Aude de Clercq
Aude is a rather unusual member of the SSETI Express team as she is a law student. Aged 25, Aude is doing an MSc in space and telecommunication law at the Jean Monnet University Paris X1 in France. Every year two or three students on her course are assigned to work on the SSETI programme.
How can law studies help SSETI Express?
Whenever the team have questions or doubts about the legal aspects of the project they come to us. We help them to draw up contracts with participating universities and students, as well as with ESA. Some of the questions that have arisen are: how best to safeguard the image of the SSETI Programme; what is the legal position of sponsors; and how to protect confidentiality.
What is it like working in a team that is spread over so many countries?
Difficult, fun and rewarding, but as I enjoy working with people from other countries this aspect of the project is a definite plus. It is the kind of environment in which I want to make my career.
Anyway working in a team made up of people from different background is like real life. Sometimes you have communication problems, and everyone has their own agenda, but you learn a lot in a project like this. Despite all the difficulties the project works because it is well managed.
Have you learnt much by working on the project?
Yes, this is my first real involvement in an international space project and it has been invaluable as I have learned a lot about providing legal advice to a technical project. This experience has confirmed my wish to work in managing and administering a space project.
Best moment of working on the project?
The last general assembly held at ESTEC. I ended up helping the others close the books for 2004. We went over the figures again and again until we finally managed to balance the books.
Still to come I hope, it will be the memory of the launch. That will be a great moment for all of us.