Advance Awards Emerging Leader Winner 2021
Andrea Boyd is a moonshot believer. She grew up in country South Australia, watching Star Trek avidly, and worked hard to become the first Australian flight controller, talking to the astronauts who lived in the space station as it orbits Earth. Ms Boyd studied mechatronic engineering at the University of Adelaide. Today she is the Deputy Lead of Astronaut Operations at the European Space Agency; the first time an Australian has been appointed to a senior management role in the agency. Ms Boyd is the only Australian in the world working in the International Space Station Flight Control Team. She is often the only Australian that space professionals and astronauts have ever met and represents our country with pride, showcasing our engineering talent and high quality of education.
As a powerful communicator, Ms Boyd is adept at briefing non-technical audiences about space, ground stations and Australia’s daily need for satellites, she is frequently invited to parliamentary meetings and briefings. Ms Boyd sits on multiple technical committees around the world, organises international conferences, and is featured frequently by the European Space Agency. Ms Boyd is a passionate advocate of engineering and space exploration. She invests much of her time as a volunteer to help other Australians achieve ambitious careers, inspires students, and promotes STEM through workshops, conferences and media appearances. In 2010, she co-founded Aerospace Futures, which encourages university students to forge careers in the field. Ms Boyd also created a space internship at the European Space Policy Institute in Austria, which is still running. She worked tirelessly to secure the largest space conference in the world, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) that was hosted in Adelaide in 2017. Additionally, Ms Boyd was instrumental in bringing space exploration to Australia. She convinced the country’s leading academics, businesspeople, and the government to open the Australian Space Agency.
“I strive to understand the universe, bring microgravity research back to benefit us on Earth and make our lives more like Star Trek.”