Say Hello to our Zenith Fellows

Experiential learning opportunities are invaluable to students, facilitating their transition from class to career, providing them with solid industrial connections, and giving them an environment to realize their own capabilities as scientists and engineers. I have come to realize the significance of such opportunities firsthand through various different activities: I’ve launched rockets in Norway with the CaNoRock program, been a member of the AlbertaSat satellite team, and worked with fluid tanks, cold atoms experiments, x-ray detectors, and an uncountable number of laser-based instruments as part of research internships. I’ve even led a team that enabled students to work on stratospheric balloons with the Canadian Space Agency, and on microgravity flights with the National Research Council of Canada.  These activities have shaped me into the person I am today.

With all this in mind, I am especially passionate about promoting hands-on learning experiences for students interested in working in the space sector, particularly in my home province; Wyvern takes great pride in training the next generation of Canada’s space workforce right here in Alberta. Zenith Canada Pathways Foundation‘s Zenith Fellowship program gives Wyvern the perfect opportunity to contribute to a diverse and capable future space workforce and to enable both professional and personal growth for early-career individuals. We’re beyond happy to support the Zenith Fellowship and to have Jagriti and Dan with us this summer.

– Kristen, Wyvern Co-founder 







Tell us a little about you.
I am a second year Mechanical Engineering student from the University of New Brunswick. I volunteered as a research assistant in high school doing scientific journal searches on Martian atmosphere. That solidified my interest to work in the space industry. I then founded and led a project called StratoFredericton to launch a weather balloon with a climate message 103,000 ft into the Stratosphere. I have also been involved with CubeSatNB at my university mostly focused on doing simulations.

You’re clearly very interested in space; do you have any personal experiences that have helped form that interest?
My interest in the space industry has been omnipresent. I find it more difficult not to be fascinated by the infinite expanse of our universe. However, experiencing the 7.8 magnitude Nepal Earthquake in 2015 really deepened that interest into a lifelong fascination. It was then that I discovered earth applications of space technologies like disaster management, agricultural utilizations and climate change mitigation which is when my desire to contribute was apparent to me. Also, curiosity.

Zenith Fellows and Host Institutions were matched via ranking; what made you rank Wyvern highly?
After some research, I absolutely loved what Wyvern does and it aligned perfectly with my impact driven goals. I also was pleasantly surprised to see a higher percentage of women in leadership which is quite rare in the industry and thus an incredible learning opportunity for me. Further, during the interview I appreciated the holistic approach of both technical and aspirational questions with a hint of fun. Finally, I loved the website, and it did a great job at representing the spirit and the big picture of the company

What do you think about moving to Edmonton from Fredericton for the summer?
It’s very exciting to move to Edmonton this summer. Honestly, I am also a little bit nervous never having lived alone before. However, I am looking forward to exploring the city, hiking, trying new foods and low tax rates.

What are you most looking forward to as part of your internship? What do you hope to take away the most?
I am really hoping to have personal and career growth through this internship. I want to absorb as much passion as I can from all the other space enthusiasts. I wish to take away skills, knowledge and experience that will help me in my future endeavors.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy meditating, going on adventures, blogging, hanging out with friends, painting, dancing, and debating. Interchangeably, not all at once haha.



How did you get interested in space? 
From a very young age I have always been interested in space. I grew up watching shows such as Cosmos and Nova and they instilled in me a great fascination with our universe. My father also helped nurture this interest, always calling me to come look through a telescope to see the craters on the moon, the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter. Through CubeSat my love for space has only grown. I have found that it is a fascinating field with challenging problems which keep you busy and entertained every day! In the future I would love to work on long term electric propulsion methods for space travel, most specifically on Direct Fusion Drives given my interest in Plasma Physics.

Tell us a bit more about yourself and your experience before joining Wyvern.
I am the son of Costa Rican immigrants and grew up in Fredericton New Brunswick. I attended a French school throughout my childhood and am now completing a degree in Applied Physics at the University of New Brunswick. Before joining Wyvern, I was involved in the University of New Brunswick’s CubeSat Project, VIOLET. I was the project manager of the imaging payload, SASI (Spectral Airglow Structure Imager) and lead the team in a redesign of the optics, the development of our opto-mechanical cell, the design of our custom PCBs as well as the development of a custom embedded Linux image for our subsystem. Through this experience I have had the opportunity to work with many industry experts and learned enormously from my collaboration with them. In addition to CubeSat, I was a research assistant in the Physics department’s Atmospheric Physics Laboratory. Here I worked with fully compensated Doppler Michelson Interferometers. My main work was on the characterization of a Lab interferometer with segmented mirrors which could generate 4 separate images of a field simultaneously. This work is done to further understand the properties of such interferometers and in the hopes of one day using them in space applications.

Zenith Fellows and Host Institutions were matched via ranking; what made you rank Wyvern highly?
I chose Wyvern as my first choice because I was interested in their satellites. The idea of having deployable optics was incredible and I wanted to have an opportunity to work on something so groundbreaking. In addition to my interest in their amazing optical system, I was also drawn by their mission. I believe that through Wyvern’s spectral imaging we will be able to provide valuable information on many aspects of our ever-growing planet.

What are you most looking forward to as part of your internship? 
I am most looking forward to collaborating with everyone at Wyvern for their first satellite launch and the development of their deployable optics. I find it very exciting and am lucky to be a part of this team. I am hoping to learn as much as I possibly can about hyperspectral imaging and deployable optics and I am looking forward to working with so many talented individuals.

What do you think about moving to Edmonton from Fredericton for the summer?
Moving from Fredericton to Edmonton is big for me since it is my first time moving away from home! I am both nervous and excited about all the opportunities I will have this summer. I am looking forward to being put out of my comfort zone and growing not only as a professional but as a person as well!

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I love to spend time with friends and family. I enjoy watching movies, reading, playing video games, and cooking delicious meals. In recent years I have picked up biking and love to spend my afternoons and weekends going on bike rides and exploring my surroundings.

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