The International Astronautical Federation’s (IAF) International Project/Programme Management Committee (IPMCYoung Professionals Workshop will be hosted on Sunday 13 October 2024 at the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2024 to be hosted in Milan, Italy.

The workshop seeks to gather input from young professionals in the international space community to gain the knowledge needed to better develop and empower the next-generation workforce and build on work done at previous congresses.

Delegates for this workshop must actively engage in the IAC on the day of the workshop as well as attend the remainder of the IAC. Young professionals must be aged 35 years and under and have at least one year’s experience on a project team and/or in the aerospace industry. A diversity of backgrounds (e.g. engineering, management, science, etc.) is encouraged in order to produce thoughtful and well-rounded discussions, observations and recommendations that will be presented to the IPMC.

Delegates will be working in teams on the workshop topic via skype, email, webex, etc. prior to the workshop. It is envisioned that this work will kick off in Mid November 2023. To each team, a mentor will be assigned to support the working group’s advance in their research.

For the 2024 Workshop, five topics have been defined by the Workshop Organizing Committee and IPMC. The delegates have the chance to work on one of the following topics:

  • Topic 1 – In-Person Interactions in Digital Teams
    This topic explores how the transition to digital workspaces affects professional and social interactions in the space sector, addressing roles, effects, and ramifications of in-person interactions in digital teams. Young professionals will assess how this new way of working influences space project execution and their experiences, considering real-life examples and testimonies from senior colleagues.
  • Topic 2 – Online Project Management and Collaboration Tools
    With the rise of remote work, this topic examines the various online project management and collaboration tools available, considering organizational security levels. It aims to identify which tools best suit international aerospace projects and assess their benefits and drawbacks, taking real-life project experience and international collaboration into account.
  • Topic 3 – Knowledge Continuity in Space Organizations
    As the workforce faces a “retirement wave,” this topic delves into capturing and utilizing tacit and explicit knowledge. Delegates will focus on how to incorporate knowledge continuity into everyday activities, developing procedures, guidelines, and tools to ensure that knowledge is retained and shared. Real-life examples, challenges, and success stories will be explored.
  • Topic 4 – Making Model-Based System Engineering a Reality
    This topic addresses the implementation and use of Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) in the space sector. It aims to understand the status of MBSE adoption, explore its impact on different types of space projects, identify barriers, and provide recommendations to enhance MBSE dissemination. Real-world applications and cultural aspects will be considered.
  • Topic 5 – Business Innovation in Commercial Space
    Focusing on the “New Space Economy,” this topic investigates the business innovation within the commercial space sector. Delegates will analyze various domains to identify dominant business models, explore interactions between public and private actors, assess policies and regulations, and examine the impact of these innovations on project management in commercial space projects. Real-world examples and case studies will be used to provide recommendations for project managers adapting to the changing industry.

The Young Professionals Workshop culminates in a one-day event where delegates present their results to the IPMC and a wider audience. This final meeting is held in connection with the 75th IAC in Milan, so that delegates can meet face-to-face and get to interact in person with senior professionals and field experts.

For more details on the workshop, the topics, and expected workload, please see the Statement of Work.
As a partner organisation to the IAF, the SGAC has the opportunity to nominate members for this Workshop.
We will then inform the selected members which SGAC will nominate for this Young Professionals (YP) Workshop programme.
Additional information on the IAF and the IPMC can be found at the IAF website as well as IAC 2024 Questions on the Young Professionals Workshop can be addressed to [email protected].

Applications to scholarships are available to SGAC members only. 

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