Thibaut Miquel

Toulouse, France

Aero/Astro Engineering

Principal Investigator: Bill Borucki
Project: Kepler Space Telescope: The Search for New Worlds

Education and Experience:

Thanks to the Apollo program, and the Voyager and Cassini Huygens probes amongst others, Space Exploration has fascinated me for years. I have always dreamt of being one of the pioneers to push back the frontiers of human knowledge and to discover the uncharted. This is what inspires me to dedicate my professional life to global space programs.

I have consequently worked hard after high school to pass the competitive entrance exam to the French Grandes Ecoles in May of 2008. As I had hoped for, I integrated the SUPAERO Graduate Program at ISAE, a French Higher? School of Aerospace Engineering. I will receive a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering in September of 2012. Upon graduation, I intend to pursue a Doctoral degree in the same field. The time I have spent at SUPAERO has provided me with amazing opportunities to explore the aerospace field.

Last summer, I did an internship in the satellite Sentinel 2 A.I.T. team (Assembly, Integration, and Test) of EADS Astrium Satellites. I was in charge of issuing communication documents relating to the assembly process that sets detectors on the MSI instrument image focal plain structure. I consequently had the opportunity to work for engineers who had assembled the instruments for the Herschel mission. Their strong interest in the scientific objectives of this telescope and the explanations they gave me regarding its operation aroused my curiosity concerning space telescopes. I also read many articles on the subject after superb photos of the M51 galaxy had been taken with the very same telescope.

In addition to my degree course, I have also been working on a student team project for a Martian entry probe under the guidance of an EADS Astrium system engineer and an ONERA research engineer. This research project is within the context of the ExoMars mission scheduled for launch in 2016.The purpose of this study is to make a preliminary sizing of a surface module, smaller than the actual designs of European missions to come. The surface module must carry a geophysical scientific payload, similar to the Humboldt payload in the first Exomars project. This project will lead to a poster presentation during the seventh International Planetary Probes Workshop in Barcelona.

Extracurricular Interests:

I like skiing and especially love skiing trails. I also practice mountain climbing in summer. I love this leisure activity that combines the thrills and chills to the atmosphere of a trek. I am currently preparing for the Touring Ski Instructor's First Degree (French Federation of Climbing and Mountaineering).

I am also vice president of the youth section of the French Aeronautical and Astronautical Association (3AF Jeunes MIP) which organized interesting visits to French aerospace facilities for students.

I am most of all very excited to be participating in the NASA Academy program at Ames!