Before entering the summer session program at the International Space
University, I only had a vague idea of possibly pursuing a career in aerospace or
international medicine. As a student, I spent the majority of my time studying medical
theory in classes--I had very little exposure to the practical uses of my medical degree.
Joining the summer session in Strasbourg and sharing that intense team experience with
such an eclectic and talented group of individuals (many of whom I keep in touch with on
a regular basis) truly inspired me to seek challenging opportunities in medicine. I left the
program with a clearer sense of purpose and a mind opened to possibilities.
Two years after leaving ISU, I graduated with my medical degree and was
accepted into the University of Torontos Royal College emergency medicine residency
program. Throughout my five years of training, I will be pursuing a subspecialty interest
in aerospace medicine with a special focus on international health. This is a relatively
novel idea in emergency medicine! Specifically, I will be focusing my studies on how
humans can improve the provision of emergent medical care at long distances under
harsh conditions. Not forgetting ISUs triple I philosophy, I hope to apply technologies
stemming from these studies towards improving access to health care services in
grassroots communities in the developing world. So far, my research interests have taken
me to rural communities in Nova Scotia, the academic stone halls of Oxford, and to the
impoverished shantytowns of Phnom Penh. And I look forward to many future journeys!
Tim Poon, SSP 2003, SSP 2004
At the three-year point since my SSP, I'm now in "the real world", as
a Radio Frequency Engineer for TELUS Communications in Toronto. While
my work is now non-space-related (dealing with RF for cellphones), I
wouldn't be where I am today without my ISU experience. ISU provides
an extensive opportunity to network with technology and policy leaders
from around the world, and the SSP environment is unparalleled.
Michel Alexandre Cardin, SSP 2003
After the ISU Summer Session Program in 2003, I traveled for nearly 8 months around
Europe, Eastern Europe, and North Africa with my fiancée. I came back to Toronto in
May 2004 and worked as a research engineer-physicist for the development of a
computer-assisted interface for breast conserving surgery. This work was done at the
Sunnybrook and Womens College Health Sciences Centre. In August 2005, I returned to
graduate school for a second masters degree in the Technology and Policy Program at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. I am currently studying how to
incorporate flexibility in engineering systems so that value (financial or other) can be
extracted from uncertainty. This value can be added by taking advantage of upside
opportunities, or by reducing losses in case of downside events, and be assessed using a
quantitative financial tool known as real option analysis. As part of my graduate course
curriculum, I am also working on a project in the Department of Aeronautics and
Astronautics at MIT, which aims at developing a model of international cooperation for
the US Vision for Space Exploration. This work is done at a certain level of collaboration
with the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University. During the summer
2006, I am going on internship at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School to
work on the economic value assessment of a project that aims at studying hydrogen
economy under nuclear fusion production. This project will build on academic
knowledge in finance from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and also in energy
policy at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Louis-Paul Bedard, MSS 1998
Je travaille présentement à l'Agence Spatiale Canadienne, à St-Hubert, près de Montréal.
Je suis depuis le 1er mai 2006, planificateur de mission pour le système du Télé-
manipulateur de la Station Spatiale (TSS). De formation, je suis ingénieur-physicien,
titulaire d`un baccalauréat de l`Université Laval avec une concentration et quelques
stages en traitement de signaux géophysiques. Je détiens aussi une maîtrise en physique
appliquée de l`Université de la Louisiane à Lafayette ainsi qu`une maîtrise en étude
spatiales de l`Université Spatiale Internationale (ISU), cette dernière située sur le site de
l`Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg en France. Dans le cadre de ce dernier diplôme,
j`ai effectué un stage au Japon, à Tsukuba, avec l`équipe du module Japonais de la
Station Spatiale Internationale (ISS), ce qui m`a amené à obtenir un emploi pour la firme
MacDonald Dettwiler Aerospatiale (MDA), le maître d`oeuvre du Télé-opérateur de la
Station Spatiale (TSS/MSS). Mes deux premières années corporatives eurent lieu à
Toronto, comme ingénieur de systèmes pour la mise en fonction de la salle de contrôle en
génie de soutien (ESC) située dans le Complexe des opérations de mission (MOC) à
l'Agence Spatiale Canadienne. J`ai ensuite été détaché à l`Agence Spatiale Canadienne en
2000, à St-Hubert, dans la grande région de Montréal, dans le groupe des opérations de
mission, où j`ai exercé la fonction d`analyste en dynamique pour le TSS pendant cinq ans
et demi, ce qui m'a amené à l'emploi que j'exerce présentement, celui de planificateur de
In 1996 I began my career in Space, I joined COM DEV International Ltd., the largest
Canadian-based designer and manufacturer of space hardware subsystems. COM DEV
designs and manufactures advanced products and subsystems that are sold to major
satellite prime contractors for use in communications, space science, remote sensing and
military satellites. As the Design Integrity Manager, a position that encompasses EEE
Components, Materials and Process Engineering, and Reliability and Safety Engineering
I had the opportunity to work in all of these areas of the company.
In 2003 I had the unique opportunity to attend and be part of the ISU SSP03 in
Strasbourg France. I didnt know at the time how influential that summer would be. I
gained exposure to many facets of the space business world, further deepened my interest
in space as a career, and most importantly had the pleasure of meeting and working with
107 individuals who shared my drive and interests. For nine weeks I was fully immersed
in discussions about the future of space with fascinating people from many different
disciplines, and countries.
Upon my return from the ISU I found that I was approaching my day-to-day activities
differently. Not only was I applying the practical knowledge I acquired at ISU, I was
engaging the new network of opportunities that was now open to me. The ISU alumni
are an endless resource of support, aid and general knowledge database.
Three short years later I am now the Director of Design Integrity, and am currently
responsible for strategic level decisions, as well as tactical issues. I do believe that the
broad and holistic view of the space industry that the ISU gave me was a contributing
factor in my career development.
Philomena Bonis, SSP 2002, SSP 2004, SSP 2005
The ISU SSP was by far the best professional development I have ever
experienced. I would encourage traditionally non space related
professionals in fields such as education, journalism and other humanities
to apply for this challenging academic and professional experience. The
International Space university has spawned a personal desire to see more
young people involved in science and technology with space as the vehicle of
instruction. ISU has provided the academic grounding, network of contacts
and focused initiative that I need to effectively attain my professional
Since completing the SSP in California I have taken students to the CSA in
Montreal, and the Grand Canyon to perform Mars simulant studies. I have
written and presented my first paper at the IAC and the International Lunar
conferences on behalf of educators on the topic of Education and Public
Outreach challenges. I have spoken at conferences to various audiences
about space, science, technology and goal setting. I have changed the way I
teach science to include numerous examples of how space affects our daily
lives in my own classroom. ISU gave me the tools and the confidence to
apply to NASA for the Educator Astronaut Program in 2004. My experiences in
the summer session program will now provide the strategy for my next quest
which is to be part of the private sector sub orbital companies initiative
to send teachers up into low earth orbit with the long range vision of
seeing significant increase in mathematics, science and technology
education. Long term literacy in these key areas will directly affect our
economic growth and competitive future. The international space university
taught me this because of its international, intercultural and most
importantly interdisciplinary approach to my education. This translates
daily in the manner in which I teach. I hope to fly in space one day but if
not me...one of my students will.
Sebastien Gorelov, SSP 2003, SSP 2005
I attended the International Space University Summer Session Program
in 2003, in Strasbourg France, after having completed a Bachelor in
Electrical Engineering at McGill University.
The Summer Session session program was a broadening introduction to
the different professional disciplines of the space industry and to
some of its most distinguished actors. The wealth of information and
human ressources encountered during this intense training program
helped me in many ways:
1. Coming from a more scientific background, I was mostly unfamiliar
with many of the other vital disciplines of the space sector. To only
name a few, the business, policy and law experts instructing at ISU
gave me an excellent picture of the framework and everyday issues of
the economical reality of spaceflight. More generally, the acquired
big-picture view is essential to any carreer-building decisions.
2. Fresh out of university candidates have a limited leadership
potential record to show employers for job application evaluation. In
my case, ISU gave me opportunities to test and develop my leadership
potential by taking important project responsibilites in front of my
peers. Rare are the opportunities to get a free chance at leadership
in a professional environment with room for error to learn.
3. Only experience can bring you the skills necessary to deal with
real-world working conditions in the international space industry.
This is what the Summer Session Program brings you with the Team
Projects. Negotiations conducted accross members of the most different
cultural and language backgrounds cannot be simulated. At ISU, it is
an everyday activity, and the students are thus exposed to the
caracteristic challenges involved.
4. Some argue that you learn the most from your peers. Some SSP
students are in fact very experienced and talented. What a great
learning opportunity this was for a new graduate like me! Because we
go through the same process, it is extremely valuable to watch first
hand how senior managers go about problem solving. This experience
helps me in my carreer almost every day.
5. The opportunity to develop and maintain a network of contacts with
influencial space actors and decision-makers is unparalleled. No other
industry celebrates the dream of spaceflight like the space industry
does through ISU. Here national boundaries are erased so that
enthousiastic participants are linked with experienced mentors. When
it comes down to reference letters, article writing and job-hunting,
influencial people help a lot.
6. I wanted to fly in weightlessness, and my experience at ISU helped
me do just that. By getting the right information and the right
contacts, we submitted an parabolic flight experiment to ESA and were
in Bordeaux flying 5 months later!
Since ISU, I completed a Science Master in Aeronautics and
Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technoloy and now serve
in the Canadian Air Force.
After ISU, I applied for a provincial award called the Martin Walmsley
Fellowship for Technological Entrepreneurship. The award is worth $100,000 and
goes to a grad student who wants to commercialize technologies developed during
their grad work. More information can be found here ...
I was the only winner in 2005 and used the money to start a company called the
Glass Onion Corporation. Our website is www.glassonioncorp.com
Our two major objectives are to market a device I invented called the Pungometer
and to be the first Canadian producer of 'clean garlic seed'. The Pungometer is
a simple device that meaures how 'hot' and onion or garlic is. This will allow
all onions produced in Ontario/Canada/International markets to be graded for
pungency ... no more super-hot onions in your salad! We envision a scale that
would sort onions into mild, medium and hot. Each has a unqiue market ranging
from fresh consumption (mild ones) to spice production (hot ones).
Clean seed garlic is a type of garlic seed that is free of viral and fungal
agents (garlic is cultivated by planting cloves in the fall, the cloves are
called the seed - similar to the way potatoes are grown). Garlic cloves
produced from clean seed are often twice the size of infected seed and annual
yields can be increased by up to 50%. There are currently no producers of
clean seen in Canada, Glass Onion intends to be the first.
We are currently looking to buy a facility to setup shop. This will happen very
soon as we have just recently acquired investors who are helping us reach our
For more information about our products and plans, please check out the website.
There is a news section that I add to on a regular basis.
Arthur Prévot SSP 2003, SSP 2004
I think I am one of the many ISU alumni I know whose professional development is
linked to ISU.
I knew that I would enjoy participating in the SSP when I first heard about it in 2001.
That became true in 2003 when attending the program in Strasbourg, France. I was
pursuing a Master of Science in the field of Robotics at the time. Since then, I missed
very few opportunities to be involved in the community. I participated in the SSP04 as a
Teaching Assistant in Adelaide, Australia. I co-organized the alumni part of the SSP05
and I became an active member of CAISU (the Canadian Alumni of the International
I am now a Robotics Mission Analyst, working for MDA on the operation of Canadarm2
at CSA (Canadian Space Agency). My work consists of setting up the robotic arm for
each phase of future shuttle missions to the ISS (International Space Station), analyzing
operations, and providing support during real-time operation. I do not know if I would
have got that job without attending ISU. However, if I recall that almost half employees
from my department are also ISU alumni, I guess that it helped a lot.
Indeed, I am glad that ISU helps me at a professional level, by being in contact with other
alumni working on the ISS project, by learning about friends starting venture in the space
But most importantly, ISU allowed me to make good friends who I enjoy
meeting on a regular basis.
Bruno Sylvestre SSP 2002, SSP 2004
I knew from long ago that I didn't want to follow a classical path in my life... I think in general, I
knew what I didn't want for a career but I didn't know exactly what I wanted Classic! I had some
interests in science and technologies and also I was particularly interested in aeronautic and
space. I didn't have any model to follow and I wasn't sure about what I could do for living. And
this is how I decided to become an engineer!
I enrolled myself in a mechanical engineering program at École polytechnique de Montréal, which
I successfully completed in four years. I took part in the space and technologies specialisation
program, which gave me an introduction to the space sector applied to engineering.
Already during my studies, I knew I wanted to travel and learn about other countries and cultures.
As part of my bachelor degree, I expatriated myself in Sweden for almost half a year to complete
part of my studies abroad. I had the chance to taste the intercultural and international
Combining my thirst of the World and my quest for space; I discovered ISU just before the end of
my bachelor degree. Three weeks later, I submitted my application to both ISU programmes
offered at the time (i.e. SSP and MSS). Luckily enough, I was accepted to both and also I was
awarded a scholarship to cover half of my tuition fees. I jumped right away on that unique
What a dream: travelling to California and Europe while having the chance to meet top notch
scientists, engineers, doctors, journalists, law makers and so on all passionate about space like I
was! I couldnt ask for better!
My year and a half at ISU brought a lot to my life. In addition to learning loads about space (i.e. I
realised that there were many more people involved in space than a bunch of crazy engineers!); I
was able to establish a vast and top quality planetary network on which I could rely on daily. That
is probably the most important asset you have after ISU is over. In fact, it can remain never over if
you know how to let the candle lit.
Despite the fact that the return home was much more difficult than expected, I'm glad I followed
that path. Indeed, it took me roughly a year and a half before getting my current position at
Neptec I think this was the hardest of all in my path to my career I was, for a while, on a
double downhill slope ISU was over (that kind of unrealistic setup* that has nothing to do with
real life) and no job prospect for a long time I even had to start another Master to keep me busy
and enhance my chances of getting hired somewhere...
After long efforts of job hunting while keeping me involved in the ISU family, I finally got my
DREAM job! It's been over a year now that I work for a company called Neptec as an operations
and systems engineering specialist. I do stuff I am the best at for the moment: a bit of everything!
Neptec is specialised in offering vision services to various customers mainly in the space and
defence markets. Our major client is NASA and the manned spaceflight programme. My tasks
range from system testing to mission support and from engineering analyses to procedure writing.
It is a great young and dynamic environment in which it is easy to evolve. I would recommend it to
anyone that is go-getter and self-motivated!
In addition, my company gives me the opportunity to officially keep contact with ISU by sending
Alumni (i.e. yes, we are more that one Alumni at Neptec) to conferences and ISU events.
The path you take to achieve your goals is really yours and it pertains only to you to follow it. The
most important is to believe in what you do and go for it! Your life is yours and you only have one
to live so you'd better take advantage of it! NOW!
Why ISU is an unrealistic setup? First, when you are at ISU, you don't really work because it is fun and the projects are
mainly academic (they then could become real world application but that is not the original intent). Second, all those
people that you work and party with are all from different countries and cultures and no international boundaries exist
between you and them (apart from the virtual cultural boundaries that are more or less easily breakable). However, when
you come back home, you realise that the international boundaries really exist and could become real hurdles for real
projects (which is sad).
Christyne Legault SSP 2004
Tout au long de mes années dexpérience en enseignement, jai toujours gardé une place
importante à la promotion des sciences et plus particulièrement aux sciences de lespace.
De 1995 à 2001, jai travaillé à lécole Fernand-Seguin, la seule école primaire à
caractère scientifique de la grande région de Montréal Jétais enseignante ressource en
science et je développais toutes les activités en science pour les classes de la 1ère année à
la 6e année du primaire.
Jai participé régulièrement avec les élèves à différents concours et activités offertes par
lAgence spatiale canadienne. (ASC) En 1996, ASC a organisé le concours CAPE
(Expérience canadienne sur la cristallisation des protéines) destiné aux élèves du primaire
et du secondaire. Dix-sept projets ont été réalisés à bord de la station MIR, douze de ses
expériences étaient dorigines québécoises dont six conçus par des élèves sous ma
supervision. Jai participé également aux projets Canolab, Marsville et Tomato sphere,
tous des projets supportés par lASC. En août 1998, je fut la seule Canadienne à assister à
la formation de International Space Camp for teachers en Alabama. À cette formation, je
fus honoré de la médaille « The right stuff » comme étant celle qui cétait démarqué pour
son potentiel et son implication au cours de la formation.
De 1996 à juin 2005, jai été responsable du Festival des sciences de la Commission
scolaire de Montréal. À chaque année, cette expo-sciences de grande renommée, tient son
événement au complexe Desjardins du centre ville de Montréal. De nombreux
scientifiques et personnages importants du milieu des sciences sy donnent rendez-vous.
Cest une expérience enrichissante pour les élèves du primaire et du secondaire ainsi que
pour leurs enseignants. Dans ces fonctions de coordonnatrice, je dirige un comité de 18
membres, je développe et organise lexpo-science, je supporte et accompagne les
enseignants des écoles primaires et secondaires dans la mise sur pied de leur projet en
science, je crée un partenariat entre les établissements de la formation professionnelle et
les écoles dans la conception de leur projet en science. Je suis également responsable de
la revue scientifique du Festival des sciences qui publie 50 articles écrits par des élèves
du primaire et du secondaire. Je donne régulièrement de la formation aux enseignants du
primaire et du secondaire sur la démarche scientifique et lélaboration dun projet en
Depuis octobre 2003, je suis chargée de projet à lécole des métiers de laérospatiale de
Montréal pour le développement dun projet de sensibilisation aux sciences. Ce projet
denvergure canadien, ce veut dêtre lintégration de 10 domaines en science dans un
simulateur de la station spatiale. Un environnement unique à la fine pointe de la
technologie permettant aux élèves et aux enseignants de découvrir les spécificités des
sciences de lespace et le plaisir dy intégrer tous les domaines scientifiques. Une station
spatiale construite dans une roulotte de 60 pieds pouvant accueillir à son bord 30 élèves à
la fois pour une mission dune journée complète.
Parallèlement à mon travail, jai toujours demeuré très active dans le domaine des
sciences. En septembre 1998, jai rédigé des activités pédagogiques pour le Centre
denrichissement en micro-informatique scolaire sur la culture hydroponique en lien avec
les sciences de lespace. En 2000, jai participé au reportage vidéo sur la pédagogie et les
sciences au primaire en collaboration avec le ministère de léducation. De septembre
1999 à tout récemment, jai rédigé 3 manuels scolaires en science pour le primaire. Ces 3
manuels ont été approuvés par le ministère de léducation, conforme au nouveau
programme. En mai 2003, jai rédigé un scénario pédagogique daccompagnement pour
les enseignants lors de leur visite au Centre des sciences du Cosmodôme de Laval.
Présentement, je travaille à lélaboration dune trousse pédagogique pour lAgence
spatiale canadienne concernant lutilisation dun satellite dans la prévision
météorologique à long terme.
Les comités et les conseils pédagogiques sont aussi pour moi un autre moyen efficace de
faire la promotion des sciences auprès des enseignants. En 1998, jai siégé au conseil
dadministration de lAssociation des professeurs de sciences du Québec. De novembre
2002 à février 2005, jai siégé au conseil dadministration de lAssociation des
enseignants et des enseignantes du primaire.
En terminant, lété 2005, je faisais parti des 10 canadiens à recevoir son diplôme de
lUniversité International de lespace. Ces connaissances que jai acquises en sciences de
lespace sont à tous les jours réinvesties auprès des élèves et des enseignants que je côtoie
afin de leur transmettre le plaisir de faire des sciences.
Talmon Firestone SSP 2002, MSS 2003
The very first time I became interested in pursuing a career in the space industry, it was
when I learned about the potential of Lunar Helium-3 and nuclear fusion technology.
From this basis, my interest in the space industry grew and soon afterward I completed
my Master of Science at the International Space University. Prior to that, I completed a
Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Entrepreneurship from Ryerson University.
The education I received from ISU provided me with everything I needed to know to
begin my career and more importantly, the international ISU network has been an
unparalleled resource that I have continued to utilize since my graduation. In a poetic
turn of events, I am now the Vice President and North American Representative of NSD-
Fusion GmbH. We manufacture long life nuclear fusion reactors for industry as neutron
and proton generators. While at this time we are focusing on terrestrial markets, our
technology will soon find itself connected to the space industry in more than one way.
There is a strong potential for the technology to be used as an activating source for sub-
critical fission power systems based on Thorium fuel for space power systems. As well,
we plan to develop a medical P.E.T. isotope production system that will utilize Helium-3 as
a fusion fuel, thus creating a present day terrestrial demand for this valuable lunar
resource. Without my education from ISU, my success in this field would surely have
been more difficult to achieve.
I graduated from the MSS program in 2004. I learned of ISU through a friend
and colleague while in my last year of university at Embry-Riddle in Arizona.
In the summer I took a trip to visit ISU, and found exactly what I was looking
for studying space at the Master's level, in a foreign country at an
International school; I applied immediately.
ISU has opened doors for my career. After graduation, while attending the
IAC in Vancouver, I realized the value of the presence of ISU folk at a
space event, and many of my classmates were present. As a staff member
of the core SSP '05 team in Strasbourg, my ISU community strengthened.
I recently joined MDA Space Missions in the systems engineering group posted
at CSA a position I'm quite satisfied with. While it took over a year to
obtain my current position, it was the help of ISU colleagues within the company
that made it possible they were my eyes and ears who helped identify who
I should speak with to learn more about the position, and helped better communicate
my interest and qualifications. Since my graduation, I have taken a leadership
role on the CAISU board, helping produce a newsletter for the
Canadian Space Society (CSS), and co-chairing our bi-annual NSAW
conference in 2006 which allowed me to interface with other
space professionals and future potential candidates for ISU.