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Curiosity spark

“Being in a team is not only about the good stuff — it’s about having to deal with people while working through hard times.”
February 8, 2019
By Damon van der Linde

Emmanuel Papanagiotou, BEng 17, is an MAsc candidate at the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies.

Emmanuel Papanagiotou Emmanuel Papanagiotou, fourth from right, is pursuing an MASc at the Space Flight Laboratory at University of Toronto's Institute of Aerospace Studies. He says Space Concordia taught him the benefits — and challenges — of being part of a team.

How did your time with Space Concordia influence your career choice? 

Emmanuel Papanagiotou: “I always liked the space industry and would follow the news about it, but I can’t say that when I started university I knew that was the field where I wanted to work. As an undergraduate I was very involved at Space Concordia and spent a lot of hours in the lab. I was working on the Aleksandr Satellite, where my main role was the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem. It was a small team, so I needed to take initiative for pretty much everything, including talking to companies for procuring materials. Space Concordia is not only good for technical skills but also for networking. It has a big network and a big agenda of activities for outreach, which attract other students as well as people from academia. We were invited to a handful of presentations by the Canadian Space Agency and they talked about the industry and what kinds of professions you can follow. All these things sparked my curiosity to work in this interdisciplinary environment while pushing the envelope a little bit — it resonated with my own personality.”

What was your most remarkable Space Concordia experience? 

EP: “The biggest highlight was when we won first place in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge in 2016 against nearly a dozen other teams from different universities. All the hard work we put in together paid off. It was a really nice culmination of all the effort.”

Had you not joined Space Concordia, would your university experience have been as enriching? 

EP: “When you join a club, your reach of activities can span a broad range initially, until you find your fit. This experience showed me the ways with which I could contribute to the space industry in the future. Without Space Concordia I would have had fewer technical and social experiences. It also taught me that being in a team is not only about the good stuff — it’s about having to deal with people while working through hard times.”

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