Like many space scientists and engineers, Warwick Holmes was inspired to pursue a career in the space industry from a space mission – the NASA Moon landing in 1969. He says it’s important to be ordinary but committed.
I get a lot of people that ask me how on earth did I get to work on this project? OK, so this is the most important question to answer. Be a very ordinary student, OK, but be committed, determined and hard working. I was a very ordinary student, but I really, really, really wanted to work in space. I saw Neil Armstrong walking down the ladder on the Apollo 11 when I was in grade 2 in Adelaide, I was 8 years old, and from that day, I was crazy about space. But I was just really an ordinary student, but I knew I had to study science, technology, engineering and mathematic subjects.
That’s what Waikato now is focusing on. And you need to have a really good teacher, and I did have the best – I’m absolutely convinced – the best electrical engineering lecturer of all the people I’ve ever worked with in Europe, and that’s Professor Jonathan Scott down here.
So if there’s anybody here in this audience who is an average student and wants to do this kind of work, there’s no excuse. It’s all here for you.
The Science Learning Hub would like to acknowledge the following for their contribution to this resource:
Lecture video footage courtesy of the University of Waikato
Archival footage of 1969 Moon landing courtesy of NASA