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Community Notes

Community Notes


In January this year, I had the opportunity to work with seven other High School students on a special Space Industry Research Project at the University of Adelaide. Dr Sarah Baker, Further Education and Pathways Program Manager, facilitates such opportunities for students interested in space careers. She commenced the program in 2019 which involved an application and selection process. I was one of a number of short listed students for that year, however because of COVID and my specific interest in space medicine, the opportunity for me to participate in a specialised space medicine experience did not eventuate until earlier this year.

During the project, we heard Professor Volker Hessel from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science and his team of researchers. We were divided into three groups and I was partnered with one other student who had completed Year 12 at the Glenunga International School. We worked with Dr Hung Nguyen on his topic, ‘Predicting mimicked moon medicines with Graph Convolutional Neural Networks (GNN). His research involved a strong focus on chemistry, mathematics, and python coding. We were required to review the latest scientific literature, partake in lab experiments, and develop sufficient knowledge to deliver a final presentation to the audience compromising of academics, space agency personnel and our families. In addition to immersing ourselves into the research topic, we visited Lot 14, which included guided tours through Inovor Technologies and the new Space Discovery Centre.

Participation in this project provided me with invaluable insights into the space industry and how scientists are using their STEM knowledge, creativity and innovation to work on projects that will help change the future for the better. I realised space medicine is a fascinating and growing field, and working in this sector would enable me to operate at the boundaries of exploration, science, technology and medicine.

Patrick Rawlins (12PC-01)




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