As it has now become a tradition, the International Space University (ISU) combined the graduation of the Master of Space Studies MSS17 class with the opening of the MSS18 at the same time allowing for a networking opportunity for the newcomers.
This year, the networking event was amplified by Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence and Space, sponsoring a dinner the evening before to celebrate ISU’s 30th anniversary. Both were represented by Board of Trustees members Randy Sweet and Alain Wagner respectively. The Pavillon Josephine, within the beautiful grounds of the Parc de l’Orangerie was graciously put to ISU’s disposal by the City and Eurometropole of Strasbourg.
ISU President, Prof. Peeters kicked off the official ceremonies, introducing and thanking again the presence and work of ISU Dean Emeritus Prof. Becker. ISU MSS director, Prof. Welch than led the graduation ceremony and took the opportunity to present the graduates and audience with a challenge coin, a first at ISU.
At the graduation event speakers from different entities gave important messages to all the participants.
The vice-chancellor of ISU, Prof. Ehrenfreund, demonstrated as Chairwoman of the Board of the German Space Agency (DLR) the vision from an Agency point of view regarding future space activities stressing the trend of integrated applications.
BOT member Randy Sweet reflected the industry perspective and the continued support to ISU by his organization, stressing the fact that in one ISU session skills were trained in a short time which in the past took years to acquire.
For the local partners, Mrs. Trautmann recalled the interests of having ISU in Strasbourg and developed again her commitment to refurbish completely the ISU building, extending it with research and incubator facilities.
40 of the 45 scheduled participants for MSS18 presented themselves, expressing their reasons why they had chosen ISU for their education. The MSS participants come from 18 countries, with an average age of 29 years, 71% of them have previous work experience.
ISU President Prof. Peeters pointed out to the graduating class that recently a survey was made on the situation of MSS16 alumni. One strong request, based upon the experience of this survey, is addressed to all alumni, to pass on their new email addresses once they start in new activities (work or further studies). This causes unfortunately gaps in the networking function and a lot of background research efforts.
The survey of the MSS16 class is very promising. 95% of the graduates are involved in activities, whereby 33% have decided to do further studies (such as the MSS thesis year). It is remarkable that some also opt to broaden their knowledge in fields they were confronted with at ISU and obviously want to know better (such as life sciences).
With this encouraging news, the MSS17 class left ISU, with several of those alumni already having a contract in their pocket from organizations where they did their internship.
MSS17: have a great career and stay in touch with the ISU family!
MSS18: a warm welcome in ISU!