Haifa, 17 August 2016, by Maria Lucas-Rhimbassen - After having an amazing experience during SSP15, I had the chance to be granted the opportunity to be joining once again the SSP team and to work alongside remarkable people who all share a deep passion for space. Initially, my role was defined as librarian/accountant, making sure all the staff gets their weekly stipend and reimbursement in the local currency (NIS). This role does not vary throughout the summer and I must scan on a weekly basis all the receipts as well as compile all transactions in an excel sheet which is shared with ISU Central. This way, I keep in touch with all the great people within the ISU community.
Another way for me to connect ISU Central with the local community of staff and participants is throughout the library. As a librarian, I must ensure that all participants get access to online or printed resources on time in order to conduct a successful research. This role gains in momentum towards the team project (TP) phase of the SSP program and therefore I must be in full shape by then to help participants at all times with full access to the given resources.
The local library (Technion) is composed of 15 libraries, managed by the central one and my main person of contact is Elena, accompanied by Ela and Ludmila. During TP, I will have access to a 3rd office of mine located in the central library and I must thank the local colleagues for all their great support and hospitality. I say my third office because I started with my 1st one at the reception (library/accountant/ and jokingly bouncer) before actually being moved to my 2nd office as I stepped in at the last minute to replace the Space Business and Management Department Teaching Associate (MGB TA), Aly Reneau, who had to rush back to the US to be by her daughter’s side just before she gave birth to a lovely baby. I truly enjoyed working with the MGB Chair, Adil Jafry, since I learned so much under his guidance.
My TA role was made possible by the very proactive and entrepreneurial input and energy from the MGB participants who ran the department as their own company. This self-discipline was truly inspirational and impressed the whole staff involved. The staff organized several great activities for the participants, involving professional visits to the IAI MBT Space Division, GILAT and ELBIT (along with the Space Apps DA), to the MoONA space incubator (very impressive and many lessons learned), and to the Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI) here on the Technion Campus.
During the other DA activities, we had strategy games with Stacey Solomone, space law and policy simulations along with the PEL DA and Randy Segal, hands on activities with Harvey Moore and Mike Simpson, insights from Chirag Parikh, coaching by Rami Gazit and Daniel Rockberger, webex by Fabio Texeira, pitches by Avi Gal and Ramin Khadem, and a lot more! These last few weeks went faster than a shooting star!
SSP is not only about work… but also about enjoying the local settings. After work, we usually go to the beach at night and have a good time. On weekends, we do trips in the local areas, one more breathtaking than the other (from Roman ruins to marine caves) and last weekend we did the epic Heritage Tour (Jerusalem, Bedouin Oasis-camels, sleeping in the desert and watching the Perseids, Masada and the Dead Sea).
On a final note, today we ended our DAs on yachts and music in the sun before we all get super busy with the TP spiral before SSP is over without even realizing how quick this great summer becomes part of SSP16 and the good old days.
Seriously… Zero G flight in a glider at Armageddon with the SCI DA?
I would like to thank John, Muriel, Seb, Geraldine, Mike, Laurence, Sylvie, Dan, Omar, Daniel, Carol, Vera, Ben, Bernd, Colin, Shrrirup, Jonathan, Remco, Cory, Yevgeny, Irina, Sanja, JJ, the other Dan, Neta, Daniel, Laurie, Ofer, Su-Yin, Petter, G2 and all the others for making it all happen for me.
Cheers and blue skies,