16 Jun 2017

STIS PhD Student Awarded Prestigious Emerging Space Leaders Grant

Matjaz Vidmar, a 2nd year STIS PhD student, has been awarded one of the prestigious Emerging Space Leaders Grants by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

Matjaz’s ESRC-funded interdisciplinary research project is examining the development of Space Industry in Scotland, in particular the emergence of innovation networks, the shaping of knowledge flows and the changes to the new product development processes.

He also working very closely with the Science and Technology Facilities Council, in particular on the development of the Higgs Centre for Innovation, a new innovation facility and business incubator at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, which will provide specific support for Space-related activities in Scotland.

The Emerging Space Leaders award is given annually to 14 leading students and young professionals in the fields of Space Exploration, Science and Industry and enables them to attend a cluster of events: the International Astronautical Congress, the Space Generation Congress and the UN/IAF Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits, which this year will be held in Adelaide, Australia in September.

Matjaz’s doctoral research has already been presented at major national and international conferences in his field and he has been selected to take part in the key Next Generation Plenary panel at the International Astronautical Congress as well as present in the congress’ technical programme.

Matjaz said: “I am delighted to be taking part at the International Astronautical Congress this year and I am looking forward to present my work on enabling innovation, building collaborations and unlocking the talent in young people, which are the three key themes of my presentations there.

“I am particularly proud to be presenting the exciting work done here in Scotland, which, as my research shows, in many ways crucially relies on academic excellence being embedded in local entrepreneurial community.

Prof Robin Williams, one of Matjaz’s supervisors, commented: “We are very proud and delighted that Matjaz was awarded this prestigious grant as a recognition of his academic and professional excellence. This grant will also provide an opportunity for him to develop further valuable skills and build extensive international networks in academia and industry, which will be very relevant for the developing Scottish Space Sector and its innovation cluster.

The IAF announcement: http://www.iafastro.org/emerging-space-leaders-2017/

More about Matjaz and his research: www.roe.ac.uk/~vidmar