SGAC Announces the Winner of the 2023 South American Space Leaders Award

The South American Space Leader Award (SASLA) aims to recognise SGAC members for their contributions to the space field in the SGAC region of South America as well as to provide opportunities to talented individuals to attend the 8th South American Space Generation Workshop (SA-SGW) held from July 6-7, 2023 in Bogotá, Colombia.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Nicole Jimeno Ruiz (Bolivia)

Nicole Jimeno Ruiz she is a last year student of geological engineering. For more than 10 years she has been working as a volunteer in the space sector with many organizations in Bolivia. Since 2015, she is a member of Astro-CBA, where she was able to organize summer workshops on astronomy as well as the first astronomy olympiad for young people in the city of Santa Cruz. In 2017, she started to get involved in scientific diffusion organizations such as: The Max Schereier Planetarium of La Paz, Nos Gusta La Ciencia, Clubes de Ciencia Bolivia and with the IAU National Outreach Coordinator; organizing webinars, in-person and online workshops during the pandemic, trainings and astronomical observation nights. In 2019, she had the opportunity to present the work that has been developed in Bolivia in Space Sciences at the X Planetary Sciences Workshop held in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

She was a member organizer of the logistics of the “5 th South American Space Generation Workshop” that took place in La Paz, Bolivia. Currently, she is working on the implementation of Planetary Science in Bolivia, organizing the first training for students and professors to be held in July of this year with the support of Europlanet, the physics department of the Mayor de San Andres University and the Max Schreier Planetarium.

“I am very grateful to have won the South American Space Leader Award (SASLA) because it is a great opportunity to open the door for other young Bolivians, demonstrating that working in the space exploration from our country is possible, and encouraging them to venture into Space Sciences.”

Bruno Cevallos Gil (Peru)

Bruno Cevallos was born and raised in Lima, Peru. He received his bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Universidad Científica del Sur in 2021 and is a member of the Scientific Society of Astrobiology since 2018. During the pandemic he was trained in electrochemical techniques applied to the study of viral proteins and then in 2021 worked as a Jr. Consultant validating a protocol he optimized for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens and antibodies. He then participated as Consultant in a project of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (OFWG 05 2021) analyzing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the aquaculture industry and policy responses of the 21 APEC member economies. He has experience researching in marine coastal protected areas, and principal investigator in a project analyzing the spectral features of a Ramsar Wetland using data from sensors in orbit. Bruno is currently focused on the quantification of the contribution of kelp forest in the carbon sequestration pathways within the Humboldt Current System, also supported by remote sensing and sponsored by Cabieses Scholarship (Internal funds for thesis projects of Universidad Cientifica del Sur).

Bruno assisted to IAC-22 in representation of his team to present their work about a bio-inspired probe concept for the gentle exploration of the ocean worlds of the solar system, sponsored by Universidad Científica del Sur travel funds. He is also advisor of a thesis project determining the combined effect of cryopreservation and hypergravity in the vitality of animal germinal cells. Bruno is a mentee in the IFBA Global Mentorship Program.

“It is an honor for me to receive the South American Space Leader Award. I feel deeply privileged to be part of this workshop and look forward to making it a constructive and communicative experience. Thank you for this new opportunity for interaction and connection with such an inspiring network of professionals. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”

Erik Busnello Imbuzeiro (Brazil)

Erik is a dedicated young professional in the space sector, driven by a profound passion for space and a strong desire to make a significant impact. Currently serving as a technical assessor at the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Erik is constantly seeking to advance Brazil’s Space Program. With an academic background in aerospace engineering and currently pursuing a masters of Economics, Erik strives to be a future leader in the Brazilian space ecosystem.

As the National Point of Contact for Brazil at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), Erik actively engages with young professionals and fosters awareness of the space community. He has been instrumental in establishing valuable partnerships between the institution and key stakeholders of the space sector, such as the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA). Committed to continuous growth and knowledge expansion, he has completed the Online Space Studies Program at the International Space University, collaborating with esteemed colleagues from diverse backgrounds. With an unwavering dedication to advancing space activities, Erik aspires to inspire others and contribute to the socio-economic benefits that space technology can offer to society.

“I am incredibly honored to be awarded the South American Space Leader Award (SASLA). This recognition not only validates my commitment to SGAC but also fuels my passion for further collaboration and networking within the South American space community. I am truly grateful for this remarkable opportunity to contribute towards cooperation in space.”