BME professor selected as new member of the International Academy of Astronautics

It is the first time a BME professor has been chosen to join the Paris-based International Academy of Astronautics, founded in 1960.

”This membership is ultimately the recognition of the work of our faculty and the results of Hungarian space research,” stressed László Bacsárdi, research fellow at the Department of Networked Systems and Services at BME's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (VIK), vice president of the Hungarian Astronautical Society (MANT) in response to's question, after being elected a corresponding member of the engineering sciences section of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). ”From rocket engines to space communication, a topic I'm especially interested in, this section discusses a wide variety of ideas and also develops extensive engineering proposals. My participation may help BME be more actively engaged in the various space projects, László Bacsárdi said adding that: ”BME is likely to get more opportunities to present its development projects in the small satellites conference series, organised in Germany for a number of years now and Hungary, after several failed applications, may now be hopeful of hosting an international space safety conference; as my section is responsible for overseeing the organisational activities, I will do my best to help Hungary win.” He also said that he expects this new engagement to help strengthen his links with the academy and allow him to be involved in the organisation of various conferences where he can benefit from his knowledge and expand his professional network in his area of expertise.

The International Academy of Astronautics was established in 1960, initiated by Theodore von Karman. The independent international organisation, recognised by the United Nations in 1996, works to foster the development of astronautics and to recognise individuals who have distinguished themselves in a branch of science or technology related to astronautics. It is based in France. The IAA's members totalling 1,300 from over 80 countries are elected in four sections (basic sciences, engineering sciences, life sciences, social sciences). To support international scientific cooperation, the IAA organises symposia and meetings and publishes various publications. One of them is the journal Acta Astronautica. In the last few decades, the IAA started to work together with a number of national academies of sciences.

Until the summer of 2019, the IAA had six Hungarian members (one honorary, 4 active and one corresponding member) and a new one will be added this autumn. László Bacsárdi became the corresponding member of the IAA's engineering sciences section (as one of its youngest members) as the first BME professor of the IAA following the selection procedure completed in the summer of 2019, initiated by the members of the Hungarian Astronautical Society (MANT).

László Bacsárdi's main area of research is satellite quantum communication; he is actively engaged in the national quantum technology excellence project and was involved in numerous international collaborations. He is a member of the space communications committee of the International Astronautical Federation, founded in 1951, and he works as the science communication manager of the COST Quantum Technologies in Space project, a European space quantum technology research programme.

László Bacsárdi, quantum computing specialist, born in Sopron, in 1982, obtained a degree in computer engineering and later a PhD degree at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics where he now works as a research fellow and at the same time teaches at the Institute of Informatics and Economics responsible for the training of business informatics engineers at the University of Sopron. He worked as the national point of contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), an international space research organisation supported by the UN, between 2012 and 2016 and as executive member between 2016 and 2018. In 2017, as the first Hungarian recipient, he was given the IAF's Young Space Leaders Award, the most prestigious international space research recognition awarded to young researchers. He worked as MANT's secretary general between 2009 and 2018 and has been the vice president of the society since 2018. In the same year, he was appointed president of the Telecommunications section of the Scientific Association for Infocommunications.

He has published over 100 science papers and numerous informative articles. His accomplishments were recognised by the ”Sopron's Young Talent” award by Sopron in 2005, the ”Medal for Hungarian Space Research” by the ministry responsible for space research in 2008, the ”VEAB's Outstanding Young Researcher” award by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2015 and the ”Member of the Month” title by the Space Generation Advisory Council in November 2014 and March 2016. In 2018, he received the Puskás Tivadar Award from the Scientific Association for Infocommunications and the Fonó Albert Award from the MANT and was selected honorary member of BME's Cosmos Society.

László Bacsárdi will be presented with his academician certificate during the Academy Day of the IAA in October 2019, held simultaneously with the International Astronautical Congress in Washington.

Photo: János Philip