Roxy Williams is a Computer Engineering student, SGAC National Point of Contact for Nicaragua and General Coordinator for the Open Course Introduction to Space Engineering in Space Generation Advisory Council – SGAC. She was a crew commander in virtual analog programs and one of the projects that she developed along with her crew was the design of a Lunar Hospital using Lava tubes.
She was the Team leader of NICASAT-1 during a CubeSat design competition (CubeDesign) organized by the National Institute of Space Research in Brazil in which for the very first time Nicaragua was participating in the competition and the rest of the team were students who graduated from the SGAC Open course. The CubeSat mission was to measure the levels of water during hurricane seasons and storms, and based on that data provide best locations of settlement or safe places as refugees.
In addition, Roxy is driven by a passion for inclusion and diversity in the space industry. She has been a delegate in many of the SGAC workshops’ working groups such as NASA Planetary Defense, Deep Space Exploration and SmallSats Constellations in LEO. In her role as NPoC Roxy has led the signature of two MoUs for partnerships and she has been working in collaboration with NICAWoman Tech (SGAC partner) on a webinar series for Nicaragua and the region having guest speakers from the region and SGAC members speaking about different fields in the space industry. During this year’s women history month, Roxy led along with Our Giant Leap the series called Meet The Women Behind SGAC which showcased all the powerful women in space within SGAC.
History with SGAC
SGAC has been and is one of the most extraordinary experiences and the most incredible organization I could be part of. I remember when I had the first touch of what is SGAC and the whole international family. I was invited by my dearest Dr. Carlos Alvarado Briceño, who was the president of the Central American Association of Aeronautics and Space – ACAE back then, as a keynote for the 1st Central American Space Generation Workshop. I was so blissful because on that day I had the opportunity to meet very important people of the space industry in Costa Rica such as Eng. Ronald Chang, Dr. Luis Zea, I got to see again many people I hadn’t seen for a while such as Eng. Luis Diego Monge, Dr. Carlos Alvarado Briceño, and other university students and young professionals with whom I share a common passion which is space. After the workshop, Dr. Alvarado encouraged me to apply for the available NPoC of Nicaragua vacancy in the organization. I clearly recall back then thinking that I wouldn’t have probably be accepted for the position as I thought I still needed more experience and yet I decided to apply and expected for the best results. I told myself if it is not this time then it will not take too long for me to apply again. However, I was accepted the position and the full journey I enjoy every day started growing. It was the starting point of something I would call a “positive and astonishing impact”, I was 18 years old when I joined SGAC, one of the biggest networks and organizations of space professionals who make an outstanding work in bringing space opportunities to all the countries that are part of the organization. Due to the pandemic SGAC’s events were held virtually and the first one was the SpaceGen United – SGU in which I was so happy to have been selected for the Black Voices for Space scholarship and to be a delegate for the NASA Planetary defense Working group where we had the chance as delegates to raise our voices to provide interesting recommendations for the future of the Planetary Defense and UNOOSA and also find strategies to increase public awareness and engagement with Planetary Defense concepts. During the 1st CA-SGW I had the chance to meet my incredible colleague Eng. Anger Arcia.
Angel was working on the course Introduction to Space Engineering given to Panamanians. I joined Angel and support in expanding the course throughout Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador making the course an SGAC Open course provided to many Central American students. The course brings closer the history as well as the technical part of the space industry to the students, at the end of the course the students teamed up and build up a project to be presented at the end of the course. Something important we promote within the course was that you can easily merge your base major with the space industry with no issue, you just have to find what catches more your attention from the industry. As we kept working in the open course, I participated in the SpaceGen Summit as delegate in the Working Group Coalition for Deep Space Exploration in which we discussed on the creation of a space traffic management system, and I also participated in the NCAC Workshop in the SmallSats Constellations in LEO working group. In 2020, I was nominated and received the February member of the month award along with my dear colleague Sahith Reddy, it was such an honor to be by his side receiving the award. And I appreciate so much to my friend Bryan Medrano who nominated me for the award. Additionally, I have to give a big thanks to my dearest Matteo Capella who was back then the Operations Manager with such incredible comments about me, definitely inspiring and incredible, and of course always very supportive.
As I was meeting more and more extraordinary people within SGAC, one of them was Alina, such smart, amazing, and kind always looking to create opportunities for the next generation and encouraging us women in STEAM to keep giving our best. I lead the signature of two MoUs and and promote the cross-country collaboration in the NCAC region. At the end of 2020 I started working in collaboration with NICAWoman Tech, our partner, in the SGAC Webinar Series – Nicaragua bringing different topics of different fields of the space sector. In order to make the series happen I had so much support from PR&Comms team and also the Events Manager Daniel Seybold. During this year’s Women History Month, I came to Daniel asking him for support in organizing something special for all the women in space within SGAC with the support of the now Diversity and Gender Equality project group, and our char Harriet. Together we organized a series called Meet the Women behind SGAC which showcased all the powerful women in space within SGAC. And finally, I am so honored and happy to have been selected as a winner of the SGAC Global Grant Programme and to receive the Pioneer Award alongside extraordinary people. I will always say SGAC is my huge and immense family of space professionals around the world, and I have become who I am and came this far building my career path in this industry thanks to the whole SGAC team from its executive team to all the volunteers making a difference. Thank you SGAC for being inclusive and diverse, you have amplified my voice and my community’s voice immensely.
“It is such an honor for me to receive this award. SGAC has opened so many doors of opportunities to me and my community, and has also given the chance to open so many opportunities to the young generation in my home country, Nicaragua.
Thank you to my colleagues and my students from the Open Course Introduction To Space Engineering who nominated me for the award. It gives me so much joy to have impacted their lives in such a positive way.
To me this is a way to show to my people and the world that SGAC is a diverse and inclusive organization who gives a voice to everyone and makes them visible.
Again, thank you so much SGAC for all the support given, this award means a lot to me as it is one more motivation to keep working hard and keep contributing in the space community.