ISU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund welcomed over 160 ISU alumni, gathered for the International Space University’s annual alumni conference. It took place this year at TU Delft, The Netherlands, one of the three locations where the Space Studies Program SSP18 is hosted.
Over three days, from 27 to 29 July 2018 alumni had the opportunity to go on a cultural tour to discover The Netherlands, including a walking tour of Amsterdam. The highlight of the tour being an in-depth visit of the ESA ESTEC facilities in Noordwijk where more alumni awaited the group.
After the cultural tour, alumni were immerged into the SSP and relived for some, a cultural night. Others like Dutch SSP94 Rob Postema had chosen to invite a large contingent for a BBQ. The beautiful and warm evenings of the past few weeks, was perfect for that occasion!
On Saturday, which is when the actual conference took place, VP for North American Operations Steve Brody, SSP director Omar Hatamleh and Head of Recruitment and MSS alumn Nassim Bovet shared some of the latest news about ISU with the group.
Each year, ISU honors the memory of one of its greatest supporters, Dr. Gerald Soffen, with a lecture featuring a prominent visionary in the space sector. Few are more visionary than ISU's Vice-Chancellor and Head of the German Space Agency DLR, Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund. ISU alumni and SSP18 participants gave an energetic and warm applause to their Vice-Chancellor. The 270-seat auditorium of the brand new TU Delft Aerospace building was full to the last chair!
Once the networking lunch was over, alumni gathered back in what was the SSP18 core lecture hall a few weeks ago. They listened carefully to the 10 min talks that fellow alumni gave, on very diverse topics. Juan de Dalmau, an SSP89 alum and former SSP director, demonstrated that alumni could help ISU grow and help generate more visibility for their alma mater by having ideas, sharing them, implementing them, without necessarily spending any money. Egemen Ozalp represented the class of SSP08 who celebrated its 10th anniversary. Watch some of his classmates testimonies…
The feedback ISU received from the 2017 alumni gathering included the fact that there was no official time dedicated to networking. The organizing team took this comment into account and hired (for free) HR expert and former SSP host site director, Neta Vizel, to coordinate the networking session. It was the opportunity for the alumni and SSP18 participants to practice their elevator pitch, deepen their network and get to know each other. A real success!
The queue at the buffet of the grand dinner and later the space masquerade were other opportunities to mingle with new people.
Although the traditional football game was rich in goals, it was once again not in favour of the alumni and staff. Luckily an alumnus Pierre Evelin and his crew “Intelligent Satellites Reunited”, won the Space Masquerade group costume competition!
Rob and his SSP94 classmates can’t wait to come over to Strasbourg (SSP19) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their class, during the ISU alumni conference 2019!
Photo Credit: Ramon van Jaarsveld and Kavindi da Silva
SSP94 Rob Postema proudly wearing his SSP94 Team Project T-Shirt