Skip to Main Content

Anay aims for the moon!

Teenage science whizz, Anay, has already won a series of national awards and accolades and now the Year 9 Haileybury student can add recognition from the Australian Space Agency to his long list of achievements.

NEWS 29 May 2024

Anay, 13, competed in the Australian Space Agency’s prestigious EOL2 Big Dipper Regolith Acquisition Challenge (Phase I). Essentially, the challenge involves designing a device that can collect and deposit lunar regolith — Moon rock and dust — for Australia’s first lunar rover.

Anay was one of the youngest people to compete, with the challenge attracting around 200 entries from around the world. He was thrilled to win third place with his design called ‘Venna’.

“I was mostly competing against university students, PhD candidates and some seasoned professionals in aerospace engineering,” says Anay.

“At the time, I was unaware of the calibre of my competitors — I was just thrilled by the opportunity to contribute to Australia’s role in NASA’s Artemis program and the Trailblazer rover. It was an honour to compete alongside some of the best emerging minds in the field.”
Anay (Year 9)

Anay’s design was inspired by a blend of historical engineering and contemporary innovations.

“Being an ardent fan of the Apollo missions, I’ve always been fascinated by the ingenuity and resourcefulness demonstrated in early space technologies,” he says.

“For this challenge, I drew upon that admiration and looked at how modern advances could enhance those foundational concepts. So, I designed Venna — an indigenous name for ‘moon’ — with unique dual bucket drums and with a counter-rotating mechanism that that were both inspired by past NASA technologies and current robotics.

“I combined my knowledge in physics and mechanical engineering principles and I did a deep dive into engineering challenges, especially focusing on the peculiarities of lunar dust. My solid foundation of space exploration technologies was also helpful.”

At Haileybury, Anay has made the most of the school’s extensive STEM programs and the extra-curricular opportunities such as a robotics club. Through the school, he has also successfully competed in a series of demanding science competitions.

However, the future space flight surgeon was particularly thrilled to be recognised in this latest competition.

“It was a great opportunity to test my skills and knowledge in a real-world context, and to contribute to advancements in Australian space exploration”
Anay (Year 9)

“My ambitions in the space industry centre around contributing to manned space missions, potentially as a flight surgeon, and ensuring astronauts’ health and safety in extra-terrestrial environments. My ultimate goal is to be part of pioneering missions that could lead to human habitation on other planets.”

Gerard O’Dwyer, Head of STEM Programs at Haileybury’s Keysborough Campus, says Anay’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge and understanding have led him to investigate and tackle major real-world challenges.

“Anay’s ability to learn and apply new knowledge and skills stands out. In a discussion we had about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, he quickly understood the unique properties of these technologies and began to look at how they may be used in new and innovative ways. Anay always aims high and extends himself.”
Gerard O’Dwyer, Head of STEM Programs Haileybury