Ian Jones is the founder, CEO and significant shareholder of Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd. He is a satellite communications engineer and entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in the industry with a background in digital satellite communications systems, RF design, earth station development and operations.
He graduated from Leeds University in 1985 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He developed new Digital Signal Processing satellite modems at BT Research Labs and Communication Systems Research Ltd (CSRL), leading the design of the Inmarsat Aero communication system. When CSRL was acquired by Ferranti International, Ian was promoted to Head of Satellite Engineering and subsequently Head of Business Development within the Ferranti Computer Systems Division.
In 1994 he co-founded Orbit Research Ltd where he was Managing Director and 50% shareholder. Ian was responsible for a number of innovations and new product designs for satellite communication systems including remote control monitoring systems for satellite earth stations. He led the development of a new business providing mobile health care diagnostic services via satellite and he was also responsible for a number of innovations in Education Outreach which led to the creation of the Star Centre (Keighley) and the ESA ESERO network.
In 2008 he became aware of the impending closure of Goonhilly Earth Station and worked to create a new business opportunity for the site. He founded Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd and built a successful, profitable business leasing the antennas at Goonhilly from BT and bringing them back into service. In January 2014, Ian led the team completing the successful acquisition of Goonhilly.
Ian’s vision for a sustainable, profitable and diverse business at Goonhilly is rapidly taking shape with a growing client base covering all aspects of commercial satellite communications, space communication, radio astronomy, big data and data centre services, training, outreach, and business co-location. His entrepreneur skills are in demand across Africa where he is involved in assisting human capital development projects at other former telecommunication centres. Goonhilly has now become an Enterprise Zone and the host of the Sat Apps Catapult South West Regional Centre of Excellence, of which Ian is the Chair.