Fabian Hualca: Space Exploration and Entrepreneurship

Programme/ subject area: MSc Advanced Aeronautical Engineering

Completion year: 2015

Previous Education: BEng Aerospace Engineering (1st Class)

Alumni Wisdom: If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes and commit to it – figure out how to do it later.

Studying at Imperial

Why did you choose to study a MSc within the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial?

I consider Imperial College the UK’s best university in aeronautical engineering. Its location is perfect for maintaining a well-balanced work/life environment. I always envisioned myself studying at one of best universities in the world, one with a vast network in the aerospace industry, outstanding careers advisors, industrial partners and world leading researchers.

What values and skills from your studies have you carried into professional life/your career?

My experience at Imperial College taught me values such as excellence, responsibility and teamwork. After my graduation I was able to put into practice skills such as problem solving, leadership and time management.

What did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?

What inspired me the most about Imperial College was its history and state of the art facilities such as: laboratories, manufacturing workshops, study rooms, student accommodation and health centres. This encouraged me because it made me feel fortunate that I belonged to such a prestigious university and inspired me to live up to its expectations.

What is your fondest memory of your time at Imperial?

I had the most wonderful time while studying at Imperial College. My favourite memory would have to be dodging tourists during summer peak season haha! Imperial College is surrounded by fantastic restaurants, bars and museums, and this of course attracts many tourists to the area, which is GREAT! My favourite spot near campus would have to be the science museum.

Career path and future goals

What are you currently doing (and how has your study at Imperial helped you achieve this)?

Currently, I am the Chief Engineer at a Bio-tech company called SO-G Technology. The knowledge and practical skills I gained at Imperial College has given me the ability and mentality to tackle any problem and solve it.

What has been your greatest achievement/career highlight so far?

Competing at the 2021 Astronaut Selection Campaign, organised by ESA (European Space Agency). My motivation has always been space and the mystery of humanity’s origin. I applied to become an astronaut because I believe that in the near future we will inhabit another planet (MARS!) and I want to be there when it happens! Current astronauts and space agencies need all the help they can get. My background as an aerospace engineer helped me stand out among 22,000 applicants. Out of those 22,000 applicants only 7% were selected to pass to the next stage, and I was one of them. I met extraordinary people with out-of-this-world skills and knowledge. To be able to ask questions to such amazing human beings is a once in a lifetime opportunity not many people get. I feel honoured to have taken part in such a challenging and life changing competition.

What are your future career goals?

I dream big like Elon Musk, and like Elon Musk, I would one day like to start my own space company in South America – in Ecuador to be more precise. In Ecuador, there is a sweet spot that exists at an altitude of 3500m above sea level, for launching geostationary satellites. The advantages of this sweet spot are altitude, earth’s maximum rotational speed and stable weather conditions (low humidity, wind speed and salinity). In fact, some space companies in USA are already collaborating with South America because of these advantages, and of course let’s not forget this is one of the reasons why the European Space Agency also launches from South America.

In 2018, I started a space education company ‘HALO SPACE LIMITED’. My company focuses on promoting and spreading awareness of the space industry as well as guiding and mentoring engineering students. This venture has given me the opportunity to expand my network and collaborate with likeminded people, and I even got to meet Elon Musk at a conference!

Alumni experience

What was your favourite thing about studying in London?

I grew up in London, so choosing Imperial College was an easy decision for me. My favourite thing about studying in London would have to be the vast quantity of museums, bars and restaurants it has to offer.


What or who inspires you?

Elon Musk inspires me. He has been my role model since I was young. His ability to be passionate and persistent in spite of multiple failures sets him apart from most people who would give up after one or two attempts of trying something new.

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