Dr Wei Sun represents OHB-System AG, from Germany which is a systems provider employing more than 1200 people in the areas of space systems, security, payloads, space transportation, aerospace, telematics and satellite operations. Wei Sun joined OHB-System from Surrey Satellite Technology where she was marketing and business development director, winning the 2004 Women In Business Achievement Award.

OHB-System is a long-time IAF member. How has the enterprise grown over the years?

OHB stands for ‘Orbitale Hochtechnologie Bremen’ - in English: ‘Orbital High-technology Bremen’ - which is a very descriptive title! We are a space company located in northern Germany and are currently active in such areas as telematics, space technology, security, satellite services and other related disciplines. The company was actually founded in 1958 as a marine systems outfitter and shifted its fields of activity toward aerospace engineering in 1981, when it was taken over by Prof. Manfred Fuchs. As part of the Fuchs Group, OHB-System is part of a web of space-related companies which include organisations as varied as Kaiser Threde, LuxSpace, Carlo Gavazzi Space and MT Aerospace in Germany, the US, Italy, France, China, the UK and Luxembourg. OHB-System customarily teams up with national and international companies in order to combine project specific expertise. It is one of the most important independent forces in the European space technology industry. The company is one of the major partners of the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and for public and private contractors.

We are meeting on the OHB stand at the Le Bourget Air Show. How important are shows such as these?

I would say very important. It is always important to meet customers, partners and fellow companies in the space sector. Exhibitions are fantastic opportunities to see other people. Meeting the other players in your industry is a vital part of modern business. For an organisation such as OHB-System, it is a great chance for the individuals to meet the others in the space business, establishing, fostering and continuing relationships.

OHB System is a company rapidly expanding in Asia. How do you see the future directions in the industry?

We started from a small base in Bremen and have become a world player through our expertise in project management and cooperation. We have been long active in Europe but space is an interrelated business nowadays. The Fuchs Group has subsidiaries outside Europe in the United States and China, some part-owned like SpaceDev from California and some 100% owned such as Kaiser Threde (Shanghai). We recently organised a conference between Germany and Kazakhstan - well attended by German and Kazakh industry and officials in Bremen. And we look forward to meeting industry representatives at the IAC in Daejoen. I personally have been attending the annual IAC for a few years now and value the opportunities for networking it offers.