William Rapin

Isae / Supaero (Superior Institute for Aeronautics & Space)
Toulouse, France

Astrophysics & Aerospace Engineering

Principal Investigator: Dr. William J. Borucki
Project: Characterization of Kepler's Planetary Candidates Within the Habitable Zone Kepler Space Telescope

Selected Candidate Statement:

Education and Experience:

I was born and raised in Lyon, France. Very early I felt a passion for space and astronomy as a consequence to my general curiosity for nature. I developed this interest through photography and drawings which has proven to be very beneficial in the way that it put me to the test, reflecting my personality and state of mind.

After high school, I considered a career in Arts or Architecture. Later, although admitted to a French art school, distinctive academic results in Math, Physics and Engineering Science in a college in Lyon, led me to ISAESUPAERO in Toulouse, France.

There I had the opportunity to participate and initiate several student projects. I organized many events related to space such as lectures, French space industry facility visits and invited several French astronauts for a lecture and private dinner. In parallel to university courses I had a hands-on experience by joining the ESEO and ESMO missions where our team was responsible to design, built and integrate the star trackers. I participated in a workshop in London for this project which helped me discover challenges regarding European space collaborations.

I chose astrophysics as a major as I was already dedicating my professional life to space exploration and the understanding of the universe. I have been mainly influenced by Kim Stanley Robinson in his science fiction writings about Mars and by Isaac Asimov amazing novels. I have been impassioned by Mars since I first saw it through the optics of a telescope and I organize trips for night sky observation. These events attract more and more people and enable us to share and discuss with them astrophysics and space exploration.

The immensity and unexpected diversity of space science attracts me a lot, but I also love drama and improvisation practice as it involves creativity and team work. I also draw illustrations in my spare time which has often been a help for designing posters and presentations. I'm always attracted by far destinations. I travelled to Japan for two months last year, and thanks to the NASA Academy, I will go for the first time to the USA.

Selection as a French student for the NASA Academy is for me the greatest milestone of my education, experience and more.

Future plans:

Right after the summer program, the agreement between NASA and CNES includes an internship at NASA Ames for 4 months and a 6 month internship in France. I am seeking for an Aerospace Engineering diploma from ISAE-SUPAERO in 2013 with a research Master of Scence in Astrophysics. Then I am considering applying for a Ph.D in Astrophysics or more precisely in Planetology or Astrobiology.