Intended for U.S. graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing space- and satellite-related careers, the program will provide grants for participation in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to be held in Paris, France, September 18-22, 2022.
In addition to attending the IAC, Grant Recipients will also be involved in supplementary career development activities in Paris. These IAC-associated events include the Cross-Cultural Presentation Workshop, the United Nations/International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Workshop, the Space Generation Congress hosted by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and the Young Professionals Workshop.
These additional activities will necessitate Grantees’ presence in Paris, France, beginning on September 13.
2021 Grant Winners
- Shayna Hume is a Ph.D. student studying Martian Entry, Descent, and Landing at the University of Colorado Boulder. In 2020, she completed her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and M.E. in Engineering Management from CU. Previously, she interned as a Matthew Isakowitz Fellow at the Aerospace Corporation, and before that, at NASA Goddard, Lockheed Martin Space, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. On the side, she supports the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, volunteers with the Space Generation Advisory Council studying the logistics of lunar settlement and running the SGAC Mentorship Program, and works to understand space exploration from the perspective of human settlement through her work as an Analog Astronaut.
- Josh Ingersoll is currently serving as a Satellite Regulatory Engineer for Amazon’s Project Kuiper where his focus is on space safety and spectrum allocation. In the evenings, Josh conducts research for The George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute under the advisement of Dr. Scott Pace. This work will culminate in a Master of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy and a Master of Business Administration in STEM Management. His research is focused on developing regulatory frameworks for Non-Geostationary Operators (NGSO’s) that allow for commercial development while also protecting the commons that is Low-Earth Orbit. Outside of his professional and academic endeavors, Josh serves as the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program’s Recruitment Chair and as a member of Georgia Tech Aerospace’s “Mentor in Residence” program. He also enjoys giving space lessons to elementary school students through the Skype a Scientist platform. Josh received his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
- Molly MacEachen is a research associate for the Space & Sustainability Initiative (SSI) at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder where she performs project management, coordinates RA and volunteer work, and plays a crucial role in the operations of the core research team. She recently graduated magna cum laude from CU Boulder with a dual degree in business and sociology. During her time at CU, Molly’s research on sustainable innovation, corporate social responsibility, and interactions between industry and society was funded by multiple grants & scholarships and showcased at conferences around the globe. In addition to her research, Molly is a consultant for the United Nations Global Compact where she focuses more broadly on the topic of corporate sustainability reporting. Ultimately, her work is centered around the private sector’s impact on the world, focusing specifically on training the next generation of leaders to be responsible and sustainable. Molly will be sharing her perspective as panelist for the Plenary Session, “Social Responsibility in Space: How the Next Generation is Leading the Charge” at the 2021 International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
- Ufuoma Ovienmhada is an Aeronautics and Astronautics PhD student in the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. In her research, Ufuoma studies applications of Earth Observation (EO) technologies for sustainable management of socio-ecological systems. Her paper at the IAC discusses the creation of EO-powered data tools for the management of an invasive plant species in West Africa. Ufuoma has interned at Planet Labs and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she researched EO applications for the study of urbanization and methane detection, respectively. Prior to arriving at MIT, she graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She also holds an M.S. from MIT in Media Arts and Sciences.
- Simon Shuham is a Senior Sales Engineer at Ursa Major Technologies, a Colorado-based rocket engine manufacturer. Prior to joining Ursa Major, Simon was a propulsion engineer at Blue Origin working on the design, integration, assembly, and test of the BE-3U and BE-4 engines. Before Blue Origin, Simon worked at United Launch Alliance as a propulsion engineer, developing fluid systems and components for the Atlas, Delta, and Vulcan launch vehicles. Simon is an Aviation Week 20 Twenties recipient and remains involved in a variety of young professional development organizations including SGAC, SEDS, AIAA, the Zed Factor Fellowship and Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Simon graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering.
- Andrew Swackhamer is a Research Assistant at the Space and Sustainability Initiative at CU Boulder, where he is investigating how the recent rise in commercial space actors has affected the space environment, how taking safe and sustainable actions will affect space business models, and whether there exists the potential for self-governance among commercial actors in lieu of or in addition to legally binding regulation. Currently a student in the Aerospace Engineering department at CU, Andrew organizes and facilitates two of SSI’s four Working Groups, focusing on Orbital Debris and Right of Way scenarios involving conjunctions between two active satellites. In addition to his work with SSI, he was the project lead for CU Boulder’s team that finished second place in the 2020 SEDS-SSPI Competition: Taking Out the Trash, where they researched and detailed the multitude of policy, business, and technological elements involved in adequately addressing the growing congestion of near-Earth space. At IAC 2021, Andrew will be sharing his experiences working in the space sustainability field on the Next Generation Social Responsibility Plenary.
- Anna Voelker (they/them) joined the Aspen Science Center as its new Executive Director in June 2021. Anna is also the founder and Executive Director of the SciAccess Initiative, an international program dedicated to advancing disability inclusion in STEM. Through SciAccess, they lead numerous science inclusion initiatives, including an annual conference launched by their receipt of the $100,000 Ohio State University (OSU) President’s Prize in 2018. Anna is currently organizing the SciAccess 2021 Conference, which will take place virtually on November 12 and 13, 2021. Along with George Whitesides, former CEO of Virgin Galactic, Anna serves as the Project Lead of Mission: AstroAccess, a new SciAccess project that aims to pave the way for disabled space explorers. Mission: AstroAccess, in partnership with numerous nonprofit organizations, will send a crew of disabled researchers on a parabolic ZERO-G flight later this year. Anna specializes in accessible science outreach for diverse learners and has worked extensively with blind and low vision students using 3D printing and data sonification. Anna is passionate about making STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) accessible to all, as detailed in their 2017 TEDx Talk. As a student at OSU, Anna designed their own major to pursue this passion and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Science Communication and Accessibility, with a minor in Astronomy and Astrophysics. In May 2021, Anna hosted a live NASA event where astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) answered questions from students with disabilities. This was the first ISS event to feature American Sign Language in over a decade. Anna was named a 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow and previously worked at NASA Kennedy, NASA Goddard, the OSU Department of Astronomy, the OSU Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development, and the Aerospace Corporation.