An expert engineer with a great attitude and plenty of passion, David Wright is the leader of Asteria Engineering Consultancy. Dedicated and knowledgeable, he loves the challenge of finding creative solutions and bringing those ideas to life.

His interest in aerospace began early; his father being a pilot sparked a love of planes. “I loved flying, but I was drawn to the puzzle of how a plane works and I soon decided I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.” Completing his undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Canterbury, David went on to complete his Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics on a Fulbright Scholarship at Stanford University in 2017. After working with Pumpkin Space Systems to develop a range of small satellite hardware, he then returned to New Zealand and started Asteria Engineering Consultancy.

Leaders in New Zealand’s growing space sector, Asteria offers world-class mechanical, electrical and aerospace engineering consulting services. Working closely with clients from concept to manufacture, Asteria provides innovative, specialised and reliable solutions for customers at home and abroad, who want to venture to space. Providing a tailored approach to every project, Asteria works with a range of clients on all sorts of interesting projects, from developing nanosatellites, payloads, and circuit boards, to power systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and specialised batteries.

Together with Dr. Sarah Kessans over the last few months, David has thoroughly enjoyed working on her project to conduct protein crystallization biological experiments in space. As well as this, Asteria is working on a project to develop a magneto-plasma dynamic thruster, led by the Robinson Research Institute at Victoria University. Looking forward, Asteria plans to delve into Gallium Nitride semiconductor power systems. As David explains, “This is the cutting edge of power systems at the moment, and by leveraging this technology we intend to create a platform and knowledge base to enable us to create high performance power systems for customers faster and at a lower cost.”

David sees a lot of potential for the aerospace industry in Christchurch, and believes supporting the people already here and their ideas will see the industry grow to develop a large number of jobs and companies. “When I was young I had a very narrow view of the industry, and thought that in order to have a place in the industry you would have to be specifically trained for that narrow range of opportunities. Whereas, in reality, the range is much wider than I realised when I was young, and the longer I am in the industry, the wider it looks.” The range of expertise needed in the aerospace industry is very wide, and is closely interconnected with many supporting industries and experts from different backgrounds, like graphic design and business. A great community and knowledge base, is what David believes makes Christchurch so great. With enthusiastic university graduates and a keen professional community, there are plenty of opportunities for Christchurch to grow the aerospace industry.