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RIT Dubai Student Takes Gold at International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition

by Eddie Rayner

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai student, Alisher Beisembekov, has boosted his ambitions to be part of the future of space exploration by securing gold in this year’s International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition (IAAC 2022). 

A student of computer science at RIT Dubai, Alisher was driven by his childhood passion for physics and inspired by the UAE’s remarkable strides in space exploration to participate in IAAC 2022. Among a field of over 4,600 contenders worldwide, Alisher was one of 1,400 students to make it through the qualification and pre-final rounds. Earning gold in the final stage of the challenge, Alisher was ranked among the top 3% of all participants in the competition. He also secured the national award for the highest nationwide score in his home country, Kazakhstan.

Speaking about his motivation and success in the event, Alisher said: “I’ve been fascinated by astronomy and astrophysics from a very young age and would take any opportunity to learn more and develop my understanding. This competition was both challenging and enjoyable and I was delighted to perform well and receive the gold honour. Most of all, it has helped me to advance skills that I would need for a career in the field.”

Planetary science enthusiast on a mission for a career in space exploration

Alisher came to Dubai from Kazakhstan to embark on his undergraduate degree studies and has been captivated by the UAE’s space exploration plans and activities. He revealed: “I think the UAE Mars Mission is a genuinely fascinating feat. Gathering data about the planet’s atmosphere is key to the colonization of Mars, which is something all of humanity has a stake in. This Mission contains an ocean of possibilities and the UAE’s ambitious plans for space exploration are something I would like to be part of in the future.”

Established to inspire young people to explore the scientific field, the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition presents students with a series of technical challenges throughout the three-stage process. Displaying his knowledge and skills in subjects ranging from space telescopes to black holes, Alisher impressed the competition organisers throughout each stage of the event. Competition coordinator, Fabian Schneider, remarked: “The whole team is glad that Alisher participated in this year’s edition of IAAC. His submissions were excellent, and I am confident that he has a bright academic career ahead.”

RIT Dubai President, Dr Yousef Al-Assaf, added, “We pride ourselves in having students like Alisher. The talent and determination that he demonstrates reflect the type of students we are looking for at RIT. Our students have grand plans that extend beyond their university years, they are on missions to create change in various fields, and we provide the required innovative environment and ecosystem at the university to support them to achieve their goals.”