ArmSat Club Student Presents at the Kemurdzian Conference
Contributed by Anahit Doshoyan (BSES ‘24)
I was among the few luckiest students to present AUA at the conference in the memory of prominent Armenian scientist and engineer Alexander Kemurdzian. The event was organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alexander Kemurdzian firstly, and secondly, it was the closed opening of the Starmus Festival that brings together science and art.
Many invited conference guests from different corners of the world spoke about Kemurdzian, his work, and his impact on the present and the future we will have from advances in technology and engineering. Since his son was present, some of the guests had the chance to hear from him many interesting facts and pleasant memories from the life of Kemurdzian. It was interesting to learn that he had started his career as a tank engineer, ultimately creating the first successful moon rover called Lunokhod 1. Also, following the Chernobyl disaster, he helped to remove hazardous waste from the region. Some of his projects were uncovered only recently considering that, during his lifetime, he was working on secret projects under a pseudonym. The projects he led helped the Soviet Union to record successes in the Space Race during those times. Kemurdzian had also worked with international groups of researchers and scientists.
Looking back at his career path, one can get inspired and motivated to work even harder, never losing the chance to learn something new or gain experience in different spheres. Personally, this conference was an excellent opportunity to meet specialists and professionals in the field I am studying and will most probably be pursuing in the future: astrophysics and aerospace engineering. Listening to the speeches of Garik Israyelyan, Izabella Baraffe, Francois Forget, and many others, once again I understood the significance of space exploration for the future of humanity. In order to move forward, we should first know where we come from. Furthermore, considering today’s global issues, it is essential to take action now and protect what we have through STEM education and a more efficient environment for scientists to grow, for younger generations to strengthen their skills and capabilities in the field.
In this realm, we have a club at AUA, the ArmSat (Armenian Student Aerospace Team) that aims to engage students in different projects to help them get involved in real-life problems and solutions. Skilled specialists are mentoring the members of the club; our program chair, Satenik Mnatsakanyan, is also one of the mentors who motivates students and gets them involved in the problem-solving process.
As a female interested in the field of engineering, I wanted to study in a university where diversity is respected, where I would have all the possible resources and abilities to become an excellent professional. Being highly interested in the field is one thing, but as a female actually pursuing a degree in engineering can be challenging. People always tell me that it will be difficult and that there are not many women in this field. However, now I see that there are far more female students interested in the sciences. I believe that our passion for science, along with problem-solving skills and desire to make a difference in the world will enable us to tackle any academic challenge.
Given that engineering is not fully developed in Armenia, it was crucial to pick a university that is constantly focused on providing high-quality education based on not only theory but also real-life examples and situations. For this and many other reasons, I looked to AUA. There is nothing more motivating and inspiring than to read the success stories of AUA alumni. Now I am a part of this world and am constantly surrounded by people with common interests, engineers, and scientists. I can confidently say that I am satisfied with my decision to be here.