Around this time last year, we sent out the challenge to STEM students in their penultimate year at universities across Australia. We asked them to pitch their idea for a space based earth observation project that would benefit humanity. We received applications from teams of two, who pitched a host of ideas for consideration. They talked about satellite data, machine learning, observation, proactive response and tracking across a range of ideas, ranging from monitoring of crop health in farming, refugee boats, oil spills, the ocean garbage patches, missing aircraft and animal tracking to prevent poaching. Apart from the creativity behind their ideas, we wanted to see how they approached the problem and gain an insight into their methodology to resolve it.
We were so impressed that we employed five interns to work with us over a 12 week period:
- Albert Sztolc joined us having completed year four, of his five year double degree at The University of Adelaide. His studies into studying mechanical and aerospace engineering, and computer science, fueled his passion for aerospace, attending Aerospace Futures and being on the AYAA national committee. In 2019, he also joined the Skyreach team to compete in the Australian Universities Rocket Competition and, to keep him grounded, the SA Pool Lifesaving team!
- Jordan Kildare and his team mate pitched refugee boat monitoring to support humanitarian aid, and we were impressed with his approach and values. Jordan had completed his third year of a Bachelor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Honours) at The University of Adelaide. His interests outside of engineering centre around sport. He is a competitive pole vaulter, and has worked as an official and coach too.
- Oscar Walsh completed year three of a four year degree in Mechatronic Engineering at Monash University. He is passionate about space development’s potential to benefit our planet, so our challenge to pitch a space-based earth observation project really resonated. Oscar is a member of Monash Nova Rover, and involved in building a new 2020 Mars rover to compete at the 14th University Rover Challenge in Utah. He’s the Electrical Team Lead and is involved in their STEM outreach program, visiting primary and high schools in Melbourne. To check out some of his other handiwork, click the link to view his guitar pedal business.
- Rijul Ramkumar joined us from The University of Adelaide, having completed his third year of a double degree in Mechatronics and Computer Science. A true systems thinker at heart, Rijul loves problem solving – so much so, that he was President of the Adelaide University Competitive Programming Club. The Club trains students to compete at the International Collegiate Programming Contest, which attracts more than 50,000 students from 111 countries.
- Ross Fraser is studying Mechanical Engineering at The University of Adelaide. Ross is actively pursuing his interest in space, having led Adept Project Helios, one of the teams in the AYAA Australian Universities Rocket Challenge, attending Aerospace Futures, and organising the Adelaide NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018 event. He was a welcome addition to our internship program and, especially, our volleyball team!
As they were to work together on a project relating to space based earth observation, we introduced our 2019/20 Summer Interns to the Adelaide Space community at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event in November 2019, Australia’s Race for Space, to kick off their internship. They were formally welcomed by Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency.
Their internship culminated in presenting their project to the South Australian space industry at an event hosted by Shoal, Space: Future workforce.
Now that you have met our 2020 interns, find out more about our 2021 Internship, click here.