By @SimonCocking. We featured this competition recently, so it’s great to see an Irish success story emerge from it. There will be more challenges in the next few weeks, see here for details, with more Irish applicants encouraged.

Thirty winners for the Phase 1 of the competition were chosen from over 3,300 global entries from aspiring creatives and engineers who wanted to work with NASA to figure out multiple ways to approach creating a decomposed architecture of a complex system.

Reuben Cruise is a 21-year-old Theoretical Physics student at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He likes to code in his spare time, and learn new skills whenever possible. He loves sports, having raced karts for 9 years and rowed for 6 years in school and college. His hobbies also include mountain biking, snow sports, tennis and chess. He only joined freelancer a few weeks ago to get some help developing an app but needed money, so he did what any new freelancer would and looked for some work.

This was the first contest he entered. Reuben is thinking of studying Aerospace Engineering or a related field next year, and perhaps work for the ESA or NASA in the future as an engineer, or maybe even further contribute to science as an astronaut.

The incredibly talented thirty people working on this project with NASA represent a range of diverse backgrounds and experiences, from Ireland, the UK, US, Canada, Italy,Turkey, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Peru, Colombia and Italy, all the way to India, Mexico and Indonesia.

The list includes a Marketing Expert, DevOps Engineer, several Science Students, UX Designers, Systems Engineers, Senior Lecturers and UNI Professors, and even a consultant working for the Ferrari Group. And perhaps not to much surprise, there are the same amount of females and males in the group: “A part of this innovative approach was to create a level playing field for minorities and women, two groups that are typically underrepresented in engineering circles. These groups actually tend to often outperform the average white male competitor,” says NASA’s Director of Advanced Exploration Systems and the lead for the NASA Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, Jason Crusan.

The final phase will see NASA crowdsource the detailed designs of many of those subcomponents based on the specifications created by the thirty freelancers, along with those from NASA’s team, using the wider pool of over 18 million freelancers on Freelancer.com.


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