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Malaysian Girl Among 13 Selected Globally To Represent Country In UN-Backed Space Programme

Malaysian Girl Among 13 Selected Globally To Represent Country In UN-Backed Space Programme

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Brelveenraj Kaur Rajwant Singh has always been a curious admirer of the wonders of space, but little did she know that she would one day represent the country as the National Point of Contact (NPoC) to the United Nations-backed Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)!

The 25-year-old, who was born in Kuantan, is one of the 13 young volunteers appointed to the council in May, which is in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

SGAC is a global non-governmental, non-profit organisation headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with over 15, 000 members representing more than 150 countries across the globe.

Brel – as she’s known by friends and family – will be part of the prestigious global network of university students and young space professionals represented to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia.

As Malaysia’s NPoC, she will be communicating with other NPoCs across Asia Pacific on future space activities in our region, which include events, national newsletters, national scholarships, policy discussions and contributions to national space policy activities.

Credit: Brelveenraj Kaur (Far right, second row) with the SPAG Asia members online meeting in May.
(Credit: @brel_kaur/Twitter)

She will also be in touch with local space agencies and space enthusiasts and work closely with them with regards to the space activities in Malaysia.

Naturally, Brel is thrilled by the appointment, telling us that she came across the programme while attending the Young Professionals in Space Conference (YPinSpace) in Dubai last year. There, she met dozens of SGAC representatives from across the world and was inspired by their achievements.

Brelveenraj Kaur with the replica of the International Space Station, placed in the Al Sharjah’s Academy for Astronomy, Space Science and Technology Centre (SASST) in UAE.
(Credit: @brel_kaur/Twitter)

I wanted to take the challenge of a new responsibility – as long as I can inspire more people to join space-based events for the betterment of Malaysia’s space exploration in the future.

Brelveenraj Kaur.

To be honest, Brel’s own achievements are just as inspiring as well. The Electrical and Electronics Engineering graduate from National Defence University of Malaysia is currently working as a satellite controller with MEASAT while pursuing her masters in Aerospace Engineering (GNSS in Aviation).

Over the years, she’s participated in numerous international space technology conferences such as the 2020 Multi GNSS Conference in Singapore and even the 2019 NASA Space Apps Challenge Conference.

Brel has also been involved with the National Planetarium, giving talks regarding careers in space industries.

Brelveenraj Kaur as speaking to young space enthusiasts at a programme by the National Planetarium
(Credit: Brelveenraj Kaur)

When asked about her passion for space, Brel explains that it all came to her during her final year in university.

During my Final Year Project in university, I was processing real-time GPS signals and it  got me thinking; “How did those satellites get into space? How do they stay up there for?” The movie Hidden Figures was also inspired me and that’s when I decided I want to work in the satellite/space industry.

Brelveenraj Kaur.

With this new achievement under her belt, Brel hopes to get more young Malaysians who are in both STEM and non-STEM fields to venture into the space sector, while looking forward to hosting her own webinar and space camp soon.

While the journey has not been easy with Brel juggling a full-time job while working on her master’s research and the SGAC programmes, there’s no stopping her as she really is quite determined person with a strong drive.

I believe that in order to achieve your dreams, one must believe in themselves. My friends say I am lucky to be in the space sector, but I like to think that I am hardworking, and I don’t give up easily.

Brelveenraj Kaur.

We’re looking forward to seeing how Malaysia’s newest space star will shine in the future. Congratulations, Brelveenraj Kaur!

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