Researchers

Stephen Ashworth

Researcher

Stephen Ashworth is an astronautical writer whose day job with a small publisher within the University of Oxford is focused on the 18th-century Enlightenment.  He has been convinced of the importance of space exploration and settlement ever since watching as a teenager the first televised moonwalks, and favours a gradual, step by step approach which relies on the complementary strengths of both government and commerce.  He writes an online blog called Astronautical Evolution, and shares a tiny Victorian house in East Oxford with a fine collection of saxophones.

George Calder-Potts

Researcher

I am a space enthusiast who is keen to get involved in space projects and is currently applying for various PhD’s involving astrodynamics, space propulsion or planetary science. My long term goal is to become involved on a Mars mission so I am hoping to build experience towards that goal. I feel that humankind needs to have a true space faring capability analogous to the voyages of discovery in the 1500s by the Europeans. Interstellar travel is some way off but that does not mean we cannot discuss it in the present.

I have a background in physics and theoretical physics during my undergraduate days and a masters in space technology doing a dissertation on space borne passive microwave radiometers. I have had a longstanding passion for space and the British Interplanetary Society talk at UKSEDS reminded me of thoughts I had in primary school and high school, before society shushed me with can’t be done – now I see that we should challenge society on what is possible.

Randy Chung

Researcher

Randy Chung has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and  Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1973. He is an experienced  engineer who started work with Hughes Aircraft in Southern  California, working in the Space and Communications Division. This included a role in a satellite called Marisat.

He then worked in the computer chip industry at Hughes, Western  Digital and Rockwell Semiconductor/Conexant. He is the founder and  CTO of an internet video delivery company called EdgeStream. He  enjoys solving interesting problems and inventing things, with 15  patents relating to integrated circuit technology, behind his name.  He is particularly interested in high energy GeV generator technology  and its applications to space flight. He lives in Southern California.

Damian Evans

Researcher

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Tim Gurshin

Researcher

Tim Gurshin is a junior majoring in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University.  He has always been fascinated by space, believing there is so much vastness in which to make discovery.  After several related internships, the last this year at NASA Ames Research Centre, he is joining the Institute for Interstellar Studies as a Researcher.  He recognises that accessibility and in-space propulsion still limit us to expensive missions within the solar system and our capability can and should be expanded for scientific benefit, human preservation, and the exploration of the unknown.  He finds the stars are even more tantalizing while remaining prohibitively far away; yet Tim sees the distance as a beckoning, a challenge and intends to fix that caveat through the design and implementation of advanced propulsion concepts.

Ideas like the Bussard Ramjet and its variants, and more exotic ones like the Alcubierre Drive fascinate him. These ideas have the potential to lead to revolutionary propulsion and he hopes to engineer interstellar travel as fast as possible.  He is inspired by Neil deGrasse Tyson who explains, a journey to the stars would yield a greater connection to our meta-home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU

Tim refuses to pass up the opportunity to expand our cosmic perspective and discovery.  He joins the I4IS’ Project Bussard Team.

Tobias Lugoloobi

Researcher

Tobias Lugoloobi is from Uganda and has a Diploma in Business Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Communication Studies from Makerere University.  He has a post graduate diploma in gender and peace studies from University of Southern Queensland, Australia and he has enrolled for the certified education in theoretical physics at the Open University of Sri Lanka.

The idea of researching space flight began when he was a child, although in his environment there was no history of such things.  Encouraged by his mother he dreamt of the world where he could achieve whatever he wanted and there was one thing which caught his imagination; space!

Tobias grew up in a Christian family where faith was a way of life. Along that way, he worked with people who introduced him to physics issues, such as the conservation of momentum and the theory of relativity. Most secondary schools in Uganda were ill equipped with good laboratories, and the school he attended didn’t even have a physics teacher. He didn’t really get the option of pursuing a career in physics, although his subsequent education proved to be a saving grace and by profession he is now a development worker. He has worked as a volunteer in many countries including, Uganda, Kenya, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and is currently working in East Timor, on gender issues with a Catholic charity organization called Progressio.  During his time he has consistently worked on his own ideas relating to new technological ideas in space flight and it is now his desire to align his career with his passion.  He feels that as part of this great institute for interstellar studies he will have the opportunity to do so.   He is excited to be part of the team and that the dream of interstellar travel will be driven by visionaries who explore beyond the conventional knowledge.

Michael Million

Researcher

Michael Million lives in Witham near Chelmsford, Essex, in the U.K. He has completed a higher national diploma in electrical engineering and an Open Degree through the Open University. He is currently enrolled to complete the Honours’ component of the Degree and a postgraduate diploma in ‘Technology management’ eventually towards an MSc. He has been interested in Space from an early age, his interest being tweaked by watching Sir Patrick Moore’s ‘The Sky at Night’.

He has a keen interest in Nanotechnology and its applications to space exploration and its colonisation. Michael works as an electrical technician for a service provider and in his spare time likes reading Nanotechnology magazines, Sci-fi, playing AD & D and reading fantasy books by Stephen Deas.

‘If we are ever to make the ‘leap of leaps’ from our shores to other stellar shores we must endeavor as never before to delve into the smallest of the small and fear not the overwhelming vastness of space or be intimidated into submission by the task before us. Our goal can only be achieved if we pour immense effort into it by applying our collective intellects, knowledge and letting go of the reins on our imaginations, only then can humanity proudly stand on those distant beckoning shores.’ – Michael G Million

Divya Shankar

Researcher

Divya Shankar received her bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology under Visweswaraya Technological University, Bangalore, India in August 2012.

Divya is currently working as a Research Associate in Project STUDSAT -2, India’s First Twin Satellite Project for the technology demonstration of Inter-Satellite Communications.  She is a core member of Project STUDSAT-2 and Subsystem leader of OBC (Onboard Communication System) and Ground Station System named NASTRAC (Nitte Amateur Satellite Tracking Center). She was associated with Project STUDSAT -1, India’s First Pico-Satellite as a Team Member. Project STUDSAT is in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). STUDSAT-1 was launched on12th July 2010 by ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C-15). She also has her name in the Limca Book of National Records for being associated with STUDSAT-1. The team won many National and International awards. She also made media appearances for being the first team lead by her to track and receive beacon from Indian Origin Student Satellites SRMSAT and JUGNU in October 2011. She represented the Students Community of India during the visit of French President Nickolas Sarkozy to ISAC, ISRO in December 2010. (www.teamstudsat.com)

Divya is also associated with ICARUS INTERSTELLAR as a Student Designer for Project ICARUS working in Communication and Telemetry Module. She is also a Leader for ICARUS Students Project “LONGSHOT II – The Next Generation” which is a revisit and redesign of Project Longshot. She attended the second 100 Year Starship Symposium which was held in Houston, Texas, USA in September 2012 and presented two papers on her current work on Interstellar Studies. She also won a prize for a presentation on Interstellar Travel at IEEE NMIT, Bangalore Section.  Divya has always been fascinated by Space and Astronomy. She aspires to do her higher education in Aerospace Engineering/Space Science and looks forward to having a career in Space Research.

Tom Pothecary

Researcher

I grew up in Carmarthen, Wales where I went to school. Whilst at school I showed great interest in science as it is fundamental to everything around us. I was always an aeroplane enthusiast and had trouble keeping my feet on the ground. After saving up for 3 years from 3 paper rounds I bought myself flying lessons up to my first solo. I then had to focus on A-levels where I studied Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Geography. The natural choice for my university degree was a science. I choose Geophysics since it incorporated all sciences and maths. It also gave me a chance to learn a lot more about the universe we live in and the planet we live on. I can now explain most things people ask me about our planet from birth to death. The latter is important since we cannot stay here forever. Over the 4 years of my degree it put everything in perspective and showed me how insignificant we are, yet how important we seem. The truth is there is a lot more out there to explore. My interest in space travel stems from a fascination with what else is out in space. Seeing satellites video our planet whilst speeding away until everything we are and know is a pin prick on a photo is a vivid memory for me. More research and effort is needed in space travel with some very challenging physics and energy problems to overcome.

In my free time I enjoy playing the piano and singing, Formula One racing, go-karting, financial trading/economics and travelling. Currently, I am looking for a job in the city involving Energy trading/research, since this industry is also fundamental to our future. I also hope to develop economical mining of asteroids in space.

I believe my purpose is to help push humans out further from our planet and since I am a piece of the universe talking I think the universe wants it too!

Maria Solomon

Researcher

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