Lyle Roberts received his BEng (Hons) in Systems Engineering and a BSc in Physics at the Australian National University (ANU) in 2011. In 2012 he was awarded the Australian Space Prize and the opportunity to attend NASA’s premier leadership academy—the NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration. This award was in recognition of his Honours project, which contributed to the design of NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) follow-on mission. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Physics at the ANU researching high-power optical phased arrays for space debris tracking and manoeuvring. In 2014 the lab where Lyle performs his research became part of a major Australian led global Collaborative Research Centre for Space Environment Management.
Lyle’s interests lie in the continued utilisation and necessary preservation of the near-Earth space environment. Both developed and developing nations are becoming increasingly dependent on the effective use of space related technology in order to function both geo-politically and economically. The utilisation of space technologies such as GPS, weather, and communications satellites are now as routine as driving a car, but if the environment in which they operate is not shared and protected then we risk losing it all, the consequences of which will be severe. The decisions we make in the next decade will therefore have profound implications for our continued utilisation of space resources well into the next century.