Have you ever wondered what possible study pathways could lead you to a career in space?

We spoke to Natasha, an engineering and science student at the University of Adelaide who hopes to one day have a career as an engineer in South Australia’s space sector.

Well on her way to achieving that dream, read on to find out more about her studies and why she is so excited about a future in space.

Can you tell us about your course and what you’ve learnt while studying?

I’m studying a double degree – a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mechatronics and Robotics, with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Microbiology and Immunology.

The lectures and assignments have given me a foundation of the principles of engineering and science, but my most memorable learnings have come from participating in the university’s clubs and competitions. For example, participating in the NASA Space Robotics Challenge gave me insight into the many techniques used for the localisation and navigation of rovers.

What are you hoping to do once you graduate? 

I’ve got two more years before I graduate, so I’ll still working it all out!

I’m set on engineering and space, but I’m not sure whether I’d like to do a PhD or go straight into industry. My dream job is one where I get to develop new technologies in a workplace with a strong community.

What is the most exciting project you’ve been involved in?

Over the summer I was lucky enough to intern at Inovor Technologies. My main project was designing a Helmholtz Cage which was incredibly rewarding to work on. I cannot wait for the Inovor satellites to launch.

What do you love about having a future in the space industry?

Firstly, the development of space technology requires highly advanced engineering and science. This will require the collaboration of thousands of people around the world, which I love.

Secondly, space technology has the ability to improve the lives of humans on earth in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

What do you think makes South Australia’s space industry so special?

Having attended several space industry events, I’m always struck by how inclusive and unpretentious the South Australia space community is; people are genuinely interested in one another. Big names in the industry are always up for a chat, no matter who you are. I think South Australia being a ‘small town’ plays into this sense of community.

What piece of advice would you give to women and young girls who are considering a career in the space industry?

Space is an inherently fast-paced and challenging field so don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first. You might not know or understand everything right away but have faith that you can work it out.