Space enthusiasts selected for GB team

A third of this year’s British team competing in an international space design contest will comprise QE students, after four Year 11 boys were chosen to be part of the 12-strong team.

David Dubinsky, Eugene Lin, Andrew Von Maydell and Daniil Slavin will travel to the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in the USA in July to take part in the final. The four won the West London regional competition, thus qualifying for the national competition, which took place at Imperial College, London. More than 200 students competed in the national final.

“It is a real accomplishment that four QE boys have been selected for the British team,” said headmaster Neil Enright. “They have done exceptionally well and I wish them all success in the international competition in America, which represents a tremendous opportunity for them.”

The annual competition is organised and funded by the Imperial College’s Space Science and Engineering Foundation, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the UK Space Agency.  The students were divided into four teams of 40-50 students; each team had to select a president, two vice-presidents, and heads of department. Andrew Von Maydell was elected president of one team and Daniil Slavin was elected head of operations.

""The teams were required to perform as if they were a professional company, and furnish a proposal to design and build a settlement on an asteroid. The proposal had to cover structural design, operations and infrastructure, automation design, as well as human factors such as services, living arrangements, entertainment and food production for the inhabitants. Their proposal had to be researched and costed, then submitted to a panel of judges.

Nine students were selected for the British team by the 40-50 members of the UK winning team in a secret ballot. The remaining three were chosen by the CEOs and technical advisors who were at the UK final.

The International Space Settlement Design Competition, commonly known as Spaceset or I-SSDC, will take place at the end of July and features teams from India, the USA, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Argentina and Romania. During the four-day event, the organisers hope to create an authentic experience of working as part of an aerospace company's proposal team.

The students will have to design a city in space that will house over 10,000 people, demonstrating creativity, technical competence, management skills, space environment knowledge, teamwork, and presentation techniques. The teams will work alongside professional engineers who will share both their knowledge and experience in engineering and management. In addition to presenting their ideas to a panel of judges, they will have to create a 40-page report which communicates their ideas and designs.