A century of achievement 1913 - 2013
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
 
 

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Enrico Palermo

 
Edwin Tay

Mechanical Engineering

Vice President, Operations for The Spaceship Company

(part of Virgin Galactic)

During my time at UWA I pursued all opportunities with vigour in diverse fields and real-world projects. 

I’ve always had an interest for science, mathematics and their application to how things work. Whilst studying I could see that my career had the opportunity to take many different paths. I intended to pick up engineering design experience early in my career although I felt my strengths were in leadership and project management and that is where I wanted to take my career.

Although I had a passion for space I knew that the likelihood of securing a career in that field, particularly in Australia at that time, was limited and pursuing it would likely necessitate moving overseas – driving me to pick up German in my final years at UWA.

During my studies at UWA I pursued opportunities with vigour in diverse fields and real-world projects. For example, I joined the inaugural UWA Motorsport (UWAM) Formula-SAE team in 2001 working on the car’s wiring and electrical systems, followed by being responsible for the engine in the 2002 car. I was fortunate to be the first driver of a UWAM car in competition driving the skid-pan event in 2001. Looking back, projects like Formula-SAE were invaluable as they required a multi-discipline team to work together in achieving a common goal.

At The Spaceship Company (TSC) and Virgin Galactic we are building the world’s first ‘spaceline’ – something no one has ever done before. It is a super exciting time to be at TSC and Virgin Galactic at the moment – a culmination of many years of hard work.

Right now my focus is doing everything I can to support our goals of getting to space and starting commercial operations, then shortly after completing TSC’s first spaceship. Beyond that I see plenty of new exciting opportunities in scientific research, small satellite launching, fast inter-continental travel and beyond.