SGAC is delighted to announce that this new scholarship kindly sponsored by Northrop Grumman will bring three outstanding SGAC members to Colorado Springs to participate in the 12th Space Generation Fusion Forum (ِApril 5-8, 2024).

We would like to emphasise that this year we received a large volume of high quality applications, and that the selection process was difficult to narrow down to only five candidates. We are honoured by the opportunity to recognise the work of our volunteer members to further SGAC’s efforts.

Rachel Venn (United Kingdom)

Rachel Venn is Policy Intern at the headquarters of Astroscale in Tokyo, Japan, working towards Astroscale’s vision for a sustainable and circular economy in space. She holds a degree in Physics and Astrophysics and graduated with an MSc in Space Science and Engineering from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at UCL, London, along with a year studying abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo on the prestigious UK-Japan Daiwa Scholarship. She is a graduate of the ESA/ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy and serves as Rapporteur for the International Astronautical Federation’s annual session on Norms and Standards for Safe and Responsible Behaviour in Space. Before coming to Japan, Rachel worked as an analyst with space consultancy BryceTech, advising on space and technology policy projects, and previously interned in EU-Africa space data sharing policies at the European weather satellite organization EUMETSAT. She was on the organising team for both the G7 Youth Summit in Hiroshima and the European rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court, and recently re-launched the Tokyo Space Network in Japan. She currently serves on the Early Careers Subcommittee of the Space Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Passionate about connecting people and building a strong space community, Rachel has been actively involved with SGAC since 2021. She has served as Reports Editor and Reports Coordinator, and was on the leadership team of the SGAC Task Force on U.S. Space Policy. She was a recipient of the 2022 European Space Leaders Award to attend the European Space Generation Workshop in Limassol, Cyprus, where she supported as working group moderator and was also responsible for the conference programme as member of the organising team. Most recently, she led the programming team in the 21st Space Generation Congress in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“It means a great deal to me to be awarded this chance to attend the Space Generation Fusion Forum in Colorado Springs. I truly believe that there is no community with talent, passion, and love for space like SGAC, and it brings me joy every day to be a part of it. I hope that we can ‘fuse’ our perspectives in Colorado to drive important conversations, build new ideas, and inspire each other towards a future in space to be proud of.”

 Rashika Sugganahalli Natesh Babu (India)

Rashika Sugganahalli Natesh Babu works as a Software Developer for Enginium in Rome, Italy. She is involved in the development of the numerical simulator of sophisticated space systems with an emphasis on Attitude and Orbit control subsystems. She has over 2 years of experience in the wide area of Model-Based systems engineering from her previous employment at Capgemini, Milan. She has a Master’s degree in Space Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Before arriving in Italy, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Alliance University, India, and later worked at the Indian Space Research Organization and HAL as a Project Trainee. Rashika has been actively involved with the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) for the past 6 years. Currently, she is the co-lead of Achieved Academy under the Education and Professional Development (EPD) Platform, which is a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide Space Systems Engineering courses for highly motivated and underrepresented groups. Rashika is involved in numerous initiatives; she was part of the Asclepios team for its first Analog Astronauts Mission. She continues to be a part of SSERD, where she mentored more than 100 students in developing Space Research projects. She is also actively involved in writing research articles under the newly co-founded Space Dynamics and Systems Engineering (SDCS) group. She is deeply interested in STEM Education and outreach.

“I am incredibly thankful for being awarded the 2024 Northrop Grumman scholarship to attend the Space Generation Fusion Forum. I eagerly anticipate sharing my unique insights within the dynamic and inclusive community of SGAC. The concept of ‘Space for all’ deeply resonates with me and perfectly aligns with SGAC’s vision.”

Mathilde Leuridan (France)

Mathilde is a computational scientist at the European Center for Medium Ranger Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) where she works on the Destination Earth initiative, which seeks to create a digital twin of the Earth. In this role, she works on a novel data extraction software called Polytope Feature Extraction. Prior to this, she studied for a MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing at the University of Oxford, from which she graduated in 2022. She also holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Warwick, which she completed in 2021. In her free time, she volunteers at SGAC as Local Events Coordination Team lead and as part of different event organising teams. Outside of aerospace, she also likes to travel, practice the piano and play squash.

“I am very grateful to receive this scholarship which will enable me to attend SGFF this April! I would like to thank Northrop Grumman and SGAC for this unique opportunity!