The extra mile: GAS Ph.D. student Álvaro Soria-Salinas on prestigious Forbes list

The 2019 edition of Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list is a remarkable odyssey of 300 young people divided into ten categories such as Art and culture, Finance or Social entrepreneurs. They are, as Forbes describes it, “a collection of bold risk-takers bringing new ideas to Europe.” Álvaro Soria-Salinas is listed in the Science and Healthcare category.

This year’s list features 300 young disruptors across ten categories, hailing from 34 European countries and 22 non-European countries. The reporters considered thousands of nominations and polled expert judges to compile this list, where Álvaro Soria-Salinas has made it to the list because of his activities in Science .

Álvaro Soria-Salinas is a Ph.D. student at the Group of Atmospheric Science. Among other things, he is involved in the development of the instrument HABIT that will go to Mars on ESA’s ExoMars2020 Mission. Last fall he was managing a team selected for the ESA programme Fly Your Thesis!, and, together with their experiment PVT-GAMERS, the team participated in the 70th ESA parabolic flight campaign and experienced weightlessness. However, his activity already started as an undergraduate intern at INTA, the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology, investigating the effect of the thermal contamination of NASA´s Curiosity Rover. Furthermore, in addition to his regular duties as a Ph.D. candidate of LTU, which requires dedication to his own research, getting training on specific topics, and participating in international conferences, he has gone the extra mile with GAS activities. For instance, he has participated in a number of field-site campaigns for testing instrumentation in Mars analogue regions on Earth, including Iceland, the Indian Himalaya´s as part of a NASA Spaceward Bound campaign, or the underground of the salty Boulby Mine at 1.1 km depth in the UK. He also participated in the launch of payloads on-board stratospheric balloons (helping on the testing of PACKMAN from Cordoba in Spain) and the design integration and launch of payloads for sounding rockets (with the SALACIA REXUS 21 experiment launched from ESRANGE in Sweden). As part of his activity within the group, he has also received several European awards for challenges on innovation such as the 2nd place at the 2018 INNOSpace Masters Competition OHB Challenge, the top-3 finalist at the 2018 Space Exploration Master´s, or the national winner at the ActInSpace 2018 edition. Finally, because of his experience and his demonstrated success record, he has been selected for an internship at the ESA European Astronaut Centre. This visiting researcher period will be the perfect final brochure for his Ph.D. training at the LTU and GAS group.

In the words of Álvaro “Everything I have achieved I owe to the Group of Atmospheric Science and my supervisor Professor María-Paz Zorzano Mier. It is a small research group, but we are all eager and hungry to get things done. You always learn something new and constantly develop yourself.”

Álvaro Soria-Salinas, GAS PhD student in Space Technology at Luleå University of Technology.
Photo: Linda Alfredsson