SGAC and AYAA Award Scholarships for Space Conference in South Africa


SGAC and AYAA Award Scholarships for Space Conference in South Africa

Three aerospace engineering students from Melbourne will soon be making their mark on the international stage when they attend an international space conference in Cape Town, South Africa in September.

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA) selected three young leaders from a field of 120 applicants to receive a travel scholarship to attend the Space Generation Congress. 

The scholarship was announced at the 2011 Aerospace Futures conference held in Melbourne, an event hosted by the AYAA to help university students plan their careers in the Australian aerospace industry. At the conclusion of the event, SGAC Chair Michael Brett announced a scholarship to provide $2,000 to each of the selected three winners to go towards their travel expenses attending the Space Generation Congress.

The Space Generation Congress (SGC) is SGAC's annual conference that brings together top young leaders from around world to focus on key space topics. Delegates work together as an international and interdisciplinary team, guided by a subject matter expert from industry, to tackle one of the big challenges in space development. This conference is held the weekend before the

Mr Brett says it’s important for Australian students to have an understanding of the international aerospace industry.

“We’re delighted to provide this opportunity for young Australians to gain direct insight to the international space community. This will help them better understand Australia’s unique role in space applications, and will also build awareness amongst their peer group of the challenges and opportunities in a space career.”

“This is an exciting time to be starting a career in space in Australia. Projects funded under the Federal Government’s Australian Space Research Program and the Square Kilometer Array telescope are demonstrating that Australians can make a significant impact to the global space industry.”

Congratulations to Michael Kretzenbacher, Cynthia Chen and Kristian Grayson who were selected to win the scholarship.

Michael Kretzenbacher is currently in his fourth year of studying a bachelor of Aerospace Engineering, together with a bachelor of arts, in a double degree at Monash University. His main professional interests lie in engineering design and he hopes go on to complete a postgraduate degree and to eventually help solve complex engineering problems in the space sector. 

Cynthia Chen is currently studying a Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering and Arts majoring in Chinese Language at Monash University while also Chairing this year’s Aerospace Futures conference. With a strong desire to explore the vast possibilities that lie beyond the sky and in space, Cynthia is motivated to increase space-awareness in Australia. She hopes to change people’s scepticism and to support, encourage and potentially contribute to Australia’s budding space program.

Kristian Grayson has always held an interest in space and is currently in his 3rd year of study for a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Melbourne. This year Kristian attended the inaugural International Space University Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program held in Adelaide and also helped to organise and host this year’s Aerospace Futures conference in Melbourne.