Published: 26 March 2015

Surrey hosts National Student Space Conference

Over 300 students, academics and professionals from across the space sector got together for a weekend of networking and talks by key industry figures.

The National Student Space Conference (NSSC) is organised annually by UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS), the UK’s student space society which unites space enthusiasts at universities across the country.

NSSC 2015 – which took place from 28 February to 1 March – was hosted by Surrey Electronic and Amateur Radio Society (EARS) and was the biggest conference yet in the event’s 27-year history.

The conference included a range of stimulating presentations from influential figures in the industry. These included Matt Taylor of the European Space Agency (ESA), who spoke about the ESA’s Rosetta mission to land on a comet, Jeremy Nickless of Reaction Engines Ltd on the engineering behind the Skylon/SABRE engine, and Dr Susan Jason, who presented the history of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Surrey Space Centre researcher Dr Chris Bridges shared his career path, demonstrating that academia and extracurricular activities represent a viable route into the space industry.

NSSC 2015 also played host to Bridget, Airbus Defence & Space’s prototype Mars Rover, which was accompanied by keynote speaker and Surrey alumna Abbie Hutty, who is a Spacecraft Structures Engineer on the ExoMars Rover Project.

The annual conference is aimed at providing a platform for UKSEDS members to network with each other to help build a vibrant and connected future for the UK space industry, and to enrich attendees technically through a wide range of physics, industrial and engineering talks. It also enables UK space students to engage with industry contacts who may in the future help them to find internships or employment.

Abbie Hutty commented, “The National Student Space Conference is an outstanding event and it’s great to see so many enthused students engaging with the future of the UK space industry.”

Speaker and Trustee for UKSEDS Jeremy Nickless added, “It’s been a fantastic conference, definitely the best one we’ve had.”

Other delegates took to Twitter to express their appreciation for the event, including third year bioscience student from the University of Reading Isla Stevens, who tweeted, “Fantastic weekend comes to a close – walking away very excited about the future. Watch this space!” Craig Brown, Lead Technologist for Space at InnovateUK tweeted, “Really enjoyed UKSEDS #NSSC2015 – wonderful to see such an enthusiastic and vibrant student space community. The future’s bright!”


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