SGAC is proud to present the November 2022 Member of the Month!

SGAC is delighted to recognize members who are committed to its development; those who show hard labour and total dedication to the mission and purpose of the organisation. For November 2022, we are pleased to announce and congratulate the two fantastic event managers, Wijdane Benani & Imane El Khantouti – 6th AF-SGW Event Managers!

Meet Wijdane & Imane

Wijdane Benani

Wijdane has been intrigued by space technologies since a very young age; after winning a full scholarship to attend Space Camp in 2017 she decided to pursue her dream career. Today, Wijdane is currently working on the systems architecture for extremely light-weight solar sails for fast deep space missions at the Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability, and Trust in Luxembourg while completing her master’s degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Wijdane began her studies with the aspiration to become a successful engineer and pursue her passion for space; but with time her goals grew to encompass helping to shape Morocco, contributing to the advancement of the social awareness related to the space sector in her country, and continent, and helping make the space sector more diverse, and accessible to emerging countries. To this end, she joined SGAC in 2019 as a member of the SpaceGen United congress (2020) and then the SGC Dubai (2021) organizing team. Motivated to further promote the voice of Moroccan and African youth to the global space community, she served as the National Point of contact for Morocco for the past two years and the event manager of the 6th African Space Generation Workshop. Dedicated to making space more accessible for non-space-faring nations she also joined MISI to realize that vision and advocate for the space industry to help Morocco and Africa achieve prosperity and sustainability through space technologies.

Wijdane’s role as part of the SGAC team

Wijdane has been involved in the SGAC for the past 4 years through various positions ranging from a delegate and organizing team member to a National Point of Contact. Recently, she was the event manager for the 6th African Space Generation Workshop held in Rabat, Morocco under the theme of “#Space4Africa: for a more prosperous continent”.

Wijdane, share with us your reaction to receiving the nomination

“I was incredibly pleased and humbled by the nomination. I am very proud of the work all the team has put into the organization of the event and very thankful for the huge support our main partner: the Moroccan Initiative for the Space Industry (MISI)- provided to the 6th AFSGW and I am extremely grateful it is recognized by SGAC, especially when considering the large size and amazing work being done across the organization.”

What learnings have you got for those considering joining SGAC?

“My experience within SGAC has been nothing short of rewarding. It provided me with great opportunities to grow as a space enthusiast and gave me a better perspective on the current space challenges and the needed actions to take. But most importantly it made me realize how crucial interpersonal skills are to the success of any project. My advice to anyone considering joining SGAC is to seize the opportunity because beyond propelling your professional career the SGAC experience will help you work on and improve your soft skills while connecting you to the next lifelong friendships that will hold you accountable to your space dreams.”

Would you like to share with us a special quote you feel guided by, or how would you motivate others to stay focused on their goals?

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”

Imane El Khantouti

Imane is a space project manager working on the development of a constellation of 24 satellites for the monitoring of greenhouse gases at Absolut Sensing. She holds an Aerospace engineering degree. Imane has worked on several space payloads for IoT and scientific applications. She is also a core member of the initiative devoting her time to democratize the access and use of space to achieve a prosperous next generation of Moroccans. Imane has been an active member of SGAC since 2017, served as a National Point of Contact for Morocco since 2018, Commercial Space project group co-lead between 2021 and 2022 and the deputy event manager for the 6th AFSGW. She conducted many research activities and has been author of many papers related to space applications against climate change, sustainable space markets in African countries and space for a more sustainable world. Her work has been presented during International Astronautical Congresses and NATO MENA Open Study days on Space capabilities for a secure region.

Imane’s role as part of the SGAC team

As a National Point of Contact for Morocco, I have been working on scientific outreach related to space applications and representing the voice of the next generation on their views of the best use of the space industry. It is the reason why as a 6th AFSGW deputy event manager, I have curated along with the team the best programme possible and reached out to the most relevant decision makers of the country, continent and neighboring countries to exchange with the delegates.

Imane, share with us your reaction to receiving the nomination

SGAC has played a huge part in my career and my activities within the organization have taken most of my time during the last 6 years. Getting such recognition from my second Space Family is such an honor and the best tribute to my humble participation in the activities of SPace Generation. #SpaceGen4Ever.

What learnings have you got for those considering joining SGAC?

Teamwork is essential to make Things Happen. SGAC has been very essential for not only all the milestones I have achieved in my professional career in a relatively short time but also for the soft skills I have developed through dealing with different people from different cultural backgrounds. Putting effort to hack how to work the best together is the key to your success. And the 6th AFSGW is the proof of that success thanks to all the team and to our main partner of the workshop: the Moroccan Initiative for Space Industry’s tremendous support which I would never thank enough. 

Would you like to share with us a special quote you feel guided by, or how would you motivate others to stay focused on their goals?

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.