We are pleased to announce three winners of the Australian Youth Aerospace Association - Space Generation Advisory Council (AYAA-SGAC) Australian Futures Scholarship! The winners, Utpreksha Somalwar, Jack Yeh and Abhijeet Kumar, will attend this year's Space Generation Congress and International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy.
This scholarship challenged Australian university students and young professionals who attended this year's Aerospace Futures conference to demonstrate their potential in developing Australia's space sector over their careers. The applicants had very constructive ideas and goals, and are testimony of the potential of young Australian minds in the space sector. SGAC and AYAA would like to congratulate all applicants on their efforts.
Cynthia Chen, AYAA President, commended this year's winners on their outstanding efforts and added: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank AYAA's sponsors and supporters. As one of last year's scholarship recipients, I can confirm that attending these events are a truly motivational, inspiring and life-changing experience. I am confident that Utpreksha, Jack and Abhijeet will seize this opportunity to immerse themselves in the incredibly international environment, gain excellent insight to the global space sector and relay their experiences back home. I trust that they will proudly represent the Australian Youth Aerospace Association and the Australian community, as well as their respective institutions. Congratulations!"
Read on to learn more about the AYAA-SGAC Australian Futures Scholarship recipients below:
Utpreksha Somalwar is a fourth year Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering student at The University of Queensland (UQ). Utpreksha has been involved with the Australian Youth Aerospace Association since 2010, when she became an active participant of the UQ Rocket Programme to design, develop, manufacture and test a descent mechanism. She was also a delegate at the 2011 AYAA Aerospace Futures conference in Melbourne, and currently serves as the AYAA Queensland Vice President. Utpreksha is also a committee member for the Royal Aeronautical Society (Brisbane Division) as the UQ and AYAA representative.
Here’s is Utpreksha’s response to receiving the AYAA-SGC Scholarship:
"I am eagerly looking forward to attending SGC and IAC this year. It will be a great privilege to be a part of such an excellent international gathering of aerospace professionals."
Jack is an aspiring rocket scientist in pursuit of his combined Bachelor of Aeronautical (space) and Science degree at the University of Sydney. The vast unknown and mysteries of the final frontier have always been a point of fascination, symbolising the limitless potential and imagination to be explored in all directions. The wider accessibility and use of space resources, especially regarding remote sensing and Earth observation technologies towards humanitarian efforts, are his primary professional passions and endeavours, where he would ultimately like to enhance public awareness, challenge Australia’s perceptions of the space sector and inspire Australians’ “can-do”, DIY attitude into the next generation of space innovators.
Jack expressed his excitement for receiving this scholarship:
"I am absolutely ecstatic and completely over the moon (my apologies for the cliché) at the extraordinary opportunity to innovate with the diverse but like-minded stars of tomorrow; to share our aspirations and be inspired by one another as we strive towards a future of sustainable space. I think I can now safely say I comprehend the level of excitement and furore of teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert, and hope to one day inspire that same titillation and hysteria to the next generation of space pioneers".
Abhijeet Kumar is a third-year Aeronautical Engineering student at the University of Sydney. Abhijeet has been involved in a number of volunteer roles developing the Australian aerospace industry including the Royal Aeronautical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is on the executive committee of the Australian Youth Aerospace Association – a student organisation driven to build Australia’s space capabilities. Abhijeet is determined to achieve two things: to forge a career in the space industry and to build, develop and lead the Australian space industry. Abhijeet also loves tennis, reading and travelling and is very excited to head to Naples to take part in SGC, IAC and the ISEB programme.
And here is Abhijeet’s response to receiving this scholarship:
"I am very excited to be given this opportunity to attend the Space Generation Congress and International Astronautical Congress in Naples this year. It sounds like it’s going to be a fantastic experience and will give me a great amount of confidence in my studies and endeavours in the Australian space industry. A huge thanks to Michael Brett, Andrea Jaime, Cynthia Chen and the scholarship sponsors."
More about the Space Generation Advisory Council
The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) is a global non-governmental organisation and network which aimsto represent university students and young space professionalsto the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia. SGAC works on the international, national and local level to unite university students and young professionals to think creatively about international space policy issues and project the views of their membership into international space policy decisions. For more information, please visit the SGAC website: http://spacegeneration.org/