15 September 2017

SGAC, in conjunction with the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA), is pleased to announce six recipients of this year’s Young Australian Space Leader Scholarship.

The scholarship challenged Australian university students to demonstrate their potential in developing Australia’s space sector over their future careers.  The applicants displayed professionalism, discussed constructive ideas and goals, and are testimony to the potential of young Australian minds in the space sector.  SGAC and AYAA would like to congratulate all applicants on their efforts.

Read more about the Young Australian Space Scholarship recipients below:


Philipp Dahm

Philipp is a German-Australian dual national currently in his final year of a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science (Physics and Applied Mathematics) at Monash University. In 2014 he joined the Monash FSAE team in 2014 and became the Aerodynamic section manager in 2015. In 2016, he took part in a year-long exchange in a Masters of Spacecraft Design at Luleå Technical University Kiruna in arctic Sweden where he explored design implication of an emerging electrodynamic dust removal technology for Martian applications, culminating in the drafting of design guidelines for application. During his time in Sweden he developed a CubeSat orbital drag estimation model as an independent project with Open Cosmos, using a novel solar-geomagnetic model for F10.7 and Kp indices. He is currently completing his honors thesis on combining aerodynamic and thrust-vectoring control system for a hybrid sounding rocket through hovering, ascent, gliding descent and aerodynamic landing phases. Philipp aspires to contribute in a wide range of disruptive technologies in the space industry and build towards a leading understanding of space systems.

"I'm humbled by the opportunity to be apart of this global community of dedicated and aspirational leaders. I hope to contribute in setting a direction for the space sector, in particular to progress humanity and create a sense of purpose and inspiration."


Oliver Paxton

Oliver Paxton is an undergraduate engineering student, currently in his 4th year of a 5 year Integrated Bachelors and Masters Degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Oliver has studied abroad in Toronto, where he joined the University of Toronto Aerospace Team in designing a high-altitude rocket. He is an active member of the Australian Youth Aerospace Association, where he helps organise Industry Seminars, Aircraft Hanger tours, Student Networking Nights, along with many other events. Outside of aerospace, Oliver loves playing trombone in the University of Queensland Big Band and enjoys cycling.

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend the Space Generation Congress, and be a part of the SGAC community. I am committed to working hard to instigate positive change within the space community on which the youth in the space around the world can capitalise."


Filip Drazovic

Filip Drazovic is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Sydney, currently studying a Bachelor of Mechatronics (Space) Engineering and a Bachelor of Advanced Science, majoring in Computer Science. He attended the Aerospace Futures conference last year in Sydney, which was his introduction in to the space industry. Although he's young compared to most attending SGC, he is hopeful that an early start and eager attitude can help him follow his dreams. He hopes to one day work in the European Space Agency. Aside from space, Filip enjoys teaching. He's worked as a mathematics tutor throughout university and as a communicator for the engineering faculty, promoting the university and engineering to high school students. He's currently part of the university's FSAE team, working on electronics. He also enjoys photography in his spare time.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend IAC and SGC this year. This scholarship is an extremely valuable opportunity to get my foot in the door of the space industry. I will dedicate my time to making this experience as beneficial as possible."


Meika Liveris

Meika is in her second year studying Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at The University of Adelaide in Australia. After being inspired to pursue science by her uncle (Dow CEO Andrew Liveris) she received a scholarship to the Harry Messel International Science School at the University of Sydney in 2015 where her love for cosmology and space technologies took off. Meika was then hand-picked to return as a mentor at the International Science School 2017. She also volunteers for multiple organisations including the Adelaide University Engineering Society, Adelaide University Debating Society and Robogals Adelaide. In her spare time, Meika adjudicates debates at a state and university level.
"I'm beyond thrilled and honoured to be awarded a AYAA scholarship. Throughout my experiences at the IAC and SGC, I hope to explore the avenues of how scientists, engineers and companies can engage more meaningfully with our neighbouring nations as the gigantic unfolding of technologies occurs before our eyes."

Caitlyn Georgeson

Caitlyn is a fifth year Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Politics & International Studies) student at the University of Adelaide. She has worked as a research assistant to the Adelaide Law School’s Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE) since 2014. Caitlyn is currently engaged by RUMLAE to provide research assistance to the International Law on the Use of Force (ILUF) group of the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) project. She has completed a three-month internship with the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia and is a Student Editor of the Adelaide Law Review. In addition to her academic interests, Caitlyn was awarded the 2017 SBS Student & Rising Star of the Year award at the Australian LGBTI Awards in recognition of her work with LGBTI youth.

"I’m honoured to be a recipient of the Young Australian Space Leaders Scholarship. The opportunity to attend the SGC and IAC to learn about the space capabilities of States and non-State actors will be incredibly interesting and will also directly benefit my research. Thank you to AYAA and VSSEC for sponsoring this opportunity."


Evelina Onopriyenko

Evelina Onopriyenko is an undergraduate student at Monash University undertaking a double degree in Aerospace Engineering and Commerce. During her degree, she was part of Monash’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Team and for her part-time job she creates agile financial forecasting packages. Evelina also participated in the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program 2017 hosted by the University of South Australia in partnership with the International Space University. She has since then been passionately driven to learn more about space and break into the industry as a young professional. Aside from academic studies, Evelina particularly enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and surfing.

 “I am very grateful to receive this support to help me pursue something that I am so passionate about. I look forward to attending these prestigious congresses so that I may learn from all of the amazing individuals who will be there and start making my own contribution to the space industry.”


Steve Apirana

Steve is in his fifth year of a Bachelor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (hons) at The University of Queensland (UQ). His thesis topic was CubeSat re-entry for which he produced a trajectory model, CFD flow simulations, and a proposed experiment for the X2 expansion tunnel at UQ. Steve spent his post high school years as an infantry soldier in the Australian Army. He began a dual Economics and Arts degree in his late 20’s until he discovered Aerospace Engineering. He has pursued this passion ever since, and will graduate in November 2017 with a Dual Bachelor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing, and minors in Economics and Chinese (Mandarin).

“I am honoured to have been selected as an AYAA scholarship winner. I believe Australia has a unique role to play in the emerging space market and am excited to be a part of the community at the SGC in Adelaide.”


Britt Chambers

Britt is in her 4th year of a Bachelor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Queensland. Britt was inspired to join the AYAA Queensland committee in 2015 after meeting other passionate students at AYAA events. She has held the positions of Queensland Secretary and AYAF Leader, and is the current State Representative for Queensland. In Britt’s professional career, she works as a student engineer at Boeing Defence Australia in Brisbane and she is currently completing her thesis on flame stability in micro combustion. Her future aspiration is to work as a spacecraft propulsion engineer.

"I am extremely excited to attend the SGC and IAC and am very thankful to the sponsors of this award, the AYAA and VSSEC. I am looking forward to contributing to the SGC and collaborating with unique people from around the world, particularly solving problems in the space transportation working group."

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