The Spin Your Thesis! (SYT) programme of ESA Academy offers master and PhD students the opportunity to design, build and test their own hypergravity experiment in the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) in ESTEC. As it rotates, the LDC is capable of simulating the force of gravity up to 20 times larger than that we experience on the Earth’s surface.
The experiments can weigh up to 80kg and spin for a maximum uninterrupted session lasting 60 hours. ESA Academy encourages applications of students from a diverse range of backgrounds, such as life sciences, physics and technology demonstrations.
Throughout the SYT! programme, students will develop important scientific and academic skills, as well as skills that are important in industry, such as project, financial and risk management, problem solving and working with people from different nationalities. Data can later be published in relevant articles or presented at international conferences.
“It was an opportunity for them to experience something different, to meet other people from other countries and cultures, and to swap ideas. The world of the European Space Agency is very rich. They can help you in many different ways to complete your research.” says Elisa Masi, University of Florence, Italy, who led the HyperMEA team during SYT! 2015.
In addition, the students are supported by experts at the LDC who provide feedback on how to optimise the experiments. “It was a great experience both at personal and professional level because we could interact with ESA technicians and we could learn new techniques and how to work in a team,” says Antonella Rocca, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy, who was part of Team Osteo, another SYT! 2015 experiment.
“Everything about the programme is run at the highest professional level. This way, we can help to teach the students how to take part in the real world of space research. This will help ensure that Europe retains its leading space industry,” says Nigel Savage, programme coordinator for SYT! And other hands-on micro- and hyper-gravity programmes.
Want to know how to become a part of SYT! 2020? Click here for information on how to apply, eligibility requirements, rules and regulations and previous programmes. Eligible teams should submit an accurately completed Experiment Proposal before the deadline on 2 December 2019 23:59 CEST.
For further information please contact [email protected]
See here the 2020 Spin Your Thesis! programme schedule.
Any UK teams selected for these programmes will get some funding from ESA Education and can also apply to UK Space Agency for further funding towards the experiment build costs. Details here.