SGAC membership has been steadily growing throughout the years. Among our membership there are many incredible young space professionals and university students whom 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 goal.
We are proud to present the February 2012 Member of the Month: Suresh Bhattarai (Executive Co-Secretary and NPoC for Nepal)
Suresh Bhattarai, an amateur astronomer, traveller, researcher, educator and communicator, has been actively working as a secretary of Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) for the promotion of astronomy and space science in Nepal since 2007. He earned his B.Sc. in Physics from Tribhuvan University (TU) and is currently in the final year of his M.Sc. in Physics with majors Astrophysics and Plasma Physics. Suresh also works on various astronomical projects in Nepal. Along with his team, Suresh modelled a Human Orrery (HO) in collaboration with EurAstro Association in Kathmandu, which will be the regional centre for Asia. He has served as an Executive member of EurAstro (IYA2009 International Organisational node) and a Star Peace Ambassador (Star Peace Project – IYA2009 Special Project) since 2009. Suresh loves to travel to new places and volunteering for different astronomy and space science organisations. He also enjoys explaining what he knows about astronomy to locals during his travels.
Joyeeta Chatterjee, Regional Coordinator for the Asia Pacific, nominated Suresh:
"I am pleased to nominate Suresh Bhattarai, National Point of Contact for Nepal and Executive Co-Secretary, as the Member of the Month for February 2012! A passionate space advocate, Suresh is a very active NPoC in the Asia Pacific region, working at grassroots level with school children, teenagers, youth and adults to promote Astronomy and Space Science education in his country. Together with Co-NPoC Rijendra Thapa, he works tirelessly to organise space-related lectures, exhibitions, workshops and astronomy camps to bring the wonders of the universe to the public at large. Suresh recently completed his first term as NPoC for Nepal and we are glad he's continuing for a second two-year term. He was appointed as Co-Executive Secretary in July 2011 and he has been discharging his additional responsibilities diligently. He has been an enthusiastic and a valued member of the Asia-Pacific SGAC team and in recognition of his tireless volunteer contributions, he was awarded the 2011 SGAC Young Leader Award at the Space Generation Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. Apart from being SGAC's NPoC for Nepal and Executive Co-Secreatary, he's the founder and executive secretary of the Nepal Astronomical Society; Member of the International Meteor Organisation, Belgium; Chairman of EurAstro World- section of EurAstro Association, Germany; Ambassador for Nepal in the Star Peace Project, Iran; Resource Person of Developing Astronomy Globally (DAG), South Africa; Member of Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), USA; and a member of NASA's Saturn Observation Campaign (SOC), USA.
You can read more about his outreach work on his personal blog at http://suresh-bhattarai.blogspot.com. Please also visit the SGAC Nepal National Page here for more details."
Our February MoM’s reaction: "I am very grateful to all of you for your continuous support. I’d particularly like to thank Dr Rishi Shah, Academician of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) for his continuous inspiration and motivation of my work since 2007. SGAC has taught me how to lead and move with time along with new ideas and implementation strategies for the betterment of humanity through space science and its application. I would like to offer my heartiest thanks to all of you for the honour. Thank you, SGAC!"
From SGAC Chair, Michael Brett: "Our utmost congratulations to Suresh in his selection as this month’s Member of the Month. Suresh has made the position of Co-Secretary his own in the short time he’s been with SGAC, doing an amazing job from his home in Nepal. He is incredibly attentive and works extremely hard to ensure all the National Points of Contact are introduced to the organisation properly and supported in their work. Suresh’s support of our monthly Executive Teleconferences and the General Assembly last month are particularly noteworthy – SGAC would be at a loss without him. Congratulations, Suresh!"
And SGAC Co-Chair, Catherine Doldirina: "It was great to find out that Suresh is our Member of the Month! He is such a hard-working and responsible member of SGAC. As Co-Chair I know how much we need people like Suresh who take their tasks with SGAC seriously and devote time and effort to make things happen. Living in Nepal, Suresh arguably is the closest of SGAC’s stars to the real stars!"