National Points of Contact
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Australia has had a long history as a player in space, and despite perhaps a few too many sabbaticals and no space agency, we were the fourth nation to put a satellite in space and one of the original members of COPUOS. Woomera was of course a major part of early rocket launches and is still active today. The major universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in space science and engineering and undertake cutting edge research and development. For the first time in 2011, the ISU now has a Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program. Now is an exciting time for space in Australia! Following the 2008 Senate Space Inquiry, the Space Policy Unit (SPU) of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) was founded in 2009, making significant progress towards a whole-of-government space policy (expected in 2011). Last year saw the announcement and implementation of the SPU Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) Grants with over $34M awarded for education development and project grants. The Australian Space Industry Innovation Council was also formed in May 2010, bringing together local experts in policy, industry, and technical subject matter to champion the local space sector and provide strategic advice on innovation priorities to the Prime Minister. A central website for all things space in Australia also went live, and should be viewed at www.space.gov.au. There are now ever increasing opportunities, projects and educational programs for Australians to be involved in space on home soil.
Young Space Activities Overview in Australia
There are many opportunities to participate in Australia’s emerging space future. Contact one of your NPoCs to discover where you could fit!
School: Space schools happen in most states at a year 10 level. After this, it is possible to apply for the national space school at year 11 and the Australian Youth Aerospace Forum (AYAF) is held for motivated students in year 11 and 12. There are multiple competitions and award opportunities for high school students.
University: It is possible to apply to the Aerospace Futures (AF), join the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) student groups, participate in conferences, and become involved in various astronomy and space societies across the country. Final year projects at university over recent years have included small satellites, experimental supersonic ramjets, Zuni payloads, rocket gliders and more. If your university does not offer a space project, and you have an idea, look for support, put together a team and propose your own project! Use the penultimate year on-paper project to do the literature analysis and plan ahead. There is the opportunity for undergraduate space projects to be entered in the VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize and continued as a NASA intern over the summer. University students are the support staff running the Australian Space Development Conference (ASDC), and every even numbered year, there is the opportunity to volunteer for this.
Young professionals: Industry professionals meet up at various conferences and events during the year and with the ASRP projects there are ample opportunities for motivated young people to join teams.
Every odd numbered year, including 2011, the spectacular Avalon Airshow is held. National societies and organisations welcome new involvement and are very happy to be contacted by interested young people. Many public lectures, events, conferences, astronomy evenings, educational programs are held nationwide throughout the year and most are free to attend.
Country-Specific Events in 2011
- ISU SHS-SP, Adelaide (5 Jan – 4 Feb): The inaugural Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program (SHS-SP) has been launched in January 2011 by the University of South Australia (UniSA) in partnership with the International Space University (ISU). The SHS-SP is an intensive, five week, live-in experience in the southern hemisphere summer, involving the international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary educational philosophy for which ISU is renowned. The program is open to Australian and international students. There are three free public lectures for Education, Australian Space Future and an International Astronaut Panel on January 6th, 11th and 25th respectively.
- Applications for IAF Youth Grant due, Nationwide (1 Feb): Full scholarships for selected students and young professionals to attend the IAC2011 in Cape Town
- Analytical Graphics, Inc (AGI) Undergrad comp Project Proposal Submissions due, Nationwide (4th February:) Full-time undergraduate and graduate students are invited to demonstrate their creativity, problem solving and programming skills. Join aerospace professionals around the globe in creatively solving problems using AGI software! Entries are invited in three categories: STK Expert: Space; STK Expert: Land/Sea/Air; AGI Components libraries. First-place winners in the STK Expert categories will receive a $1,000 grant award and second-place winners will receive $500 each. For the Components category, the first-place winner will receive $2,000, second-place $1,000 and third-place $500.
- Australian International Aerospace Congress (AIAC), Melbourne and Geelong (28 Feb- 3 Mar): The Australian International Aerospace Congress (AIAC) series is the pre-eminent aerospace forum in the region, held in Melbourne every two years during the week of the Australian International Airshow at Avalon
- Avalon Airshow, Geelong (1-6 Mar): Industry-only trade sessions will be held Tuesday to Thursday (all day) and Friday will be both a trade and public day. The exposition will open each day from 9am until 5pm. The public is not admitted during the industry-only trade sessions, which are restricted to accredited industry, defence and government professionals. The show will open to the public on Friday 4 March (from 9am to 6pm), Saturday 5 March and Sunday 6 March (from 8am to 6pm). Associated industry and technology conferences, seminars and symposia will be held at Avalon and in Melbourne and Geelong during show week. A major Careers and Skills program for teachers, careers professionals and students will be conducted at Avalon during the event.
- Cut-off date for IAC2011 abstracts, Nationwide (2 Mar)
- Yuri’s Night, Nationwide (12 Apr): The World Space Party!
- Spaceward Bound Expedition, Pilbara Region (Apr): The mission of Spaceward Bound is to train the next generation of space explorers by having students and teachers participate in the exploration of scientifically interesting but remote and extreme environments on Earth as analogs for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. The US and Australia collaborate on this, and teachers from both countries are involved. Western Australian desert will be used in April 2011 and the US in July.
- Aerospace Futures Conference, Melbourne (June): University Undergraduate and Postgraduate Student Aerospace Careers Conference
- 25th General Assembly of the International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy, Melbourne (28 Jun-7 Jul): The Organising Committee for the 2011 IUGG General Assembly, on behalf of the Australian and New Zealand scientific communities, invites researchers world-wide to Melbourne, Australia in 2011, to participate in an exciting, multi-disciplinary conference on cutting edge science, presented by the eight scientific associations of the IUGG.
- Events in July:
- South Australian Space School, Adelaide: Year 10 Students
- Victorian Space School, Melbourne: Year 10 Students
- Northern Territory Space School, Darwin: Year 10 Students
- Australian Youth Aerospace Forum (AYAF), Brisbane: Year 12 Students
- Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC), TBA: All students, industry professionals and interested public are invited to attend
- SGAC Move an Asteroid Competition: Applications due, Nationwide
- Spaceward Bound Expedition, Mojave Desert: The mission of Spaceward Bound is to train the next generation of space explorers by having students and teachers participate in the exploration of scientifically interesting but remote and extreme environments on Earth as analogs for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. The US and Australia collaborate on this, and teachers from both countries are involved. Western Australian desert will be used in April 2011 and the US in July.
- Conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association (CONASTA), Darwin (10-13 Jul): CONASTA is the annual Conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association. (ASTA)
- VSSEC Engineering and Science Careers Expo, Melbourne (25 Aug): Yr 10, 11 & 12 Students are invited to attend. Staff and representatives from university and TAFE students and young professionals and volunteer interest is welcome. The VSSEC Engineering and Careers Expo is an annual event held in association with National Engineering Week and National Science Week. It brings together university and industry representatives to showcase the diverse range of study and career paths available across a broad range of fields. Students can explore interactive displays and listen to presentations from engineers and scientists from a wide range of disciplines. This event is free to attend.
- 11th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC), TBA (Sep): The ASSC is the primary annual meeting for Australian research relating to space science.
- Events in October:
- National Space Camp, Melbourne: To be held at VSSEC
- October long weekend: Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI) Zuni rocket launches, Woomera: The payloads typically include student projects. It is possible to attend and view the launches from the observation area, but security clearances are required so plan very early and contact ASRI to attend as public or the Aero departments UQ or UofA if you attend those universities.
- World Space Week events, Nationwide
- AIAA Region VII-AU Student Conference student papers conference, TBA: Final year undergraduate Australian University students who are undertaking an aerospace project for their project or thesis. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sponsors student conferences in each AIAA Region as a means to encourage students in aerospace related fields to discuss research, exchange knowledge, and generate interest in the field of aerospace engineering
- Cassini Scientist for a Day applications close, Nationwide: Yr 5-12 students are invited to submit a 500 word essay. The Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest is an opportunity for students around the world to learn about the Cassini mission to Saturn and earn the chance to ask the scientists working on the mission about their work. The winning entries will receive a certificate and participate in a web-based videoconference with Cassini scientists
- Australian Space Design Competition submission deadline, Nationwide: All current secondary school students have an opportunity to form teams of students, or individuals, to prepare a 40 page response to a “Request for Proposal” (or tender) for a major infrastructure project in space, eg. a space station to house 40,000 people located in the asteroid belt off Mars. In preparing the response, students develop skills and experience in research, technical analysis, design, team work, report writing and project management. The best 8 submissions will be announced in December 2011 and are invited to the Australian Final in January 2012 and the winning national team will represent Australia in Texas in July 2012.
- Events in November:
- Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum APRSAF (Pending confirmation of host country), TBA
- (Unconfirmed) November: APRSAF Australian National Water Rocket competition (Still waiting for confirmation that funding will be made available for an Australian representative. If there is funding a national competition will be held), TBA
- VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize (now also encompassing the EA Undergraduate Thesis Prize in Space Engineering), Ames Research Centre, Applications due (5 Dec): Offering an Australian university student the opportunity to attend one of three 10 week NASA Academy programs, or participate in a NASA affiliated summer program, and work with a lead scientist or engineer on a current NASA project. The VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize is open to all Australian undergraduate students completing their final or honours year at an Australian University in 2011. Applications for 2012 will close on 5 December.
Interesting Web Links for the Space Generation in Australia
Groups, People, Institutions
Australian Government Space Portal (including the SPU, ASRP and new Council information)
National Aerospace Resource Center
National Committee for Space Engineering
Australian Space Industry Chamber of Commerce (includes Australian space capabilities database)
Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC)
AIAA University of Sydney Student Branch
AIAA University of Adelaide Student Branch
Royal Australian Air Force's Aerospace Operational Support Group (Managers of the Woomera test range along with BAE System Australia trial support)
Kokoda Papers (see Brett Biddington’s papers on Australian Space -- excellent reads)
Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI)
National Space Society of Australia
Royal Aeronautical Society – Australian Division
Mars Society Australia (MSA)
Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA) (website going live soon!) For now, check out the AYAA’s AF Conference and AYAF.
Powerhouse Museum | Science + Design | Sydney Australia
HyShot ProjectCSIRO - Australia Telescope National Facility
South Australian Space School and National Space Camp: Woomera
(the majority of these Bachelor degrees can be combined with a double degree in Arts/Law/Computer Science/Science/Commerce/Economics/Mathematics). Also note that nearly all universities below offer PhD studies in the related fields.
The University of Adelaide, SA
Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace)
Bachelor of Science (Space Sc & Astrophysics)
The University of Sydney, NSW
Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical)
Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical)(Space)
Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)(Space)
Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic) (Space)
Master of Professional Engineering (Aerospace)
Bachelor of Science (Physics) with majors in Space and Solar Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of South Australia, SA
ISU SHS-SP International Space University Summer Space Program
Bachelor of Applied Science (Civil Aviation)
Bachelor of Geographic Information Systems
Bachelor of Geoinformatics and Surveying
Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) (Applied Physics)
Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Systems Engineering/Electrical and Mechatronic Engineering/Telecommunications/Electronic and Microengineering)
Monash University, VIC
Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace)
Bachelor of Science (Physics)
The University of Queensland, QLD
Aerospace is taken as a double major and is available in the fields of avionics (electrical systems), software systems, and mechancial engineering.
Queensland University of Technology, QLD
University of New South Wales, NSW
Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace)
Bachelor of Science (Physics) or Bachelor of Advanced Science (Physics)
Graduate Diploma in Physics
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, VIC
Aerospace Engineering – Bachelor of Engineering
Aviation - Bachelor of Applied Science
Aerospace Engineering/Management – Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Business (Double Degree)
Aviation Industry Management – Master of Aviation Industry Management incorporating Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate
Aviation Safety and Risk Management – Graduate Certificate
Aircraft Maintenance Management – Graduate Certificate
Aviation Supply Chain Management – Graduate Certificate
TAFE programs in Aerospace and Aviation Engineering
Australian Defence Force Academy, ACT
Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical)
Bachelor of Technology (Aeronautical)
Bachelor of Technology (Aviation)
Australian National University, ACT
Bachelor of Science (Astronomy and Astrophysics)
Postgraduate Research: Space Power, Plasma and Propulsion
Griffith University, VIC
Swinburne University, VIC
Associate Degree of Aviation
Bachelor of Aviation
Postgraduate Opportunities at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
LaTrobe University, VIC
Bachelor of Space Science
Curtin University, WA
Bachelor of Science (Astronomy)
University of Tasmania, TAS
Bachelor of Science (Physics)
University of Western Australia, WA
Bachelor of Science (Astrophysics)
Macquarie University, NSW
Bachelor of Science or Advanced Science major in Astronomy and Astrophysics