SGAC Supports a Record Breaking 28 Scholarships to Prague for SGC 2010
20 September, 2010
20 countries and six continents are represented in the winner pool
SGAC Supports a Record Breaking 28 Scholarships to Prague for SGC 2010
20 September, 2010
SGAC is proud to announce that the organisation has supported 28 scholarship winners to go to Prague, Czech Republic for the Space Generation Congress 2010. Generous funding from this year's sponsors has allowed us to help many bright students and young professionals join us for what is scheduled to be one of the most dynamic and largest Congresses that SGAC has ever hosted. Each of the winners will receive lodging, round trip airfare, and SGC 2010 registration fees for their trip to Prague. SGAC would like to thank our partners and sponsors for their support of SGC: Czech Airlines, DLR, ESA, European Commission, International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), International Space Safety Foundation (ISSF), Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation, JTB, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Secure World Foundation, South African Astronomical Observatory, Space Frontier Foundation, the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, the Czech Space Office, Mr. Peter Diamandis, Mr. A.C. Charania, Mr. James Moody, and Mr. Juergen Schlutz.
Below you will find a complete list of the scholarships that were awarded along with the winners' pictures, biographies and quotes. For more information on the winners of the Peter Diamandis Scholarship, the DLR German Delegate Assistance Award, the IAASS-ISSF Award, and the third annual SGAC Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition please see the previous webnews releases.
Congratulations to all of the winners!
2010 SGAC Scholarship Award Winners
Ana Alexandra Pérez (Venezuela - SGAC Young Leader Award) is the National Point of Contact for Venezuela and Regional Coordinator for South America. She is pursuing a degree in engineering and has organised and guided in numerous occasions activities concerning space exploration, educational astronautics, astronomy and water rocket competitions, among others. Ana was a member of the University Group for Astronomical Research – GUIA Simon Bolivar University and is now part of the World Space Week Association as the National Coordinator for her country. Ana is also part of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers of the USB and lately she has been getting involved in Biodiversity and Environmental problems related issues. Her comment on the award: “Thank you SGAC for honoring me with this award. I’m really excited to participate in the SGC again, I know it gets better and better every year. Let's make it rock! See you in Prague".
Andreas Fink (Germany - DLR German Delegate Assistance Award) studies aeronautical engineering at the University of Stuttgart with focus on Space Systems. He has done an internship with EADS Astrium in Friedrichshafen, Germany and participated in a Space Station Design Workshop hosted by ESA. He is currently writing his diploma thesis with EADS Astrium in Bremen, also in Germany. His comment on the award: "I feel very honoured to be selected as a candidate for the DLR Delegate Assistance Award 2010. After 2009, this is the second time I am given this generous scholarship, and I am very grateful to DLR and to SGAC for the continuing trust they put in me. I am looking forward to the upcoming SGC and to meeting my friends from last year’s SGC again".
Artiom Anisimov (Belarus - SGAC Young Leader Award) is currently pursuing a master degree in Space and Telecommunications Law and is the NPoC for Belarus. With a background in International Law, he began his involvement with SGAC through the NEO Working Group while working as Assistant Researcher for Dr. Prof. Frans von der Dunk. The resulting report was presented to UN COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on the 15th of February 2010. His comment on the award: “I would like to express my gratitude to SGAC Executive Council and extend it to all fellow members of Space Generation community for selecting and entrusting me with Young Leaders Award 2010. This is going to be my first experience of SGC and I am very much excited! It would not be possible without your generous support. I am looking forward to meet everybody in person in Prague!”.
Beata Mäihäniemi (Poland - SGAC Young Leader Award & SGAC Event Manager Candidate) is currently a PhD candidate in public law. With degrees in Administration, specializing in Finance and Economy, she has joined SGAC at the beginning of this year and since then she is an active member of its Communication and PR team. Her comments on the award: “I am very excited about being awarded a 2010 SGAC Young Leader Scholarship to attend SGC 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic. It is a great honour and an amazing reward for my work for SGAC. During the Congress I finally have a chance to get to meet all the people I am working with, as well as to learn more about space related problems, which I find so fascinating”.
Bekele Erko Tujuba (Ethiopia - SGAC Young Leader Award) is a Bachelor in Applied Physics with a minor in Mathematics and has graduate studies in Astrophysics and Space Science under a program called National Astrophysics and space science program (NASSP) which is hosted by the University of Cape Town (UCT). He has worked as a physics teacher at St. Joseph International School. In addition to being SGAC NPoC for Ethiopia, he served as president of union of physics students for two years while at the Addis Ababa University and was also member of IUPAP women in physics working group. Additionally, he is also member of Ethiopian space science society (ESSS) and Ethiopian physical society (EPS). His comment on the award: “I am very happy to win the 2010 young leader award. I could not participate on previous SGC and this scholarship is a great opportunity for me to be part of this amazing event. I always wanted to meet SGAC members and NPoCs in person to get experience and work together. The award made me believe all the hard work I have been doing did actually mean something to SGAC. I felt like I am contributing my part”.
Ben Corbin (USA - SGAC Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition Winner) is currently finishing his double Masters in Aerospace Engineering and Planetary Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and will begin his Ph.D. work in Space Systems Engineering in 2011. He serves as Flight Engineer for Project VeSpR, a sounding rocket mission to study Venus’ atmosphere. Ben graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with minors in Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy. He received the Astronaut Scholarship for his research in flame speed gas dynamics. Ben was also one of the youngest ever participants at the International Space University’s Space Studies Program in 2007. His comment on the award: “I’m very excited to present my work at both the Space Generation Congress and the International Astronautical Congress. I’m looking forward to meeting delegates from around the world and talking with them about how to better present a unified plan for defending Earth from the hazards of near-Earth objects".
Bernardo Santos (Brazil - SGAC Young Leader Award) is currently SGAC’s Executive Office Assistant in Vienna. With degrees in Social Sciences, Political Science and European Studies, he has done research in space policy and science, technology and innovation policy. Bernardo has a solid experience with international organisations and think tanks having already worked for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory on Knowledge and Information, the European Parliament and the European Space Policy Institute. His comment on the award: “Besides the prestige that is to be awarded the Young Leader Scholarship, being part of SGAC and of its intellectual production is a singular opportunity for every young person aspiring to reach high places on the international space sector”.
Catherine Doldrina (Georgia - SGAC Young Leader Award) is a PhD candidate at McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law and has been conducting legal research relating to space activities since 2005. Her expertise lies in the field of intellectual property law, and her current research relates to the legal status of remote sensing data. She has also authored works on other aspects of space law, is engaged in the research activities at the Institute of Air and Space Law, and is a member of the International Institute of Space Law. Her comment on the award: “It is an honour, which I will do my best to live up to! I am extremely happy to be able to be present at the SGC in Prague to help it become the best one so far. I am also very thrilled about how my work - that of the project lead of the Congress - is going to be viewed and assessed by the delegates”.
Cem Asma (Turkey - SGAC Young Leader Award) is currently SGAC Project Coordinator with 13 years of experience in multiple aerospace areas. With degrees on Aeronautics and Aerospace, he works at the Aeronautics and Aerospace Department of the von Karman Institute as a Senior Researcher and Project Leader for several high-level, multi-disciplinary research contracts. His comment on the award: “I feel extremely happy and privileged to have earned a 2010 SGAC Young Leader Scholarship to attend SGC 2010 in Prague. Working as the Project Coordinator for SGAC, I had the chance to be involved with some of the SGAC projects and get acquainted with very valuable SGAC members. Now I feel very excited to meet all these bright people during the SGC and be a part of the discussions that will shape the future of the Space Generation”.
Christian Blank (Germany - DLR German Delegate Assistance Award) studies aerospace engineering at the University of Stuttgart and is currently doing his final study project at Supaéro, Toulouse, France, about a Space Medical Center for a Space Station located at EML1. He is a member of the REMOS team that will launch a heat shield experiment on a REXUS sounding rocket in March 2011. Christian expressed the importance of scholarships like this to get students excited about space. His comment on the award: “Human spaceflight is a lot about enthusiasm and motivation. SGC and IAC are the perfect opportunities to meet the space community, to get support to increase motivation to further pursue such activities in the future. It is not only the financial support for accommodation, travel and congress fees but also the recognition for my plans that increases my motivation considerably and sustainably”.
Christine Hill (Germany - DLR German Delegate Assistance Award) is an aerospace engineering student at the DLR centre in Cologne. She has solid professional experience having already done an internship at EADS Astrium, participated in the Space Station Design Workshop 2008 at ESA ESTEC and done a non-technical internship at Porsche Financial Services in the US. She is also a project manager for a student experiment that will fly on a sounding rocket in March 2011 part of the ongoing DLR REXUS campaign. Her comment on the award: “I am very happy to represent the DLR again at the SGC 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic. The DLR already gave me the opportunity to finalize my study work at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, and I am very excited about sharing my experiences at DLR with other space enthusiastic delegates from all over the world. I’m looking forward to an incredible Space Generation Congress 2010 in Prague!”.
Christopher Vasko (Austria - SGAC Young Leader Award) is currently one of SGAC’s web editor and a PhD candidate in physics. He participated in various national projects such as a simulated mission to Mars using the Mars Desert Research Facilities in the United States. He also won an award as "Young Lunar Scientist" at the International Lunar Conference 2007. His has solid professional experience with development of plasma engines for space applications. His comment on the award: “I am grateful for this unique opportunity to join the Space Generation Congress. I feel privileged to be able to do this – after all, SGAC is building on young professionals and enthusiasts from all over this planet, and having the chance to meet so many of them, while working and discussing space with them is simply overwhelming. I would like to thank our supporters and the SGAC Executive Council for having awarded me with this scholarship and for making SGC come true!”.
Ekaterina Rezugina (Russia - SGAC Young Leader Award) is a National Point of Contact for Russia and currently a PhD candidate researching plasma physics. With degrees in aerospace technology, she is passionate about space applications and high-technology and has been studying these subjects throughout her career. Ekaterina has professional experience in multinational and multicultural environments. Her coment on the award: “The winning of a Young Leader Scholarship will give me a great opportunity to share the SGC experience with young space enthusiasts from all over the world and make this year SGC the best ever!”
Farnaz Ghadaki (Canada/Iran - SGAC Event Manager Candidate) is currently on the board of directors at the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA), advisor and former President at the Astronomy and Space Exploration Society (ASX), member of the Canadian Space Society (CSS), and candidate at the International Space University (ISU). She is a consultant and marketing professional in a variety of industries including electronics, telecommunications, and space. She served as President of the Astronomy and Space Exploration Society (ASX) for two years until June 2010, and as Vice President for one year prior to that. She is also member of the International Association of Space Entrepreneurs and Women In Technology International. Farnaz has degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. Her comment on the award: “The Space Generation Congress is an excellent example of an avenue to facilitate and support the co-operative characteristic of today’s space industry where more and more countries are working together on space policies, projects and ventures. I am honored to be part of SGC 2010 and in engaging and representing the youth and young professionals to contribute to the advancement of international space developments.”
Filippo Menga (Italy - SGAC Event Manager Candidate) holds a degree in Political Science majoring in International Relations, Politics and Diplomacy and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and one in Finance (Pisa 2007). He has professional experience with, among the others, the United Nations and the European Commission, and he has been living and working in the fields of analysis, advocacy and event management. His comment on the award: “Being at the SGC 2010 will be such a valuable experience as some of the most prominent names in the space sector will gather in Prague. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the current status of the space debate and key issues and challenges.”
Israel Ojeda (Mexico - SGAC Young Leader Award) is the Co-Regional Coordinator for North, Central America and the Caribbean for Space Generation. He holds a Bachelor in Computer Systems and M.Sc. in Space Management. Currently he works as an Information Technology consultant in the United States. He has been an active supporter of the Mexican Space Agency project, which was recently approved by the Mexican president. His main goal in life is to improve the living conditions of people in the developing countries. His comment on the award: "Having received the Young Leader Scholarship for the second time really encourages me to work harder and harder. It will be an honour to have the opportunity to meet and learn with and from all the participants of the Space Generation Congress 2010!"
Jessie Ndaba (South Africa - SGAC Young Leader Award) is a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand. She has worked as a lecturer before joining the Space Internship Programme sponsored by the South African Department of Science and Technology and SunSpace. As a result of the internship programme, Jessie earned a permanent position at SunSpace as a satellite design engineers. Jessie is also involved with the SunSpace outreach programme that works with school kids from the lower level to the varsity level. Her comment on the award: “Winning the scholarship means a lot to me. I believe this is where the hard work begins. I have always wanted an opportunity to meet with other young Space professional so as we can discuss the challenges we are facing and together come up with solutions on how to overcome those and pursue what we believe may benefit human kind. I have always believed that a nation that invests in its youth is a nation that stands a better chance in conquering the challenges faced by human beings. We as the young Space Professionals should make it our duty to be the agents of development”.
Johannes Weppler (Germany - DLR German Delegate Assistance Award) studies aerospace engineering at the University of Stuttgart and has already significant professional experience: an internship with Ondal Industrietechnik GmbH in Hünfeld, Germany; an internship with EADS Astrium working with design, integration, and testing of zero g research facilities for parabolic flights and the International Space Station; and an internship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, researching space policy issues. He is also working on the EXPLORE student project which builds a microgravity experiment for the DLR REXUS program. His comment on the award: “I’m very happy about receiving the DLR Scholarship. It enables me to get back together with a lot of my friends in the space community from all over the world and to meet new interesting people. I’m really looking forward to being at SGC and IAC in Prague”.
Maria-Laura Voda (Romania - SGAC Young Leader Award) holds a Bachelor Degree in Law, a postgraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters Degree in EU Law. Currently she is pursuing a PhD in International Space Law, at the Institute for Legal Research of the Romanian Academy. She holds additional degrees in International Law, with a focus on International Space Law in many countries as well as a focus in institutions like The Hague Academy of International Law, the European Center for Space Law and the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. She is a member of the Romanian Bar as a business lawyer and she is also a researcher in the International Law / International Relations Sector of the Romanian Academy. Her comment on the award: “Since I was awarded with this scholarship for the second time, the honour is way bigger in receiving it. It means for me an encouragement, a huge responsibility and, of course, my pleasure in taking part in such a comprehensive event. I am convinced that SGC 2010 shall be a tremendous event. Therefore I would like to thank all my SGAC colleagues for this and for the wonderful work we're doing together day by day!”.
Mario Ciaramicoli (Canada/Italy - SGAC Young Leader Award) worked as an integration specialist with a prominent Canadian flight simulator manufacturer. He is a Master in Space Studies and interned at the European Space Agency’s ESRIN facility in Frascati, Italy. He is currently volunteering as project co-lead for SGAC's Group on Space Technologies for Disaster Management, and has done some consulting work for a potential mission to Mars and associated technology transfer. He has also has 15 years of volunteer and project coordination experience with student groups, Italian-Canadian and international cultural organizations, local charities, and professional societies. His comment on the award: “The Young Leader Scholarship will allow me to participate actively at the SGC in Prague and exchange with other young space professionals. I look forward to sharing in this multicultural forum and helping each other progress in our space projects and careers.”
Minoo Rathnasabapathy (South Africa - IAASS-ISSF Award) completed her Aerospace Engineering degree at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) in Australia. Following her graduation, Minoo currently pursues her passion for research by undertaking a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. As SGAC National Point of Contact for South Africa, Minoo hopes to be an inspiring role model to young South Africans who endeavour to be part of the future global space community. Her involvement in projects such as Space School Africa, Emerging Astronaut Programme and Yuri's Teleconference, aim to create awareness through education in order to engage young South Africans in space science and technology. Her comment on the award: "This is a fantastic opportunity to attend SGC 2010, which promises to be the best yet. The 2010 IAASS-ISSF-SGAC Scholarship highlights the need for international collaboration to facilitate the sustainability of space, ensuring the peaceful uses of space for future scientific developments".
Muhammad Shafiq (Pakistan - SGAC Young Leader Award) holds a Bachelor and Master degrees in Space Science. Presently he is very close to finishing his doctorate in the same subject at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His research interests include remote sensing and GIS applications in glaciology and hydrology. He worked at the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission at Lahore as a research scientist for several years. He is a member of Astronomer's Society in Pakistan, Islamic Crescent Observation Project, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, among others. He is the Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific within the Space Generation Advisory Council. His comment on the award: “I am very excited to know about my nomination for the prestigious SGAC Young Leader Award. The news came to me as a surprise and I am now able to attend the SGC at Prague. I feel attending SGC is a great opportunity to enhance the know-how in the space related SGAC projects and to meet space enthusiasts from all over the world. See you there”.
Oana Sandu (Romania - SGAC Young Leader Award and SGAC Event Manager Candidate) is currently working at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), where she does community coordination - connecting people with astronomy and ESO. She worked for more than two at one of the leading PR Agencies in Romania and Eastern Europe. She has been heading PR activities for the Astronomy Club from Bucharest and UNAWE Romania, as well as for other international organisations or projects. At SGAC, Oana coordinates the team that is in charge of PR and communication. She is also editor at Vega, an online astronomy magazine. Her comment on the award: “The Space Generation Congress is the best place to be if you are a young aspiring professional passionate about astronomy and space. I am therefore most happy for having been selected to join in Prague young leaders of the space generation from across the globe and debate on top interest issues for us. It will be for sure a time when exciting projects with ambitious goals will see their first light, kicking off yet another fantastic year at SGAC. Thank you and looking forward to seeing you in Prague!”.
Pierre van Heerden (South Africa - SGAC Young Leader Award) is currently doing research for his Master degree with concerned with refurbishing and commissioning one automated telescopes. He holds a Bachelor degree in physics and applied mathematics from the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). The NASSP is a collaboration of various South African institutions providing tertiary education in astrophysics and space science and is based at the University of Cape Town. As part of this degree, he worked with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) to measure the rotation periods of a number of rapidly oscillating, chemically peculiar A-type stars. His comment on the award: “I'm very honoured to have been offered this scholarship. I'm certain that the experience will be as enlightening and enjoyable as assisting in the organisation for SGC 2010. I'm confident that, if nothing else, being able to spend time with other young professionals in the space sector will be most enriching in terms of my career and my role in the development of the space sector and space capabilities in South Africa".
Prospery Simpemba (Zambia - SGAC Young Leader Award) is one of the founder members of the Space Generation in Zambia and is currently Africa Regional Coordinator. With degrees in Physics, he is presently a Physics lecturer at the Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia. Prospery comments on the award: “I am extremely excited and I wish to dedicate it to all African National Points of Contact and my fellow Africa RC Hubert for the support I have received from them and which have lead to this award. It is a scholarship for all Africa and for the entire African Space Generation membership. This award will enable me to effectively represent Africa at SGC 2010 in Prague and present Africa’s needs and aspirations and shape the way for the 2011 SGC to be held in South Africa. I am grateful to the jury for having settled on me from among so many hard working SGAC young leaders around the globe. May God continue to bless SGAC now and forever”.
Stephanie Wan (USA - UN/IAF Workshop Scholarship) is a graduate student with a focus in Space Policy. She received an undergraduate degree in International Studies at American University and a project co-leader for YGNSS. Her YGNSS activities have led her to an active collaboration with NASA and the International Committee on GNSS (ICG) Working Group C Meeting: Information Dissemination. Her space-related interests are: Global Navigation Satellite Systems/GPS, space applications, space security issues in the Asian region, and international space cooperation, especially with developing countries and emerging space nations. Her comment on the award: "While I've visited Prague before, I am excited to be there this time around with the largest annual space conference! I would not have imagined my second time in the city would be to do something I love!"
Tabitha Smith (USA - SGAC Young Leader Award) is the SGAC Assistant Project Coordinator and a Masters Degree candidate at the George Washington University's (GWU) Space Policy Institute (SPI) - where she is currently the GW Space Society co-president. Tabitha is a graduate of West Virginia University, double-majoring in Physics and Sociology, where she researched on the field of astrophysics. She has performed research under several of her own NASA grants and has produced undergraduate publications. At the same time she had worked with her advisor as a counsellor for the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, a program involving high school children in West Virginia and teaching them how to perform real astrophysics research. Her comment on the award: "I am overjoyed to be given this opportunity to travel to Europe and be a part of such an important conference. Given the fact that I am very young and with little monetary freedom, it is highly unlikely that I would otherwise have been granted the privilege of attending a meeting of such magnitude".
Victoria Alonsoperez (Uruguay - SGAC Young Leader Award) is currently SGAC NPoC of Uruguay and the projects co-coordinator of SGC. Pursuing her degree in electrical engineering, she is part of a team of undergraduate students who are trying to build Uruguay’s first satellite. Victoria is active in encouraging young students in Uruguay to take up space activities. Her comment on the award: “when I heard that I had been awarded the 2010 SGAC Young Leader Scholarship to attend SGC 2010 in Prague all I could think of were words of gratitude. I am more than glad to be part of this amazing organization! This last year as SGAC NPoC has been amazing, I met lots of new people from my region and from all over the World with whom I could share ideas and I could learn a lot from them. I simply cannot wait to be in Prague for what looks like the best SGC ever! Thank you very much for this great opportunity”.
Yohan Ferreira (Sri Lanka - Peter Diamandis Scholarship) is the SGAC Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific and is an Associate Business Analyst at Interblocks Limited, a Sri Lankan company which develops IT solutions for the local and international banking industry. He also works part-time as an educator for the Wendy Whatmore Academy of Speech & Drama, teaching Speech & Drama, Spoken English, Verse & Prose Speaking, Effective Communication skills and Written English to young learners and teenagers. Yohan has been a volunteer space education and public outreach coordinator for the past ten years for NASA Quest and also supports the Student Signatures in Space (S3) programme for Space Day. His comment on the award: “I am thrilled and overwhelmed. Thank you very much to Dr. Peter Diamandis and SGAC for this wonderful honour and their fantastic support of youth space advocates around the world. Also, I would like to thank my family and friends for their support and encouragement of my endeavours. I eagerly look forward to visiting the beautiful city of Prague and meeting and discussing with space advocates and professionals”.