Estonian student on his way to lead the space sector
Martin Jüssi, master’s student of Geography at the University of Tartu, received a 16 000-euro scholarship from the European Space Agency to pursue master’s studies at the International Space University (ISU) in France. The highly regarded space university located in Strasbourg teaches future leaders of the space sector.
During the one-year master’s programme starting in September, Martin Jüssi will gain very diverse knowledge of the space sector. The curriculum of the ISU includes a wide range of subjects from engineering, astrophysics and knowledge of space vehicles to philosophy, medicine and much more.
“There is no doubt that Martin is a very talented student and so far, Estonia has very few space technology experts. Having a new specialist trained at ISU will boost the development of Estonian space technology and high technology in general,” said Martin’s supervisor, Research Fellow at the Tartu Observatory Kaupo Voormansik, who is an ISU alumnus himself.
Andreas Sisask, who is also active in the Estonian space sector as the space project manager of the IT and business services company CGI Eesti AS, agrees that an ISU-trained specialist will be a very important asset for the country in developing and advancing the sector. “IT-knowledge alone is not enough to do business in the space sector. It is very important to have an understanding of the entire sector, including its organisational and technical aspects,” emphasised Sisask.
It was not an easy task to be admitted to ISU, as it attracts applicants from all over the world, while only 50 of them are admitted each year. “I had to prove good academic results and high motivation, describe my previous research and submit strong recommendation letters, written by my supervisor and Mart Noorma, UT Senior Lecturer in Optical Metrology and leader of the ESTCube-1 student satellite,“ said Jüssi, commenting on the application process.
Thanks to the international environment and wide contact network of the ISU, the curriculum includes traineeship at leading space agencies and institutes across the world. Martin is thinking about doing his traineeship either in Canada, Germany or France, but the plans will become clearer once the studies start.
“After the studies I am definitely planning to return to Estonia and pursue my career here, as Estonia is a leading IT-country and we have lots of talented students and capable researchers to cooperate with. It is yet to be seen whether I will be doing research in satellite monitoring or planning future satellite missions and expeditions,” confirmed Jüssi, who left for France on 1 September.
Martin’s studies at the ISU, where the tuition fee is 25 000 euros per year, and living in Strasbourg will be made possible thanks to scholarships. In addition to the European Space Agency, also Tartu Observatory, the IT-company CGI Eesti and the Archimedes Foundation together with the Ministry of Education and Research have contributed to support the studies of an Estonian space specialist.
Martin Jüssi is the third Estonian to have the opportunity to study at the ISU. His supervisor Kaupo Voormansik also studied at the same university with the support of the European Space Agency.