One of the outstanding success stories of former ISU participants comes from Europe!
As one of the very few female students, at the time, of the aerospace and aeronautics sector Claudia Kessler participated in 1993 in ISU’s Space Studies Program. After graduating from the University of Munich, she held various positions in engineering, marketing and sales within German space companies including Kayser-Threde and Astrium, before accepting the challenge to put the company HE Space big on the Space map of Europe.Read more: Claudia Kessler - SSP93
It is always great to hear from successful graduates of the International Space University. We recently chatted with Debra Facktor Lepore, a participant in the 1989 Summer Studies Program (SSP) in space policy and law.
In January 2013, Debra became the vice president and general manager of Strategic Operations for Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. She is based in Arlington, Va., but spends a lot of time commuting to Colorado, where Ball is headquartered. In this new role, she is responsible for increasing the company’s profile in the aerospace industry and market as well as augmenting collaboration across the company.Read more: Debra Facktor Lepore - SSP89
Three Is of ISU Influential to 2013 NASA Astronaut Candidate Jessica Meir
Jessica Meir has become the first pre-flight, female graduate of the International Space University to be selected as a NASA Astronaut Candidate. Meir graduated from the ISU Master of Space Studies Program in 2000. However, much more than just a diploma was taken away, Meir explains:
The 3 Is of ISU [Interdisciplinary, International, Intercultural] certainly influenced my career, providing me with a foundation of knowledge in the space sector… This was the first time that my education was broadened into disciplines as diverse as space policy and law to space medicine and orbital mechanics, and all from an international perspective… My year in Strasbourg and the opportunities ISU provided to me have definitely helped me get where I am today, allowing my childhood dream to turn into a reality.Read more: Jessica Meir - MSS00
In 2009, I participated in ISU's Space Studies Program (SSP09), hosted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California. This was an incredible experience where I met inspiring people from around the world. Additionally, the Space Life Sciences Department activities, in particular the lectures and hands-on workshops in space medicine and surgical robotics, helped motivate my future research interests. After completing the SSP09, I continued on to the ISU Master of Space Studies Program, with an internship at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) near Munich, where I researched virtual reality simulation for minimally invasive robotic surgery with an emphasis on haptics and soft-tissue modeling.Read more: Dr. Tomas Hirmer - SSP09 and MSS10
“I graduated from the ISU 7-years ago on MSS04/05, and I'm pleased to say that the risk I took in taking my internship at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) over one of the internships offering job prospects really paid off. Of course, it was not without perseverance and hard work. Shortly after finishing the internship I took a PhD at the University of Southampton which had great facilities and industrial relationships with the ion propulsion field. I collaborated with JPL extensively over my PhD, looking at the complex failure mechanisms of ion thrusters.Read more: Angelo Grubisic - MSS05
Rachel Zimmerman’s life changed at the age of 12, when she was preparing a project for a school science fair. She developed a software program using Blissymbols and with the help of a computer and a special touch pad, people with severe disabilities are now able to communicate more easily with the persons around them. Her invention won first place in the London District science fair in London, Ontario, Canada, a silver medal at the 1985 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Cornwall (Ontario, Canada) and was showcased in Bulgaria at the World Exhibition of Achievement of Young Inventors.Read more: Rachel Zimmerman - MSS98
Victoria Alonsoperez is a 25 year old Telecommunications and Electronics Engineer. She graduated from the Universidad de la Republica (Uruguay), specialized in Aerospace Engineering. Her experience with the International Space University (ISU) started in 2011, after receiving a scholarship allowing her to participate in the 24thSpace Studies Program (SSP) taking place that year in Austria.
She took part in the 25th SSP in Florida, but this time as the Teaching Associate of the Engineering Department. Her best memories is the rocket launch that was organized on NASA Launch Pad 39-A. Indeed, she was part of the team that supervised the construction and the rockets’ launches of the participants of her department and collaborated with other faculties to build a scaled space launch system. This experience was very moving because it was from this legendary place that were launched Apollo and the Space Shuttles.Read more: Victoria Alonsoperez - SSP11
Andrea is now Editor-in-chief of the Space Safety Magazine, a magazine published by the International Association for Advancement in Space Safety (IAASS) and the International Space Safety Foundation (ISSF), which are both non profit organization promoting the safe and sustainable use of space.
In his role of Chairman of IAASS Information and Communication Committee, Andrea developed the magazine to promote the IAASS, the ISSF and their initiatives. Written by space safety specialists and by professional scientific journalists, the magazine targets the wider audience of those who have an interest, need or simply curiosity to know the current developments in the field of space safety and sustainability.Read more: Andrea Gini - MSS10
My Life after ISU
My life can be clearly divided between before and after ISU. ISU was a breaking point that created a world of possibilities in front of me. Since I was a kid, I was amazed by the stars, astronomy, astronauts, satellites and everything related to space. I knew since then that I wanted to become a space professional and be involved on that area every day. But then I had to choose a career, and space engineering was not available in my proximity, so I resorted to electronic engineering.Read more: Carmen Felix - MSS10
Attending ISU has been, for me, the ultimate eye-opening experience.
At the Space Studies Program, I had contact with some of the most professional and inspiring individuals that I've met, and got to work shoulder to shoulder with many people much more experienced than I was at the time. The pool of space knowledge that accumulates at an SSP is unrivaled and its influence was definitive in my transition from academy to the "real world".Read more: Diego Urbina - SSP08 and MSS09
Astronaut and ISU Alumn!
My space flight in 2008 was really the big changing point of my whole life. From the astronaut selection process until now, I could earn many precious experiences and still I am getting more and more. The most important mission of my space flight was 18 scientific experiments that were assigned by the government. Except experiments, since I should do so many performances during my 10-day stay, I had a very tight schedule.Read more: SoyeonYi - SSP09