Last weekend was the National Finals of the 2023 UK Space Design Competition - Home - UK Space Design Competition (uksdc.org).
This competition has been running since 2008 in the UK and aims to get high schools students aged 14-18 excited about STEM subjects. Students participate in Regional events around the country during the school autumn term, and c.250 students were chosen to attend the National Finals which took place at Imperial College London. Students are combined in to four large teams of 50-60 people and learn to work together with people they have never met before, on a complex RFP worthy of a very mature aerospace and defence company!
This year, they were tasked with developing a space station 70 years in the future for over 2000 people, orbiting the Sun closer than Mercury, to study the extreme solar environment and also provide a means for commercial industries to generate revenue on board. They had to think about radiation protection, heat-resistant materials, lab-grown food, and all the other challenges of operating a closed-loop community in space.
Selected students from the winning team will be invited to represent the UK at the International Space Settlement Design Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, later this year.
Trisha, Investment Analyst at Seraphim, has been involved at the competition as a participant and now member of the Organising Board and judging panel, for over 8 years. Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim, was kind enough to join her on the judging panel this year, and share his expertise on the best way to entice investors with a profit-making business!
They were joined on the judging panel by engineering undergraduate and PhD students, long-time competition board members, the founder of the UKSDC Randall Perry, and Partner and Co-Chair of Patents at Dentons, Justin Hill.
Seraphim and Dentons also sponsored the first "Newcomers Only" UKSDC event in October 2022. One of the schools at this event ended up being part of the winning team at the Finals!
Congrats to all involved.