22 September, 2016

SGAC and SSPI are pleased to announce the winners of the SSPI Satellite Futures Competition for 2016. The competition enables three outstanding SGAC members to attend the 15th Space Generation Congress and the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.


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The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) promotes the growth of the satellite industry by connecting satellite professionals to their colleagues worldwide, by connecting the next generation of talent to careers in the satellite sector, and by connecting individuals and companies to opportunities. Its programs, including Better Satellite World and the Satellite Hall of Fame, help strengthen the industry and expand its markets.   

To accomplish its mission, SSPI delivers information and vital services to students, for whom SSPI is the on-ramp to careers in the world’s first and most successful space businesses; to companies in the industry; and to more than 3,500 satellite professionals around the world.  

SGAC would like to thank SSPI for its generous continued support of SGAC and this annual scholarship.

Congratulations to the winners and see you in Guadalajara, Mexico!

The winners are:

Wei-yu Louis Feng


Grand prize winner Wei-yu Louis Feng is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Space Studies at the University of Cape Town. For his M.Phil thesis, he is prototyping a debris capturing mechanism driven by shape memory alloy. He has presented in several conferences including at the 3rd International CubeSat Workshop at Somerset West, South Africa, and is presenting at the 67th IAC this year in Mexico. His research interests include: satellite technology, smart material prototyping, control systems, robotics and novel space mission design. He received his B.Sc in mechatronics engineering from the University of Cape Town in 2013. His undergraduate thesis was published in a systems engineering book in USA in the field of control engineering. From the beginning of 2014 until the middle of 2015 he worked as a system engineer for a drilling technology company, where he worked and traveled to the US, UK, South Africa, Angola and Spain.

“I am extremely passionate about space technology, and the tremendous welfare it can contribute to the prosperity of humankind. Winning this scholarship would allow me to collaborate and learn with all other young elites in the space field. Collaboration will help me to further understand how important space is to the global citizens.”


 Thomas Jayachandran Aurthur Vimalachandran


Runner-up Thomas Jayachandran Aurthur Vimalachandran was born in India and is currently а student at Samara University in Russia. His area of expertise and research interests are diverse and include GNSS, plasma, electrical propulsion, nanosatellites for exploration purposes, and environmental life support systems for human spaceflight. He received his management degree with expertise in project and risk management along with cost analysis and budgeting.  He has participated in various activities organised by Centre National d'études Spatiales (CNES) - the French government space agency and European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) -  the European Space Agency's main technology development and test centre for spacecraft.

“I always read a lot of articles and also would spend time thinking about how I can make an impact in the space industry. I wanted to know the quality of my articles from the reader’s point of view. This competition was very important as it was my first time writing something about space policy. I learnt a lot by doing research on this topic while participating in this competition. Winning this competition at an international level with students from reputed universities has really boosted my morale which would help me to participate in more competitions. The panel selecting my topic as one of the winners from eminent jury shows that I am working and thinking in the positive direction.”


Estephania Flores  


Runner-up Estephania Flores was born in Mexico City and studied telecommunications engineering at UNAM. She works at the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) in the Radioelectric Spectrum Unit (UER). IFT is a telecommunications regulatory authority of Mexico. She has been passionate about satellites for many years and gave a course  on “Radioelectric Spectrum and Satellite Communications Regulatory Framework and Concepts” to the Mexican Space Agency (AEM). 

“I am so happy, winning SSPI Scholarship means to me a motivation for doing all that I dream.”



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