Last updated October 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm
Daniel Williams is a young, keen engineering student who will be volunteering at the world’s largest space congress happening in Adelaide from 24 – 29 September. Here he writes about this astronomical opportunity.
The sleepy town of Adelaide, often referred to as behind the rest of the world, is now leading it by hosting the upcoming International Astronautical Congress (IAC), and I couldn’t be more excited.
Since I was young I stared at the skies, wondering what was out there, and how we could get there. I was inspired by television shows such as Thunderbirds, which taught generations of children to dream big, and build outlandish creations to help others. The IAC will see every large aerospace company in the world converge on Adelaide. Representatives from these organisations will present their research, skills and experience among a captive audience of passionate aerospace-loving delegates.
I became involved in the IAC through the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA), which aims to connect students with aerospace professionals through networking and professional events. They are also one of the major organisers of volunteers for the IAC.
The AYAA has been working hard over the past few months arranging the volunteers from around the country, and choosing the most qualified members to help.
With so many sessions and presentations occurring during the congress, volunteers become an essential component, assisting delegates with everything from directions through to running microphones. I feel privileged to be a volunteer for the congress, as I will be entrusted with ensuring the congress is enjoyable for the delegates, answering any questions they have and directing them to locations they wish to go.
Volunteering will be a rewarding experience and I’ll be able to introduce people to the beautiful city of Adelaide, and allow them to experience the congress at its full potential. Who knows who I may assist, and the opportunities which could arise!
From this congress, I’m hoping to learn about aerospace companies throughout the world, which will hopefully guide me into my career. I will get the chance to meet delegates from overseas, which could form into beneficial friendships later in life. The mission of the AYAA sums up what the congress is about, that is to “ignite passion and launch connections”.
Additionally, the AYAA will man a booth throughout the IAC to promote our activities to the world aerospace community. I have contributed to this by 3D printing hundreds of keyrings to give out to delegates.
Although volunteering will be a great experience, I would also like to see some of the presentations throughout the Congress. Obviously, my number one preference is Elon Musk, a true idol of mine. SpaceX are a courageous company, which many disregarded as insane, but they have managed to flourish, and exceed with their goals for affordable and reusable space transportation.
Some other presentations of note are relating to advanced material and additive manufacturing. This is the future of production, allowing for more complex designs. Additive manufacturing is truly transforming the aerospace industry, enabling companies to create efficient complex products with reduced mass.
I’m excited for the experiences of the International Astronautical Congress, and looking forward to the life changing experience to come.
Follow all the IAC 2017 coverage, including news and articles in the lead up to this astronautical event, and daily live videos during the Congress at australiascience.tv/iac-2017.