Mayer Sng (’22) ends his journey on the Asian campus of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in style by taking on a great challenge and an even greater opportunity.
Sng, an aeronautics major, was chosen to be part of the Embry-Riddle team competing in NASA’s 2022 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition, which gives students around the world the opportunity to devise solutions to pressing problems. deep space exploration problems.
In addition to Sng, this year’s Embry-Riddle team of 30 students includes members from each Embry-Riddle campus, as well as several participants from the Polytechnic Institute of Milan in Italy.
“It is a great honor to represent ERAU Asia in this RASC-AL competition,” said Sng. “Participants in this project study in depth the systems or theme in which they are competing, analyzing the technical aspects of different fields like materials science and technologies, in the hope of revolutionizing future human space explorations. “
The themes for the 2022 competition deal with how humans will live and work on the Moon, Mars and beyond. Each team must create proposals that address specific problems, and this year’s themes include creating a portable utility pallet, designing a universal sample containment system or SuitPort logistics carrier, and producing of a sustainable water source on Mars.
This also marks the 20and anniversary of the RASC-AL event, and in honor of this milestone, teams are for the first time encouraged to build prototypes of their solutions to accompany the concepts presented to NASA and industry judges during a competitive design exam at RASC-AL Forum 2022, scheduled for June in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
The Embry-Riddle team will focus on the Mars Water-based In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) theme.
“This is a system that helps harvest water for long-term use on Mars,” Sng said. “I am part of the Structures and Mechanisms Research sub-team, which studies composite technologies as well as smart technologies and materials.”
The challenges are enormous, but so are the gains, Sng said.
“It’s a rare opportunity that will be an extremely great experience for me,” he said. “It’s a chance for me to practice what I’ve learned in real life and a chance to learn more about space systems.”
Sng is also learning the value of collaboration and teamwork when it comes to overcoming technical and engineering obstacles, such as those presented by the RASC-AL competition. Not only do teams help each other solve problems, but they also help lay the foundation for a lasting professional network that will pay dividends in the future.
“I look forward to making more international friendships and relationships,” he said. “I want to deepen my skills in teamwork and international relations.
Sng says he gets a lot of support from his professors at the Embry-Riddle Asia campus and also from fellow student Kerr Salvador Gagan (’23), who was part of a 2021 RASC-AL team that planned a mission in the deep space.
“Kerr and I communicate every two weeks,” Sng said. “He constantly gives me words of encouragement.”
Like Gagan before him, Sng hopes his participation in the project will have an added benefit: setting a standard and leaving a legacy for other students on the Asia campus to follow.
“I want to inspire others to know that we can do this even though we are a small campus in Singapore,” he said. “If someone like me can do it, I believe you can do it too!”
Sng also offered this advice: “Live your college life to the fullest and push yourself to work on different competitions and projects.”