SGAC membership has been steadily growing throughout the years. Among our membership there are many incredible young space enthusiasts who should be recognised for their hard work and contributions to SGAC. In December 2009, the SGAC Executive Council decided to acknowledge one member per month for his or her outstanding work and contributions to SGAC and its goals, and we continued this until today.

SGAC is proud to present the SGAC May 2014 Member of the Month: Alex Karl (Out-going NEO Working Group Lead)

Alex Karl

Alex, a German national, has a background in space engineering and currently works in Belgium as ISS Operations Engineer. In his spare time he volunteers for Lazurd, an NGO dedicated to inspire Arab students to pursue a career in STEM fields. He is also busy handing over his tasks as outgoing Lead of the SGAC NEO Project Group which he led since its creation in 2007. Alex created and organized the Find An Asteroid Search Campaigns as well as the Name An Asteroid Campaign. Before that Alex served as Chair (2007-2009), and created the Project Coordinator position and also held this post initially. He was a participant of SGS (2002), SGC (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), and the Fusion Forum (2013).

Behnoosh Meskoob (Iran) Regional Coordinator, Middle East, nominated Alex, here is her quote:
I would like to nominate Alex Karl as the MoM. He has been lead of NEO Working group and now a new lead has been appointed. Alex was a real leader for all who were involved in this working group. He managed different projects of this working group such as Find an Asteroid, Move an Asteroid competition, Name an Asteroid, Planetary Defense Conference Student Competition, etc. Last year he organized a panel during IAC about NEOs which was very fruitful.

His endless efforts resulted in 6 annual Move an Asteroid technical paper competitions to support bright minds to present their research during SGC and IAC as an example of NEO working group activities. He has shown the activities of NEO working group members in high level conferences such as IAA Planetary Defensce Conference and IAC. During the IAC 2013 in Beijing, the NEO Project Group organized an event about NEOs, called NEOs and Planetary Defense and Alex moderated this event.

Over past 7 years, he's been Chair (2007-2009), SGC organising committee member (2006 and 2009), SGFF2013 panelist and NEO WG lead (since 2007). As a member of executive council and member of NEO working group, I would like to thank him for over 8 years of contribution and dedication to SGAC. We always need highly valuable volunteers like him.

Here is Alex's reaction:
It’s a nice parting gift for me as I’m leaving the organisation soon (there is an upper age limit). I’m accepting this as SGAC lifetime achievement award, not because I stood out this past month. I’m sure there are people who are this month more deserving of this than me. I’d like to encourage all (new) SGAC members to follow their passion for space and to work hard, maybe then you will get recognized here next month. Even if not, the goal should not be some award but the knowledge that you made a difference. SGAC gives you a great platform to work on your vision, to make friends and connections, and to actually make a difference – make the best use it! Thank you for all and see you soon!

Victori Alonsoperez, SGAC Co-Chair:
It is my pleasure to congratulate Alex on being selected Member of the Month. I met Alex during SGC 2009 and since then I could appreciate how hard he has worked for SGAC. All these years he has been one of our most active members and his contributions have been invaluable. We are very thankful for his dedication and commitment to SGAC.

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