Andrew Wilson

BSc (Hons) Environmental Management 2015

Project Engineer, Space Canada

al-profile-andrewwilson

Award winning GCU graduate turned his dissertation into a reality and is now working on proving around-the-clock green energy which could be wirelessly beamed across the world to places needing power.

“It was on ‘if Space technology could practically address climate change’” said Andrew Wilson as he recollects his final years of his Bachelor in Environmental Management.

His dissertation motivated him to speak to a variety of different people in companies, one of which was Space Canada.

“One day out of the blue, I got a phone call from the president of Space Canada who says: "if you want to do a PhD in the topic, we will give you the funding to do so and also we have a job offer for you."

Five years on, and together with Space Canada, Andrew is working on a demonstration project for Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) – a concept where solar panels in outer space gather energy and beam it down to earth to which we can use in the ground.

“We're hoping to have it launched in about 2025, but again this all came back to starting at GCU and if it hadn't been for the support network I had here, such as particularly through Dr Keith Baker, I wouldn't have been in that position where I could comment on it.”

He is also writing a PhD on lowering the environmental impact on space missions, which combined with his work on SBSP has led to him winning the Young Scot Environment Award 2018.

“It was really nice having that kind of recognition. But at the same time, what I do is not because I want recognition, it is because I genuinely want to make a difference and that is why I was in this field in the first place.”    

Even in his early years at GCU, Andrew knew he wanted to make an impact. “The reason I chose GCU is because I was always interested in the environment and geography.

What really attracted me to the university is the fact they offered a work experience placement in third year and that for me gave invaluable experience.”

He was a member of the green society while being a class representative and took part in the student leadership programme the student union offered. “I just remember my days being full of fun, a lot of hard work but it definitely payed off.”

Below Andrew shares his hopes for the future, how he feels about SBSP, and advice for current students and graduates.

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