Speaker Interview: Farrid Zeighami, Senior Enterprise Data Architect at Virgin Orbit

With just two months left until Conference at Space Tech Expo, we are delighted to introduce farrid zeighami to you this year’s speakers. Here, we speak with Farrid Zeighami, senior enterprise data architect at Virgin Orbit. 


Hi Farrid, could you please tell us a little bit more about your position as senior enterprise data architect at Virgin Orbit?

In my role as an enterprise data architect, I work with business and IT leaders to implement key digital transformations that fuel the factory of the future. This requires the establishment of new data warehousing techniques and technologies and evangelizing the use of cloud and machine-learning services to improve cycle time and time to market.


Data analytics are becoming increasingly important for space. What are the most significant developments you have come across in the space industry regarding the use of data?

Data powers innovation in all industries and that is especially true in the aerospace business. Virgin Orbit was looking for a data ecosystem with single source of the truth and self-service model that allowed people to get better insights from the information. This new model allowed us to provide better answers at a higher quality with less effort.


What challenges is the industry facing when it comes to analyzing big data sets in an efficient way?

Generating and applying data-driven manufacturing intelligence throughout the lifecycle of design, engineering, planning, and production is a key differentiator for today’s space industry. The space manufacturing industry could deploy foundational infrastructure for vertically and horizontally oriented manufacturing intelligence to collectively strengthen capability.


What will data analytics mean to the space industry in the coming decade?

The challenge for the 21st-century space industry is manufacturing in which all information is available when it is needed, where it is needed, and in the form in which it is most useful to drive optimal actions and responses. This requires a comprehensive behavioral understanding of the manufacturing process through data and modeling, which can create a new capacity to observe and take action on integrated patterns of operation through networked data, information, analytics, and metrics.  


In terms of industry news, what development, announcement, or otherwise has stood out most to you in the past year and why?

I was glad to see a major resurgence of space exploration in the past year. There are many new commercial companies that are coming out with new products and services to put satellites and people into space. I believe we are witnessing another golden era for the space industry and I am happy to be part it.


We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Conference at Space Tech Expo. Can you tell us what you’re most looking forward to at the show?

This will be my first time at Space Tech Expo. I am looking forward to meeting folks from my peer industry and learning more about their challenges and discoveries as well as sharing stories from our successes and failures. 


Keen to learn more about the digital transformation of manufacturing in the space systems industry? Join us at the session Designing the Factory of the Future: Implementing Digital Transformation in the Space System Manufacturing Value Chain to Optimize Efficiencyon Wednesday, May 22, featuring speakers from Deloitte, Airbus North America, The Aerospace Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Virgin Orbit. Register for your pass here.