By Hariharan Krishnan and Leo Zhang

Elliot Saive is a 5th year engineering physics co-op student at the University of Alberta. He is the president of the university’s Undergraduate Astronomy Society and is an avid hockey player. Elliot has always been fascinated by space and credits AlbertaSat with solidifying this passion, being a member since his second year of university after hearing about it in his Engineering 100 class. He has learned and advanced to a great extent that he currently serves as the Iris team lead. 

As the Iris team lead, Elliot is responsible for managing a wide array of tasks and individuals. He has overseen the development of the Iris Spectrometer, a multispectral imager that will be able to capture the forests in visible and infrared light, providing scientists with the data required to study wildfires. With these responsibilities, he has worked closely with electrons design, specifically with optics by creating and testing lenses.

Considering the fact that Elliot is a team lead and is also in a demanding undergraduate program, he expressed the importance of prioritization. He explained that he sets aside time to focus solely on a single task such as schoolwork and does not worry about any other tasks during that time until he can focus on the next one. As for why he chose an engineering physics undergraduate degree, he remarks that it was due to the discipline being a melting pot of engineering, physics, and math and that it allows for students to gain a wide array of knowledge and meet many interesting people. 

On the topic of interesting people, Elliot expressed that one of the things he was excited for in AlbertaSat’s future was the continuation of its supporting atmosphere and team members, and of course future missions that they will accomplish. He is also excited to meet with other clubs around Canada and develop and acquire new friendships and knowledge. Elliot regarded that the professors at the University of Alberta (especially those involved with AlbertaSat) are greatly experienced and are extremely eager to engage with students, and that he feels incredibly fortunate to have been able to work with them.

While space exploration is challenging, Elliot believes that it is the future and it will be deeply rewarding for humanity if explored further. Much like how the placement of the earth around the sun shapes the seasons, Elliot’s time at AlbertaSat has greatly shaped his future, constantly teaching him new things and adapting to others. It has given him the technical skills required to pursue a job in the aerospace industry and has also given him the soft skills needed to succeed such as leadership, teamwork, and an emboldened passion for space. He compared a great space exploration team to that of a great hockey team, in that teamwork is an extremely important skill needed to succeed; a skill he says is plentiful in the AlbertaSat team. Elliot is emphatic that his future career choices will be inspired by his time working for AlberaSat. 

Elliot’s advice to new members is to always show kindness to team members and yourself despite the deadlines and stress.