SGAC membership has been steadily growing throughout the years. Among our membership there are many incredible young space enthusiasts who should be recognised for their hard work and contributions to SGAC. In December 2009, the SGAC Executive Council decided to acknowledge one member per month for his or her outstanding work and contributions to SGAC and its goals.

We are proud to present the April 2011 Member of the Month: Minoo Rathnasabapathy (South Africa), National Point of Contact for South Africa and Co-lead of the Space Safety and Sustainability Working Group

Minoo completed her degree in Aerospace Engineering with Honours at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. During her studies, she completed an internship in Germany, where she was working on structural design improvements for the Ariane 5 launch system. Minoo is currently a PhD student in Aerospace Engineering. Her doctoral research investigates an impact of damage onto novel materials used in aerospace structures. Minoo’s past research experience includes the analysis of hypervelocity impact dynamics on spacecraft due to space debris. What is more, she has recently helped to set up the SGAC Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) Working Group. Minoo is also involved in Space School Africa as an advisor in the Emerging Astronaut Programme. As the advisor, Minoo is trying to engage young South Africans in space science and technology through educational outreach initiatives. In her spare time, Minoo is a conniosure of international  cuisine and trains in Karate (she has a black belt).

Guzel Kamaletdinova, National Point of Contact for Russia nominated Minoo:

I am happy to nominate Minoo for the April 2011 Member of the Month! I first heard about Minoo in 2009 when she was awarded the IAF Youth Grant.  However, we became acquainted sometime later, during the recent SGC in Prague (September 2010). I am currently working with Minoo in the Space Safety and Sustainability Working Group. As a co-lead of this group, Minoo is incredibly enthusiastic and, in spite of many difficulties, she puts her best efforts to encourage the group members, including me. I find her very careful, helpful and responsible. I know that I can count on her advice! Therefore, I would like to honour her work and efforts!

And here is the reaction from Minoo:

I first came across SGAC in 2009 when I was awarded the IAF Youth Grant to attend Space Generation Congress and International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, South Korea. During that Congress, I had a chance to meet and become inspired by some of the incredible members of the SGAC.  The organisation has offered me a number of opportunities, which made a major impact both on my professional and personal goals. I see SGAC as a platform to share ideas with like-minded space enthusiasts which brings to the forefront the strong global collaborations that are required in our evolving space industry. I am proud to be part of SGAC - thank you for the nomination.

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