Mary D'Souza wins IAF Youth Grant

Australian Researcher, Mary D'Souza wins IAF Youth Grant

Mary D’Souza is a research engineer at the Centre for Hypersonics within the University of Queensland, Australia. She is also working towards a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering. Her research is in the field of aerothermodynamics, specifically investigating the influence of an ablating heat shield on radiation to a spacecraft re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. In this role she designs, conducts and analyses experiments in expansion tunnels – the ground-based test facilities most closely able to replicate hypersonic flight. Her most recent achievement in this area has been a novel method of ablation simulation and radiation measurement in expansion tunnels.

In addition to her research, Mary is also heavily involved in space education at the undergraduate university level. She is a mentor for the advanced space design course offered to final year engineering students, in which students design, construct and test payloads onboard surplus Zuni sounding rockets. She was a 2009 Queensland Young Science Ambassador and a guest lecturer for an undergraduate engineering course in Orbital Mechanics at the University of Queensland. Mary is also involved in the Queensland Government’s ‘Talking Scientists’ program in which scientists travel to community groups in Queensland to present their research. She was awarded an honourable mention in the 2009 Queensland Government ‘Our Women Our State’ awards. In 2008 Mary won the Space Generation Advisory Group Move an Asteroid competition and a trip to the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow.

Ms D’Souza holds an MSc in Space Technology from the Ecole Superieure de l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace (SUPAERO) in Toulouse, France, a BEng (Hons I) in Mechanical and Space Engineering and a BSc in Physics from the University of Queensland.

Mary will join nine other students and young professionals at the International Astronautical Congress in Prague this September. They were selected from over 70 well-qualified applicants from 31 countries.

The Student recipients are:
Riwaj Pokhrel from Nepal
Ahmad Shah Hakimyar from Afghanistan
Mary D'Souza from Australia
Dymtro Faizullin from Ukraine
Ahmad Hilmi Abu Kassim from Malaysia

The Young Professional recipients are:
Funmilayo Erinfolami from Nigeria
Lulekwa Makapela from South Africa
Taslim Alade from Nigeria
Guzel Kamaletdinova from Russia
Tri Dinh Quoc from Vietnam

These grant recipients will receive funding from the IAF to attend the IAC in Prague, Czech Republic in September, and will participate in a number of events. They may present one or more papers in Congress technical sessions and/or participate in a Plenary event.

They will participate in the activities of the IAC Student Programme organised by the International Space Education Board and the IAF Young Professional Programme which are conducted during the Congress. They will meet with IAF-assigned mentors and student/young professional advisors and be given special recognition during the Congress.

They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Space Generation Congress and the 2010 UN/IAF Workshop held just before the Congress. Following the Congress, the grant recipients will report on the activities they undertake upon their return home to build on the experiences they gained during the Congress and to share what they have learned.