ESSC Members

Maurice Borgeaud

Former ESA Head of Science, Applications, and Climate Activities in the EO

Research Interests

Land applications, SAR interferometry, programmatics, ESA and international collaboration

Dr. Maurice Borgeaud was the Head of Science, Applications, and Climate Activities in the Earth Observation (EO) Directorate of the European Space Agency (ESA) until 2022. He has now retired from ESA but keeps many close contacts and interactions with the Earth science and space communities in Europe and worldwide. Since 2023, he is a member of the European Space Sciences Committee and was appointed Chair of the ESSC Earth Science Panel in 2024.

During his career at ESA, he interacted with the scientific community, ESA Member States and industry in order to propose ground-breaking EO science satellite missions as well as new domains for the development of innovative applications using EO data. He also played a key role in defining the long-term EO data exploitation strategy addressing the full spectrum of EO user communities. He managed the ESA office for climate change including the development of essential climate variables, promotes the use of EO data to monitor the UN SDG’s, and represented ESA on the Board of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters.

Before his ESA activities, he was notably the Director of the Space Center EPFL where he successfully led the university team which developed and built the first Swiss student Cubesat satellite named “SwissCube” in 2009. He also worked for the Swiss Space Office and he was Chairman of the ESA Programme Board on Earth observation in 2008-2010.

His areas of interest encompass all the domains of Earth observation by satellites, particularly in the domain of microwave land imaging using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) techniques from polarimetry to interferometry in order to retrieve geo- and biophysical information.

He graduated with a Degree in Engineering from EPFL, Lausanne and holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications in refereed journals or conference proceedings. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Associate Editor for the “IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing”.