Uni of Adelaide on mission to support space agency

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The University of Adelaide congratulates South Australia on its successful bid to host the national space agency and looks forward to making a leading contribution to this sector for the future of the State and the nation.

"At the University of Adelaide, we are excited about South Australia once again becoming known as a leader in space," says Professor Pascale Quester, Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Adelaide.

"With the announcement of the new national space agency, the University of Adelaide is uniquely placed to build on years of expertise in the fields of engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics and law, and their application to space.

"As a comprehensive university, our contributions span the understanding of deep space to deep technology, as well as space law and policy.

"The University of Adelaide continues to produce highly talented graduates and postgraduates in aerospace and other engineering fields, as well as the sciences and law.

"For the past 19 years, our Andy Thomas scholarships have helped young South Australians reach for the stars, and we will now be able to expand our activities to do more to offer aspiring space entrepreneurs and engineers a chance to be involved in this industry of the future.

"We look forward to working with the Federal and State Governments in achieving their vision for the national space agency and in launching a dedicated space industry for Australia. In doing so, we will play our role in helping to reinvent the South Australian economy," Professor Quester says.

Key capabilities

"The University of Adelaide is already delivering the technological expertise and graduates necessary to re-build Australia’s space industry," says Professor Anton Middelberg, Executive Dean of the University's Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

"Last year, the University’s CubeSat was launched to the International Space Station, following four years’ hard work by about 50 University of Adelaide students and a dozen staff.

"Our long track record in space, founded on excellence in engineering and the underpinning sciences, will see us launch this new industry in strong partnership with the National Space Agency, creating even more opportunities for our staff and students to be better prepared," he says.

Areas of expertise at the University of Adelaide include:

* Computer vision for space-based surveillance
* Machine learning and artificial intelligence
* Data analytics and advanced mathematics
* Space object detection and star tracking
* Telecommunications and microelectronics
* Energy generation and storage
* Advanced materials
* Automation
* Remote sensing
* CubeSats – miniaturised satellites
* Space chemistry
* Energy detection and astronomy – gravitational waves, neutrinos, gamma rays
* Space law and ethics, the militarisation of space, and legal policy

Proud history in space

The University of Adelaide has had a long and proud involvement in Australia’s space industry, dating back more than 50 years.

Australia’s first satellite, WRESAT, was designed, built and launched in 1967 by a team involving University of Adelaide physics researchers and Australia’s Weapons Research Establishment.

Alumni in space

The first Australian NASA astronaut to go into space was Dr Andy Thomas, AO, a graduate of the University of Adelaide with a degree and PhD in mechanical engineering.

Other prominent Adelaide alumni working in the space industry include: Andrea Boyd, an International Space Station (ISS) Flight Operations Engineer, based at the European Astronaut Centre in Germany; Dr Justin Hardi, a highly experienced rocket propulsion engineer who leads the Combustion Dynamics Group at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Germany’s national research centre for aeronautics and space; and Dr Kimberley Clayfield, Executive Manager of Space Sciences and Technology at CSIRO where she is responsible for the coordination and support of CSIRO’s space-related activities, and helps to guide Australia’s space technology agenda.

"We are proud of the unique and ongoing contributions our highly skilled alumni make to the global space industry," Professor Quester says.


Contact Details

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762