Scholarships awarded to next generation of space entrepreneurs

Jun 17, 2019, 08:34 AM

Four future South Australian space entrepreneurs have been awarded $20,000 each in scholarships to travel abroad and develop their skills and knowledge to drive growth in the local space sector. 

The successful postgraduate students, with qualifications in law, engineering and business, will build their talent and innovative ideas through training at international research centres and universities offering specialist space courses.   

The four-year Space Scholarship Program is part of the South Australian Government’s $4 million Space Innovation Fund and aims to support the development of space entrepreneurship in South Australia. 

South Australian Space Industry Centre Chief Executive Richard Price says the scholarships will allow local students to explore the broad spectrum of the space industry and apply their skills to space-based projects, both here in South Australia and around the world.  

“We’re excited to give these bright young people the chance to explore the opportunities available to them overseas, develop their skills and bring them back to South Australia,” he said. 

“These students were selected from a pool of high-quality applications and demonstrate the level of talent starting to emerge in South Australia’s space industry.

“The establishment of the Australian Space Agency here in Adelaide, along with Mission Control and the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, will create more jobs in this rapidly growing sector, giving our state’s young people the chance to explore careers in the space industry without having to leave the state.  

“Growing the future space workforce and cultivating the next generation of leaders to ensure the continued success of South Australia’s space industry is a key priority.” 

The successful applicants are:

  • Aaron Pereira – will travel to the US to undertake research and development study at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, as well as visit other NASA research centres and attend the International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC in October 2019
  • Matthew Stead (founder and CEO of South Australian start-up Ping Services) – will travel to the US and Denmark for industrial experience and to attend the Small Satellite Conference in Utah, from 9-14 August 2019
  • Marcus Andreucci – will travel to France to undertake a second-year masters of science in aerospace engineering at ISAE-SUPAERO Toulouse.
  • Scott Schneider – will travel to the Netherlands to undertake an advanced masters in air and space law at Leiden University.

Scholarship recipient Scott Schneider, whose recent work supported defence and space companies at an Adelaide-based law firm, will undertake a year-long graduate law program specialising in space at Leiden University.

The Leiden program gives Scott an opportunity to build his knowledge of international law and space-related regulation.

“Gaining a specialised understanding from Leiden’s curriculum and relationships will allow me to better navigate the global regulatory framework and the economy of space activities,” he said.

“In a field where international cooperation and interdisciplinary collaboration can be taken for granted, Leiden will put me in a stronger position to help companies and research initiatives in South Australia realise and develop their space capabilities. 

“An exciting aspect of space is, in many cases, it’s not long before you can see the benefit which those capabilities give to Australian consumers, to national security and to industry.”