Battelle Center students present research in Australia at the world’s largest gathering of aerospace professionals
Recent research affirms (yet again!) that employers prize graduates who can communicate well, are creative, know how to collaborate, appreciate the value of other disciplines, and are culturally competent. [The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030]

The International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide, Australia provided a perfect opportunity for Battelle Center students to cultivate and showcase exactly those abilities.

Six graduate and undergraduate students Nick Salamon, Jon Grimm, Andrew Steen, Ariadna Martinez-Gonzalez, Kayleigh Gordon and Samuel Malloy — rose to the challenge of designing their own research projects, capturing the results in a manuscript, and delivering a compelling oral presentation. Their work had to be competitively selected for presentation by the International Astronautical Federation, the world’s oldest and largest professional association for aerospace. The students’ proposals competed in an ‘open field’ with those of working professionals.

Click here to read the students' abstracts

The students spent the summer doing the research and then practicing the presentation before audiences, developing networking skills, and learning about the practicalities of traveling abroad. Kayleigh Gordon’s presentation was delivered by co-author because she was part of a White House internship program in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

At the Congress, they enjoyed private meetings with acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot and Bill Nye the Science Guy, President of The Planetary Society. They also interacted with executives of space agencies and companies from around the world, in addition to enjoying dozens of technical research sessions and a presentation by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Two of the students made the semi-finals for best Interactive Presentation in a field of over 150.

The aerospace industry is highly multi-disciplinary, and the students’ work reflected that. Their projects included:
  • a memorial paper for U.S. Senator and Astronaut John Glenn in the history session
  • a feasibility study for evaluating the effectiveness of agricultural policy in Mexico using satellite Earth observations
  • case studies to explore whether we can predict emerging infectious disease outbreaks by using satellite Earth observations and how predictors could be incorporated into the policy system
  • an analysis of Chinese launch vehicles and their market position
  • an exploration of virtual reality applications’ value for sustaining astronauts’ long-term mental health
  • a concept for an in-orbit space tug that can move cargo around as a ‘delivery service’.
Student reactions say it best:
  • “The IAC has been the highlight of graduate school! Thank you for making it happen.”
  • “It is all about relationships! The more I progress in my career, the more I understand that creating, maintaining, and strengthening relationships create opportunities and make life more interesting.”
  • “Pretty freaking awesome!”
  • “It was really surprising how friendly the most important people in the industry are. Everyone was very accessible.”
  • “The conference opens opportunities to connect with people doing similar things in the world. It’s really exciting.”
  • “It was massive in every dimension: technical content, culture, networking, like-minded peers, exhibitions, ideas and plans, big names.”
  • “We were not just meeting heroes in the field. I took the most away from our meetings with other students in the field. A lot of Australian students were very impressed at what we [Ohio State] could do, it is a real confidence-boost. We absolutely deserve to be there.”

Battelle Center grad student lands White House internship

Congratulations to Battelle Center graduate student Kayleigh Gordon (Engr’19) who has been offered a student internship at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House.

Gordon is a masters’ student in aerospace engineering, ‘bitten’ by the public policy bug thanks to courses in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Most recently she has been assessing China’s space launch vehicles at the Battelle Center, and this summer went to Beijing for the Global Space Exploration Conference.

In 1976, Congress established the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to provide the president and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics. OSTP also leads interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the president with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the federal government.

Buckeye Space Launch Initiative wins first place in rocket competition

The Buckeye Space Launch Initiative won first place in the 30k Student Researched and Designed rocket competition at the Spaceport America Cup at Spaceport America, New Mexico. Their rocket reached 23,224 feet and landed and landed safely with its commercial payload — a GPS telemetry system — from a private sector partner, RadioBro. Nic Flesher, a Battelle Center student, is the project manager for the team.

The intercollegiate rocket engineering competition attracted 110 teams from across the world to the four-day event. This is the only competition where students can launch anything so large, high and fast.

Battelle Center receives grant to develop Sino-American space conference

The Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy has been awarded a $40,000 grant to host and support the first ever Conference for Sino-American Cooperation in Outer Space. The grant was given by The Ohio State University's China Gateway and the Office of Outreach and Engagement, partners in the Connect and Collaborate Grants Program.

The inaugural conference on will be held at Ohio State in the summer of 2018 and will bring together Chinese and Ohio State students and professionals where they will develop ideas for a joint space application project. Subsequent conferences will alternate between Ohio State and China. The conference goal is to foster a better understanding between the U.S. and Chinese space communities, laying a foundation for future cooperation.

Cuts to scientific research portends a lost generation of innovation

Professor Caroline Wagner has an editorial in The Hill, a newspaper in Washington, D.C., that focuses on politics and policy. She and co-author, Deborah Stine, Carnegie Mellon University, examine the impact of funding cuts to scientific and engineering research.

Learn More

Armstrong Space Symposium

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering sponsored the first ever Armstrong Space Symposium at the Ohio Union on Monday (5/8/17). The daylong event honoring Neil Armstrong featured panel discussions with Apollo astronauts, NASA, and other space agencies, as well as a keynote address by Dr. Michael D. Griffin, CEO of Schafer Corporation and a former NASA administrator.

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Horack leads U.N. symposium

Professor John Horack moderated an International Astronautical Federation symposium at the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space meeting in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday (2/8/17).

The event, titled “What is at Stake in Space in 2017 and 2018,” began with an introduction by International Astronautical Federation President Dr. Jean-Yves LeGall, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Sandy Magnus, president of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. A moderated panel with seven speakers addressing "Views on Space — Why We Go" followed. In the last segment of the event, Prof. Dr. Johann-Dietrich Worner, director-general of the European Space Agency, delivered a keynote address that then led into a moderated panel discussion on "International Benefits from Space."

'Hidden Figures' panel discussion

Following Tuesday's (2/21/17) screening of the movie "Hidden Figures," Dr. Elizabeth Newton, director of the Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy, moderated a Facebook Live panel discussion on race, gender, leadership and the importance of diversity and gender equity in the private and public sectors.

Watch the video