Queen Mary student wins 'Student of the Year' at UK space exploration conference

11 March 2024

Emma's award
Emma's award
QMSEDS members enjoying the conference
QMSEDS members enjoying the conference

Emma Nicolai, founder of the new student society, Queen Mary Students for Exploration and Development in Space society (QMSEDS), has had her leadership and initiative recognised by the national organisation, UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS).

At their annual flagship event – the National Student Space Conference, this year held at the University of Bristol – the organisation presented Emma with the award. Now in its 36th year, the event is the biggest in the UK for students interested in space, giving them access to academics and professionals from across the country to network, share knowledge, and discuss the challenges facing the sector. Over 500 students attended the conference this year for talks, competitions, demonstrations, flight simulations and more.

In addition to her award win, QMSEDS also won the New/Most Improved Branch Award, truly a reflection of the hard work of these SEMS students.

About the awards, Emma said “After a year of hard work making sure that students at Queen Mary have a hub, QMSEDS, where they can participate in space initiatives, we think it's coming to fruition being recognised on the national stage.”

She told us that it was wanting to participate in UKSEDS that drove her to found QMSEDS, “Having a love for space, I was eager to participate in initiatives offered by UKSEDS, the national student space society. UKSEDS organises conferences, workshops and (most excitingly) competitions, providing students with a chance to be involved with hands-on projects, expand their knowledge and showcase their abilities at a national level.

Queen Mary did not have an official branch or society dedicated to these opportunities, so I took the initiative to establish QMSEDS with the help of a hardworking team.

Currently, we are actively participating in the Satellite Design Competition and Olympus Rover Trail with excellent teams and have had a great time attending the National Student Space Conference 2024.”

Contact:Ayden Wilkes