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University of Southampton Malaysia

To Mars and Beyond

Published: 18 May 2016
Sean receiving his award
Sean’s winning presentation focused on the human colonization of Mars

Engineering student of Southampton bags first prize at the IET Malaysia Present around the World (PATW) competition with his extraterrestrial presentation

As the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) announced the grand winner of the Malaysia Network Present around the World (PATW) competition last Sunday, Sean-Michael Morais was visibly surprised. The Year 1 aeronautics engineering student of the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus will be representing Malaysia in the Asia-Pacific regionals this August. 

‘’I was pleasantly surprised I reached this far, let alone go on and win the competition, that just actually blew my mind,’’ said the Year 1 aeronautics engineering student of the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus. ‘’I don’t think I would have reached that far without the help of my coach, friends and colleagues in the first place.’’

Sean’s winning presentation focused on the human colonization of Mars, the most hospitable of the planets in the solar system. Coached by Ivan Ling, current PhD student of Southampton and a former IET PATW champion, Sean convinced the audience and judges that settling in Mars could help humanity escape and mitigate the problems our species is facing here on earth.

‘’With space exploration, we could be saving more than just millions. We could be saving our whole species. In discussing why we need to go to Mars, we have to start thinking on bigger scales. Don’t think about life in the hundreds, thousands or even millions. Think about humanity as a whole!’’ Sean expounded.

Sean is inherently interested in space exploration, even as a young boy, he liked using telescopes and enjoyed looking at the stars. He also loves science fiction books and admires the work of SpaceX, a manufacturer of spacecraft and rockets. When he enrolled at Southampton for the MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics programme, it further piqued his interest in space exploration.

‘’I hope to inspire people to dream of Mars or at least dream of other worlds, like I do. Space exploration is a valuable activity and my presentation is a message to people who think that space missions are a thing of the past,’’ said Sean.

Held on 1 May 2016, the IET PATW is a competition open to engineering students from participating universities such as the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus. Each contestant has to present their talk within 10 minutes, followed by a question and answer portion. As the national champion, Sean-Michael will represent Malaysia during the Asia Pacific Regionals in Sydney, Australia in August 2016.

 

 

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