History.

Ben grew up in North London with parents who ran their own engineering and product design consultancy, working on everything from consumer products through medical equipment to special-effects projects for sci-fi TV shows and films, Ben was exposed to a 'creative engineering' environment from an early age.

Ben went on to study product design and industrial design at college and university, graduating with 1st class honours from the University of Hertfordshire's industrial design course in 1997 at the age of 20. Ben then followed a diverse career including working in graphic design and corporate branding in London for around seven years before setting up his own consumer product design and development company in 2003 at the age of 26. Ben has subsequently worked through his own companies almost constantly since that point, developing electronic musical instruments, board games, electronic learning toys and commercial rocket kits. Rockets and space have remained a constant theme through Ben's hobby rocketry and commercial work throughout with him ultimately moving to work full time in the commercial launch sector from late 2017.

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Timeline

1990

Built and launched first rocket

1992

Invited to join British team in USA for 'World Space Modelling Championships'

1993

Flew first 'mid-power' rocket

1994

Graduated - West Herts College - ND in 3D Design

Launched the UK's first 'High Power' rocket under BMFA insurance

1995

Achieved first 'Level 1' rocketry certification in the UK

1996

Founding member of the 'United Kingdom Rocketry Association'

Achieved Level 2 rocketry certification

1997

Graduated - University of Herts - BA Industrial Design, 1st class

Test-fired first home-made hybrid rocket engine

1998

First commercial rocketry job - consultant on 'Scrapheap Challenge'

First European to achieve Level 3 rocketry certification, set first UK amateur rocket altitude record at 14,009ft

1999

Built and flew 'Primary Koncern', UK's largest private rocket

2000

Led the 'M.A.R.S' amateur team to Nevada, USA to set new amateur altitude record: 34,579ft

2001

Built and flew the 'Deimos 2' rocket powered by 200kg thrust 'B4' hybrid engine

2002

Led 'M.A.R.S' team to Nevada, USA to launch 'Deimos Odyssey' on B4 hybrid engine to over 24,000ft

2003

Founded first limited company 'Dubreq Ltd' - focussed on electronic toy and consumer products

2005

Successfully built and launched 1/2ton 'Beautiful Blue' rocket for commercial project in Hungary

Successfully built and flew the first ducted 'Kone' rocket prototype (Kone of Koncern)

2007

Successfully completed more than a dozen rocket themed stunts for Sky TV 'Brainiac' TV science show

Reached '1000 Launches' personal milestone

2008

Successfully ran hybrid-powered 'rocket sled' down railway tracks for 'Bang Goes the Theory' TV show

2010

Successfully launched 'Bigrtrak Jr' robot toy on commercial rocket from California

2015

Sold 'Dubreq Ltd' and founded new limited company: 'Black Phoenix Games'

2017

Began development work on small sounding rockets for Skyrora Ltd

2018

Founded 'Raptor Aerospace Ltd' to commercialise 30 years of rocketry experience

2019

Completed development of 'Kestrel' atmospheric sounding rocket series

2020

Conceived 'Halcyon' UAV based microgravity testing system

2021

Joined SaxaVord UK Spaceport in Shetland as Suborbital Launch Campaign Manager

2022

Founded 'Launch Access Ltd' and began 'RocketandRoll' as a rocketry retail business