At the end of September 2012 three AYAA members were awarded the AYAA-SGC Scholarship to attend the Space Generation Congress (SGC) and International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Naples, Italy. Abhijeet Kumar, Utpreksha Somalwar and Jack Yeh were also given a chance to participate in the International Students Education Board (ISEB) Program during IAC. The 11th SGC meeting in Naples was a very fruitful experience for all three students and they returned with very positive feedback. During the three day SGC meeting, students were given the chance to work in groups to generate creative and effective solutions to current space issues. These gave the students a rare opportunity to liaise with international delegates and broaden their network on a global scale. Throughout SGC, various guest speakers also delivered great presentations and featured in the congress this year was a Head of Agencies ‘Fire Side Chat’. This was an interactive session where delegates could openly discuss any topics with the Heads of Agencies. Such activities gave Abhijeet, Utpreksha and Jack a unique chance to hear from such high calibre speakers and introduce AYAA to the international space community. Alongside the hard work that the delegates put into throughout SGC, social events such as the opening and closing dinners, cultural night, the SGC football match and rocket launching activity helped the delegates at SGC to spend time together on an informal basis and make long lasting friendships.
Following SGC, Abhijeet, Utpreksha and Jack attended the 63rd IAC, also held in Naples, Italy. This conference gave delegates a chance to network with the international professionals in the space industry and space agencies around the world. Space companies were present at this exhibition presenting their recent activities and any future opportunities for young delegates. Thousands of technical papers were also presented at this conference to make the delegates aware of the research that is being conducted in this industry. As part of the ISEB program, the three students were able to gain exclusive access to meetings and forums which were not open for all delegates. They were also involved in discussions on outreach solutions to encourage even more young students to get involved in the space industry, later presenting their ideas to the Heads of Education and the rest of the ISEB group. Abhijeet, Utpreksha and Jack, along with the other Australians present, were also assisting the Australian Space Policy Unit (SPU) to advertise Adelaide, Australia as a candidate to host 2017 IAC. All three scholarship winners fully appreciated this access to the international space community and learnt numerous things to aid them in commencing their careers in space.
Attending these two conferences in Naples was a mind blowing experience for the three students and they came back to Australia inspired to achieve great feats in the space sector. They learnt many things from this experience and were able to develop a strong international network in the space industry. Abhijeet, Utpreksha and Jack would like to extend their deep appreciations to AYAA and SGC for awarding them the AYAA-SGC Scholarship and making it possible for them to attend these two incredible conferences.
AYAA at SGC & IAC 2012