Lester Waugh from Astrium UK Ltd. has been involved in the world of space for more than 22 years, working in the fields of Telecommunications, Earth Observation and Science and Interplanetary Exploration. As a Systems Engineering Manager at Europe's Largest Space Company, Astrium, Mr. Waugh has exposure to many projects and studies involved in the exploration and exploitation of space.
Lester along with Lev Sarkisov and Prashant Valluri are supervising one of the 4th year Chemical Engineering design projects titled “Design of integrated life support systems for Mars space station”. The design team comprising eleven 4th year chemical engineers, who call themselves the “Red Planet Recycle”, have the key objective to build a space station on Mars capable of a continuous support of a 10 member crew. Under the constraint of a sporadic re-supply mission carrying water, oxygen and food every 1.5 years, the team has elaborately designed an onsite recycling system for water, air and waste. On 28th March, Lester visited Edinburgh to assess the final presentations of the design teams (including the Red Planet Recycle). On the Red Planet recycle team Lester said “I was very impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the team. They responded admirably to the technical demands they faced and their solution showed a unified approach which is so important for highly interactive systems. Designing a critical, near closed loop system with the particular challenges of reliability, efficiency and economy is not easy, but the team did remarkably well.”
On the wider design project challenge Lester said “These projects are very important in providing the opportunity to apply and test newly gained knowledge, processes and techniques to real world design scenarios. All the teams acquitted themselves very well and it was great to see them really get to grips with the complexity and breadth of the challenges.”