25 Oct 2023
Media Releases

SmartSat PhD students land internships with European Space Agency

25 Oct 2023

Two of SmartSat’s PhD students are headed for European Space Agency’s (ESA) Φ-lab to collaborate on Earth Observation (EO) research.

SmartSat has announced that two of its PhD students have been selected to work on groundbreaking satellite research in a new internship program at the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Φ-lab.

Brandon Victor, from La Trobe University, and Nermine Hendy, from RMIT University, will travel to ESRIN, ESA’s Specialised Centre of Excellence for Earth Observation, in Frascati, Italy, in January 2024 for a three-month research internship funded by SmartSat.

Brandon Victor (La Trobe University) and Nermine Hendy (RMIT University)

The European Space Agency’s Φ-lab is a world-leading research centre with a mission to accelerate the future of Earth Observation through transformational innovations and new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and on-board processing. This research will create the next generation of predictive intelligence to forecast and monitor agricultural and environmental activities and disaster events from space with much greater accuracy.

Speaking at the SmartSat Annual Conference, SmartSat CRC Chief Executive Officer Professor Andy Koronios said the new internship program is a further step in the collaboration between the two organisations.

“Over the past few years, our relationship with Φ-lab has grown stronger through our shared strategic research initiatives in the Kanyini and Φ-sat satellite missions. We’re delighted to send these talented students to Φ-lab, which is at the forefront of Earth Observation technologies. This international collaboration is a great testament to the progress being made in Australia’s space industry and a chance to showcase our nation’s expertise,” he said.

Brandon Victor recently completed a Computer Science Honours in Deep Learning at La Trobe University. Brandon said the internship will be a fantastic opportunity to further his work on ‘Using Satellite Data to Locate and Phenotype Plants from Space Research’.

Nermine Hendy is an Electrical and Electronic Engineering PhD researcher at RMIT University. Nermine, who will work on the ‘Interference modelling, detection, and mitigation for improving spaceborne SAR performance Research’, said she hopes to explore more about the future challenges of space technology during her time at Φ-lab.

Read the full media release here.