More than 200 ISU Alumni at IAC19 in Washington DC

The International Astronautical Congress IAC has been a major opportunity for ISU to showcase its growing alumni base: dozens of them presented papers with strong connections to recent Team Projects. Here is a summary of the most salient highlights of the week.

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Research lunches at ISU – come and discuss the latest space research!

The Central Campus of the International Space University ISU has started a new seminar series to discuss research related to space, performed within its walls, on the Parc d’Innovation d’Illkirch-Graffenstaden, or by our visitors and lecturers. Please join us for informal discussions!

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ISU Alumnus Göktuğ Karacalıoğlu Nominated SHSSP20 & SSP20 Director

The International Space University ISU is pleased to announce the appointment of Arif Göktuğ Karacalıoğlu as director of the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program SHSSP 2020 and Space Studies Program SSP 2020. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this demanding role.

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Our Programs

Master of Space Studies

Designed for students looking for the competitive edge that will help them obtain a career in the space sector, professionals interested in making a career move into or within the space sector, and researchers wishing to broaden their knowledge or make the move from academic life into the space industry.

Space Studies Program

Two-month course for postgraduate students and professionals of all disciplines. The curriculum covers the principal space related fields, both non-technical and technical. The shared experience of an international, interactive working environment is an ideal networking forum leading to the creation of an extensive, international, multidisciplinary professional network.

Southern Hemisphere Program

Intensive five week, live-in experience built around an international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary educational philosophy for which ISU is renowned. The program provides a multidisciplinary understanding of the key activities and areas of knowledge required by today’s space professions.

Executive Space Course

Provides an overview of space-related subjects for professionals of diverse backgrounds, including marketing, finance, law & contracts management. Professionals leave with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to communicate more effectively with their technical colleagues.

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“Three, Two, One,…”  the countdown on the screen has ended! The robot ventures onto the competition field. We are not talking about Curiosity or ExoMars, but Rich Wall E, the robot of Martina Russitano Lanza an ISU MSS16 student.

This year sees the biggest ever Lego robotics competition organized at ISU in collaboration with ENSIIE, consisting in 101 students split over 14 mixed teams. The objective to design, build, program and test a robot rover capable of avoiding obstacles, and then finding and collecting as many precious “gems” as possible hasn’t changed.
The pilot of each team, but one, is however in 2016 a woman!

Prof. Kazuya Yoshida, full professor in the department of Aerospace Engineering and Director of Center of Robotics for Extreme and Uncertain Environments at Tohoku University, Japan and co-leader for the fifth time in a raw of this competition, comments: “The percentage of women in science and engineering is still very small. Robotics and space exploration is a very exciting field. I am looking forward to more female contributions.”

robot competition2When it comes to gender ratio, engineering is one of the most highly imbalanced fields around. Not only are few women engineers working today, far fewer female students are entering space, science and technology-related fields compared to their male colleagues. And one of the fields where women are most strongly outnumbered is one that most needs diverse perspectives: robotics. The ISU Robotics Competition is a long-established and much loved part of the Masters program. It seemed like a good moment to speak with some female student roboticists about their experiences.
Martina has a background in physics and wants to go into robotics. She feels comfortable in a changing, but still male dominated sector and felt well integrated into the team. Her male team colleague, Misael Chagas, confirms: “Martina is our manager. She ensured the project ran smoothly!”

Martina, the advisee of Prof Hill, will be carrying out her three-month internship, as part of the Master of Space Studies program, at Tohoku University under the supervision also of Prof. Yoshida evidently in the field of robotics.

When asked “why did you name the robot Rich Wall-E?”, she responds “Wall E is a robot that swallows garbage, ours collects expensive gems!”.

Marie Isabey, a student in Computer Science at ENSIIE (École Nationale Supérieure d’Informatique pour l’Industrie et l’Entreprise) is very pleased with the choice of her education career, even if women are outnumbered. She is also happy to have had the opportunity to discover the ISU spirit and work together with international students, especially female ones on such an interesting and booming sector that robotics is.

Prof. Hugh Hill, leader of this workshop, and Prof. Stephane Genaud, director at ENSIIE, dedicated this competition, with affection, to the memory of two great men who touched our lives:

•    ENSIIE’s Mr. Martin Weil (1957-November 30, 2015)
•    ISU’s Professor Emeritus Nikolai Tolyarenko (1941-December 31, 2015)

All pictures and results of the MSS16 Lego robotics competition can be found HERE.


"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."

Carmen Felix - MSS10 -

"Attending ISU has been, for me, the ultimate eye-opening experience. Attending the Master of Space Studies allowed me to pursue my personal interests with a limit determined only by my imagination."

Diego Urbina - MSS09 -

"My space flight was the changing point in my whole life. Since my background was mechanical engineering, I did not know much about space, which led me to the International Space University."

Soyeon Yi - SSP09 -

"ISU is broadening the global space community and connecting New Space countries to old and mighty ones."

Mart Vihmand - SSP11&MSS13 -