SGAC and Young ESA are pleased to announce Kwasi Nkansah, Christopher Ogunlesi and Katherine Pangalos as the winners of the joint Young ESA Diversity scholarship for 2018. The competition enables one outstanding SGAC member to attend the 17th Space Generation Congress and the 69th International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.

Kwasi Nkansah

“Kwasi”, in the Akan language in Ghana, simply means ‘Born on Sunday’. This poses an interesting reflection of his choice to pursue space medicine. At the age of 22, Kwasi’s background is bio-physiology, but his interests are lie in space medicine and applications of space technologies. During his undergraduate degree at McMaster University, Kwasi completed his B.Sc. Here, Kwasi took many roles in leadership, management, as well as community service working with clubs including but not limited to McMaster African Students Association, Humanity First, and McMaster Maroons. Presently, he is completing his masters of Space Studies at the international Space University in France where he is only one of 4 Canadians in the program. Kwasi has worked on projects in high altitude physiology, radiation sensitivity in the human gut, and measuring astronaut cardiovascular reconditioning.

Upon accepting the award, Kwasi wrote:

“I am extremely grateful for the young ESA diversity scholarship for opening this door in my path towards space medicine, a profession where I can be a tool for bringing humankind deeper into the solar system.”

Chris Ogunlesi

Chris Ogunlesi is from London, England and is of Nigerian descent. He received an MEng degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Imperial College London in 2014 where he worked with Reaction Engines for his Master’s thesis on the aeroshell coating of the Skylon spaceplane. He received an MSc in Space Science and Engineering from University College London in 2015. He has previously worked as a Young Graduate Trainee in the Materials and Processes section at the European Space Agency where he worked on the BepiColombo mission. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Southampton. His research applies additive manufacturing for the development of a high temperature resistojet.

“I am extremely grateful and excited to have won this scholarship and amazing opportunity. Diversity in space is a topic that really means a lot to me, and I really look forward to discussing this topic and possible goals for the future at SGC and IAC.”

Katherine Pangalos

Katherine Pangalos is a trainee in the Political Affairs office of the Strategy Department of the European Space Agency in Paris. Her background is in History and Law, as she holds a double degree from Utrecht University’s Honors College, University College Roosevelt in The Netherlands. Her first involvement in SGAC was moderating the ‘Space for Society’ working group at the 3rd European Space Generation Workshop in Bucharest. She assisted in the organisation of a Members of Parliament event at the UNISPACE+50 of the United Nations in Vienna. Furthermore, she will publish an article titled:  “Space assets, technology and services in support of the maritime sector’’, to be presented at the” 69th International Astronautical Congress in Bremen.

“I am extremely honoured and grateful to have won the Young ESA – SGAC diversity scholarship. Paying attention to diversity and calling upon an increased variety of backgrounds and talents will ensure we achieve the United Space 4.0 goals. I feel very fortunate to be an active member of the SGAC, whose network connects the younger generation of space professionals and helps promote diversity through the opportunities it offers.”

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

Congratulations to the winners and see you in Bremen!