Raihana Shams Islam Antara Honored as 2023 Emerging Space Leader2 min read

A lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at BRAC University, Raihana Shams Islam Antara has been recognized as a 2023 IAF Emerging Space Leader (ESL) by the esteemed International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

This honor underscores Antara’s exceptional achievements in the realm of space technology and resonates with the IAF’s objective of fostering the upcoming wave of space enthusiasts, grooming them for leadership roles in the global space community.

The IAF’s rigorous selection process this year identified 34 exceptional leaders from a pool of over 150 young professionals hailing from 80 countries. These emerging space leaders, aged between 21 and 35, are actively shaping the future of space studies and are deeply engaged in pioneering space-related projects and research within their respective nations.

Antara’s impressive journey began with her significant role as an engineer in the development of Bangladesh’s inaugural satellite, BRAC Onnesha. This monumental achievement earned her the esteemed 2018 Science and Technology Youth Excellence Award from ACI Limited Bangladesh.

Her expertise spans a diverse array of space-related fields, encompassing antenna technology, communications, embedded systems, and robotics, solidifying her position as a versatile and accomplished space professional.

In addition to her academic and professional achievements, Antara is a distinguished graduate of the International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP), a prestigious professional exchange program offered by the US Department of State, with a focus on empowering women in STEM fields.

As the local representative of UNISEC-Global, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting real-world space development initiatives, Antara serves as a pivotal point of contact for UNISEC Bangladesh. She also plays a significant advisory role for the BRAC University Student Branch Chapter of the IEEE Communication Society (ComSoc).

Furthermore, Antara is actively contributing to the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds satellite project, recognized as the ‘Birds Project,’ which received the AIRBUS GEDC Diversity Award in 2017. As the first female participant from Bangladesh and a graduate of the Cansat Leaders Training program, she has demonstrated unwavering dedication and passion for space technology.

During her tenure at BRAC University, Antara co-founded the Laboratory of Space Systems Engineering & Technology (LASSET), reflecting her steadfast commitment to advancing space-related initiatives. This remarkable achievement not only celebrates Antara’s accomplishments but also underscores the ever-growing influence of young professionals in shaping the future of space technology and exploration.

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