I lead a research group working on electronic systems for spacecraft at the University of Dundee. Space technology isn't just developed by NASA, it's coming out of Dundee too, in fact NASA is one of the many organisations that are using Dundee technology.
Back in 2002 we spun-out a company, STAR-Dundee, to commercialise some of the technology we had developed. Still based in Dundee, we now have the world's space agencies and a host of famous names from the aerospace industry as customers.
Developing leading edge technology that can compete with the very best in the world requires a highly capable team. And that is what Dundee means to me more than anything else. It's the team that I work with, which includes Dundonians and people from across Scotland and the UK. It's not just the immediate team of engineers but the team of people supporting our work including the University and outside organisations such as Scottish Enterprise.
The University of Dundee is one of the city's main assets. The University's research is highly regarded in many different areas. What is less well known is the work that is done in commercialising technology from the University and the help given to spin-out companies. This is, in my experience, is certainly among the best support available from any UK university.
Dundee has a reputation for Biotechnology and Computer Games, but the fact that a small research group has technology on satellites that are circling the Earth, and on spacecraft that will soon be landing on Mars, orbiting Mercury and exploring other places in the solar system, is something that most people find surprising.
There are other small companies based in Dundee and the surrounding area that have also had a major international impact, through excellence and innovation. Maybe that is what the city really excels at: excellence and innovation.