Cardiff student wins UK space prize

A 19-year-old physics student from Cardiff University has won the UK Space Agency’s SatelLife Challenge.

Chloe Hewitt, originally from Solihull, took the top prize for her idea to use satellite imagery to map disused industrial buildings. The concept could allow local authorities to identify brownfield sites for potential redevelopment, as well provide a better picture of areas that could present a risk to local communities.

The competition, intended to support the development of science, data handling and technological skills, was split into three age groups, offering prizes of £5,000 for each age category. Alongside the other winners, Chloe will pitch her idea to a panel of experts at the UK Space Conference, held in Manchester from 30 May – 1 June. The overall winner will receive a prize of £10,000.

“It was a really interesting competition,” said Chloe. “I just did it because I thought it would be fun to learn about satellites, I never thought I would win. It was really interesting because you know satellites exist but you don’t realise how much they do. I’m planning to use the money to pay for an internship abroad, so I’m really excited.”

Emily Gravestock, head of applications strategy at the UK Space Agency, said: “We were really impressed by the number of innovative ideas submitted to the SatelLife Challenge and Chloe is certainly a worthy winner.”

“The judges thought her idea was a new way of using existing technologies, which could be very useful. We think Chloe has real potential as a space entrepreneur of the future.”

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