a solution to increasing communication needs. As you can see, there are a lot of very interesting space technologies which needs to be solved in the near future. I’m sure that everyone willing to participate in conquest of outer space will find something interesting for themselves. Remember – space is waiting for you!

Thank you very much!


Photo credits: Michał Drogosz/Syderal Polska