Day Three Recap: Aerospace Futures 2016

Day 3 kicked off with Michael Hamilton, a Senior Design Engineer at Hawker Pacific. Michael provided valuable advice in regards to the transition from university to work and stressed the importance of hard work in any endeavour, especially at work placements. Furthermore, he encouraged the delegates to create opportunity where there was none, for example emailing a potential employer just in case despite the lack of any advertised job vacancies.

Dr. Graziella Caprarelli, our second speaker talked about the various benefits of attending the International Space University summer course held from 9 January to 10 February 2017. Some of the perks include on-campus accommodation with astronauts and lecturers, plus lectures on space-related topics ranging from orbital mechanics to space policy.

Next, Air Vice Marshall Mel Hupfield gave an inspirational about his illustrious career as an Air Force Fighter Pilot, plus his pathway to success. While the audience could relate to much of his speech, they could only imagine what is was like to watch the sun rise from 50,000ft above the Earth.

Chris Jenkins, CEO of Thales Australia, highlighted Australia’s position as the leader in air traffic control technology. Amongst one of Thales’ future projects was Stratobus: a lighter-than- air aircraft designed to provide a temporary communications link in a disaster-struck area. This goes to show the foresight in innovation present at Thales.

From business to science, Amelia Greig, a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech, detailed the steps she took to achieve her numerous career milestones. Her key advice was to go looking for opportunities. She encouraged the delegates to be engaged in any extra-curricular activity that interests you because you never know where you could meet exciting people. Additionally, Amelia gave some insights as to the logistics of working/studying in the USA.

The final speaker of the day, Brett Biddington re-enacted the very beginnings of the Australian space industry. He went on to summarise the current state of the industry and helped delegates understand where Australia currently stands. Additionally, he expressed his hope for IAC 2017 to act as a catalyst for revamping our space industry. His key advice for delegates was to attend conferences, read space policies and to get involved.

The aviation panel consisted of Andrew Duggan (Managing Director of Insitu Pacific), Reece Clothier (president of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems), Peter Batten (CEO of CoaX Helicopters), and Jack Kormas (Managing director of Aerosonde Pty. Ltd.). Key discussion was held around the negative connotation regarding the word ‘drone’. Reece pointed out that there is a need for public education regarding the usefulness of UAS, whereas Andrew suggested we refer to drones as 'safety drones' to change public perception. Peter emphasised that we faced a real challenge regarding the regulation of UAS. The panel unanimously agreed the public needed to be made aware of the beneficial uses of UAS such as for agriculture, safety and remote sensing beyond its currently known use in photography.

The conference was concluded by the announcement of the Young Space Leaders Scholarship - awardees: Simon Clifford, Brock Little, Katherine Cox and Kate Dent. Congratulations to all four of them! They will be attending 2016 Space Generation Congress and the 2016 International Astronautical Conference, held in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The conference was a wonderful success. Thank you to delegates who came, sponsors who helped make the event happen, and speakers for sharing such valuable knowledge. This event would not have happened without each of you! Finally, great work to the organising committee and AYAA representatives for pulling off this conference!

While the team at AYAA is looking forward to some post-conference relaxation, we cannot wait to for Aerospace Futures 2017!