Munich Aerospace scholarship holder Salman Ali Thepdawala receives IAF Emerging Space Leaders Award

Munich Aerospace scholarship holder Salman Ali Thepdawala has been honored by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) with the Emerging Space Leaders Award. He has been awarded for his great commitment and had the opportunity to take part in the 74th International Astronautical Congress in Baku.

Salman Ali Thepdawala is a Pakistani aerospace engineer currently pursuing his PhD as a Munich Aerospace Scholar at the Universität der Bundeswehr – Munich, Germany, specializing in AI-based Onboard Collision Avoidance in Large Multi-Satellite Systems. With a passion for space exploration, mission design, and AI applications, he actively engages in projects that leverage his knowledge of systems engineering.

Beyond academia, Salman Ali consults for Neutron Star Systems, contributing to projects and representing the space start-up. In addition to working on various projects, he represents the space start-up in public. His dedication to advancing the space ecosystem extends further as he actively contributes to various space sector NGOs. He currently serves as the National Coordinator for Germany at the Moon Village Association and plays a vital role as the Partnerships Lead for the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

Salman Ali’s dedication also earned him the 2023 European Space Leaders Award at the 7th European Space Generation Workshop. Moreover he led his team to first place across Pakistan in both the NASA Space Apps and ActInSpace competitions, showcasing his leadership and technical skills. He holds a Master’s degree in Space & Engineering Systems from the Skolkovo Institute of Science & Technology in Moscow, Russia, and a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Institute of Space Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan. He also completed an exchange semester at the University of Missouri-Columbia, U.S.A., further solidifying his foundation in the field of aerospace.

Salman Ali firmly believes in the importance of international collaboration for safe space operations. He advocates for concepts such as secure decentralized space systems and autonomous orbit organizations, which will foster cooperation, innovation, and ensure sustainability in the global space community.

We are delighted for Salman Ali and congratulate him on his award!

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