We asked Egeman a series of questions to better introduce him to our community and gain a deeper understanding of his story, perspectives and aspirations.
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! I am Egemen, and I have a physics and aerospace engineering background. While I possess knowledge in both areas, I identify more as an engineer than a physicist. At Kuva Space, I am part of the satellite engineering team and contribute to designing and testing small satellites.
What inspired you to become a space engineer, and how did you get started in the field?
I’ve always had a curious mind. My childhood hometown in Turkey was filled with the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of fighter jets soaring through the skies. The grandeur of these aircraft ignited a spark within me. My insatiable curiosity and desire to work with spacecraft and satellites ultimately led me to pursue a career in aerospace engineering. My fascination with space and the limitless possibilities of scientific discovery continues to drive my unwavering dedication to this field. Anatole France’s quote well encapsulates my admiration for humankind’s advancement in this field: “The wonder is, not that the field of stars is so vast, but that man has measured it.”
So, right after my BSc. from Istanbul Technical University (ITU), I enrolled in the Aerospace Engineering Master’s program. And it was at ITU Master’s program I got into CubeSats, and my journey as a space engineer began to take shape.
What are some of your key responsibilities at Kuva Space?
As a spacecraft systems engineer, I evaluate if the available electric thrusters meet our requirements, and I perform necessary orbital calculations. The knowledge and skills I gained from my MSc in Aerospace Engineering, specifically in electric propulsion systems for small spacecraft, proves to be useful. 😃
Can you describe some of the most exciting projects you have worked on and your role in those projects?
Even though I am only 27 years old, I’ve had the privilege of working on several exhilarating CubeSat projects. Each has been a stepping stone, however, one project stands out—the 3U CubeSat designed for the United Arab Emirates. I was involved from start to finish, and the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction was beyond words upon receiving the first telemetry and images from the spacecraft. It was a culmination of years of hard work and dedication.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a space engineer, and how do you overcome them?
The most daunting part is realizing we don’t get a second chance. We need to nail every single detail on the first try. I must meticulously consider every eventuality, from worst-case scenarios to environmental conditions. One small oversight could jeopardize the mission and the tremendous effort and resources invested. However, I’m fortunate to work alongside a team of immensely competent engineers whose expertise and guidance help me to stay focused and bring my best.
What is the future of space engineering, in your opinion, and what new technologies and innovations are you most excited about?
The industry is shifting towards smaller, more cost-effective and agile satellite constellations, revolutionizing how we explore space and leverage space for the benefit of Earth. I find myself eagerly awaiting the developments in launch vehicles such as SpaceX’s Starship, which hold the potential to redefine human interplanetary travel and pave the way for extraordinary achievements like human colonization of other planets.
What do you love most about this field?
The overwhelming sense of contentment and satisfaction I experience when that first robust signal is received from a satellite we’ve meticulously designed and launched. The feeling of contributing to something larger than myself, and advancing the frontiers of knowledge.
How do you find Kuva Space as a workplace? What makes Kuva Space stand out in your view?
I am amazed by the laid-back setting I experience here, yet the Kuva Space team delivers some serious results. I’ve been in workplaces where the culture was more regimented, yet the output did not come close to Kuva Space’s achievements 💪🏽
Kuva Space’s ambitious goal to launch the world’s most extensive hyperspectral satellite constellation to deliver unseen insights is an exciting challenge. With a 100% mission success track record and a group of diverse and dedicated colleagues, we will realize this goal!
Egemen’s journey as a spacecraft systems engineer is a testament to the power of curiosity, dedication, and the pursuit of dreams. From his childhood fascination with fighter jets to designing and testing small satellites, Egemen embodies the spirit of exploration and the quest for knowledge.
Welcome Egemen to the team, and let’s launch some robust small satellites to empower the world with near real-time insights 🌏