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.
Members of the Month for October 2011
The Local Organizing Team of SGC 2011 Cape Town: Michael Afful (Ghana), Dayne Kemp (South Africa), Chijioke CJ Nwosa (Nigeria), Minoo Rathnasabapathy (South Africa) and Pierre Van Heerden (South Africa). Read below for their full bios.
Michael Afful (Ghana): Organising Coordinator
Michael Afful is currently a graduate student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He obtained a B.Sc. degree in Physics from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Thereafter, he completed other degree with Honours in Astrophysics and Space Science through the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP) in University of Cape Town. His current research involves satellite orbit design and decay analysis. Michael first came across SGAC in 2010 when he attended the IAA/ NASDRA symposium in Nigeria. During that symposium, he had a chance to meet and become inspired by some of the incredible members of the IAA. Since then, Michael always wanted to be part of SGAC. He sees SGAC as a unique platform to share ideas with like-minded space enthusiasts which brings to the forefront strong global collaborations that are required in an evolving space industry. It is his aim to eventually form a space research group at his institution and to introduce graduate and undergraduate courses in space science and technology in his department. Further, he wants to work towards a space agency in Ghana. Michael is currently the NPoC for Ghana and a fan of soccer. He is proud to be part of SGAC.
“I got to know about SGAC in 2010 through friends. Since then, I have been following SGAC activities. Being part of SGAC has been an amazing and fufilling experience. SGAC is a wonderful organisation and what really appeals to me most is the diverse and motivated people from all over the world with a common goal thus united by the passion for space. This year's SGC2011 was a blast; meeting with like minded space enthusiasts has had a major impact on my personal goals. I feel honoured to be nominated as part of Member of the Month for October. I am happy to be part of Space Generation, and will continue to play my part locally, regionally and internationally.”
Dayne Kemp( South Africa): Organising Coordintaor
Dayne Kemp is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa studying towards an electrical engineering degree. On completion of this he would like to specialize in control engineering in order to enter the space industry professionally. Dayne is the founder and chairperson of the first student chapter of the South African Space Association (SASA) at UCT. The student chapter serves as a forum for information exchange between students and professionals. The chapter also has a keen interest in experimental rocketry and focuses lots of their attention on this. Dayne has also been working on a project at the South African Astronomical Observatory which involves the structural and electrical integration of a rocket motor test stand which will be used to characterize various rocket motors and fuel types.
“SGC2011 was the first Space Generation Congress I have attended and what an experience it was. I had heard a lot about the SGC through a few friends but the event greatly exceeded my expectations and am extremely proud to have been part of the LOC 2011. I look forward to meeting everyone again next year in Naples!”
Chijioke C J Nwosa ( Nigeria): Organising Coordintaor and IAC Booth Coordintaor
Chijioke Cj Nwosa is completing his Masters programme in Space Science and Technology at the University of Cape town/South African Astronomical Observatory. He holds a Honours degree in Astrophysics and Space Science from the University of Nigeria. Cj is currently assessing SumbandilaSat's (South Africa's national satellite) in-orbit risks from space debris and space weather. Generally, his research interests include spacecraft-environment interactions, and preservation of the near-Earth space environment. He has been involved in payload design, sounding rocket campaigns, planetary and gravity waves projects (using the radars at Antarctica), and space related outreach programmes in South Africa. He is a Co-lead for SGAC's Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) Working Group.
“SGAC inspires young minds to develop innovative ideas/methods to impact space endeavours - present and future. It's a privilege to be recognised as a component of the driving force behind SGAC's stunning accomplishments. I am humbled by this nomination. Proudly SGAC...no doubt!”
Minoo Rathnasabapathy (South Africa): Logistics Lead Coordinator
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 candidate in Aerospace Engineering. Her doctoral research investigates the impact dynamics of novel materials used in aerospace structures. Minoo’s past research experience includes the analysis of hypervelocity impact dynamics on spacecraft due to space debris. She is NPoC for South Africa and co-lead of the SGAC Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) Working Group.
“We had a fantastic team this year in the lead up to SGC '11. But ultimately, the success of SGC comes down to the delegates. Thanks everyone for making this an unforgettable SGC in Cape Town! Hope to see you all in Naples!”
Pierre Van Heerden (South Africa): Lead Local Organising Coordinator
Pierre Van Heerden completed his BSc. in physics and applied mathematics at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (2005-2008). During 2007, Pierre studied at the Universitaet Osnabrueck, Germany as part of an exchange programme. In 2009, Pierre received a BSc. Honours 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 the BSc. Hons. 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. Pierre is currently doing research for his NASSP MSc., which is concerned with refurbishing and commisioning one of the SAAO's automated telescopes. In particular, Pierre will be working on the telescope's software. In future, Pierre plans to get more involved in the space sector - more specifically, he is interested in monitoring and searching for variable stars and extra-solar planets, unmanned exploration and alternative propulsion.
“I'm truly honoured to have been chosen as one of the Members of the Month for October. I hope that everyone enjoyed SGC 2011 and that I will see all of you in Cape Town again very soon.”
Ravit Sachasiri, NPoC from Thailand, nominated LOC:
"I would like to nominate the LOC for the member of the month. The LOC were integral to the success of the SGC 2011 and other local events in cape town. They had to volunteer their time and resources in the preparation of the event and they did an excellent job. I would like to congratulate the LOC ons the work they have done and definitely feel that the SGAC MOM should go to every member of the LOC of the SGC 2011"
Quote from SGAC Chair, Michael Brett
“It’s very rare we recognise more than one member each month for their contributions to SGAC, but the five members of the Cape Town local organising team for the Space Generation Congress are in need of extra special acclaim this month. Michael, Dayne, CJ, Minoo and Pierre all put in so much of their time, energy and creativity to make the 2011 Space Generation Congress the fantastic event it was. We simply could not have done it without their tireless support. Congratulations to all, you’ve done yourselves and South Africa very proud in your work. Everyone who attended SGC felt welcomed, energised and part of a larger community thanks to your efforts. “
Quote from SGAC Co-Chair, Catherine Doldirina
"I was very happy to have seen and experienced the superb organisation of SGC this year in Cape Town, but even more so the eagerness of the LOC guys (and girls! :) ) to help out everybody with whatever things people were in need of. Their hospitality and attention is what really made my stay in Cape Twon both during SGC and IAC unforgettable. Thank you LOC team!"