A Shoal Group graduate engineer who now calls South Australia home has been awarded a prestigious American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) award.

Meaghan Munro, a graduate engineer in Space Systems Engineering at Shoal Group, was presented the award at AIAA’s SciTech Forum in San Diego in January, for the delivery of her paper ‘Novel Optical Diagnostics for the Study of Shock Separation in Rocket Nozzles’.

Her research, undertaken at Monash University during her undergraduate degree, focused on studying a flow phenomenon that occurs in rocket nozzles using imaging techniques in the hopes of better understanding it and ultimately, preventing failure to engines.

Having placed first in the AIAA regional student research conference hosted by the University of Melbourne, Meaghan was sponsored to attend the 2022 AIAA SciTech Forum. She competed against seven other regional competition winners at the Forum, whose research spanned from spacecraft design and hypersonic trajectory optimisation through to experimental characterisation of plasma.

“For me personally this award really is just the culmination of my journey as a student,” Meaghan said. “I have always grappled with imposter syndrome and struggled to believe that I had what it takes to be a highly technical engineer. Winning this award has helped me move through that a little bit and it gives me confidence that I can tackle any challenge.”

Shoal Group Chief Engineer, Kevin Robinson congratulated Meaghan on winning the internationally respected award.

“This award demonstrates that Australian engineers have a lot to bring to the table and Shoal’s graduate program aims to develop high-performing people like Meaghan to keep delivering innovation, excellence and be the thought leaders of tomorrow,” he said.

Recently making the move to Adelaide to take on a role with Shoal Group, Meaghan is excited about her future career in the space industry.

“What excites me most about working in the space industry is how multi-faceted it is,” she said. “Space poses such complex problems that a truly multi-disciplinary and often transdisciplinary approach is needed.

“On top of that, in Australia specifically, the industry is so new so it’s evolving all the time and every day I hear about something new happening and I find that incredibly fascinating.

“From a technical engineering perspective, space poses so many unique challenges which drives innovative thinking – space engineers will never be bored!”

Along with her recently completed Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Aerospace

Engineering, Meaghan is a member of the AYAA National committee and Co-Founder and Director of the AYAA Astra Program.

South Australia is fast becoming a centre-of-gravity for the nation’s space activities and it’s exciting to see another bright star join our place in space.

Read more on Meaghan’s research.