NASA astronaut to touch down at USQ

NASA Astronaut Colonel Robert S. Kimbrough

Students from across the state will be reaching for the stars when NASA Astronaut Colonel Robert S. Kimbrough lands at University of Southern Queensland for a week of sustainable fun.

More than 1000 school students are expected to attend the annual two-day sustainability conference at USQ’s Springfield campus, while Col. Kimbrough will also wow students at events in Maryborough and Toowoomba.

Col Kimbrough will be one of the keynote speakers at the Springfield and Fraser Coast conferences.

The renowned astronaut joined the NASA team at the Johnson Space Centre in 2000 and completed his first spaceflight in 2008.

He logged a total of 15 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes and 37 seconds in space and 12 hours and 52 minutes of Extravehicular Activity in two spacewalks.

Col Kimbrough currently serves as the Robotics Branch Chief for the Astronaut Office.

USQ Springfield’s Professor Marie Kavanagh said the University was privileged to have such an excellent line-up of knowledgeable keynote speakers for the conferences.

“Col Kimbrough will fly in from the USA to engage the students in his talk entitled: ‘Sustainability - Lessons from Space,” Professor Kavanagh said.

NASA International Space Station Risk Manager, Michael Lutomski and NASA Education Specialist Monica Trevathan will also speak at the conferences.

“Mr Lutomski has spent more than 20 years working on the Manned Spaceflight at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston Texas where he has held various positions within operations, engineering and the International Space Station Program Office.”

“Ms Trevathan joined NASA in 2000 and began her career in the aerospace industry as an instructional designer with the Training Division at the NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

“Her current work involves designing Math and Science content for primary and secondary education projects.

“In conjunction with the conferences the SIFE USQ, Our Space A Better Place competition will again run in primary schools in the Springfield area.

“There is $1500 total prize money for the school that has the best sustainability project/s.” Judging will take place in November. Schools interested in taking part in this competition can contact Julie Crouch at for further details.

“Lone Pine will entertain the primary students and teachers at the Space and Sustainability Experience about the reptile’s role within the ecosystem.

“Bunnings will also demonstrate worm farming to the students and at the end of the conference will give away a worm farm to one lucky school.”

The NASA pair will deliver a presentation for USQ students, staff and wider community guests at the Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre in Toowoomba on September 12 from 6pm – 7.30pm.

The presentation will be a collaboration between USQ's The Hive (Student Activities and Communities) and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce Future Leaders group, titled Humans in Space - Sharing the Experience and the Future at NASA.

Meanwhile, USQ Fraser Coast Events Coordinator Stephanie Bayley said Col Kimbrough would meet with students, teachers and sponsors on the Saturday morning before he officially started the RACQ Maryborough Technology Challenge 24-hour race on September 15. They will then attend this year’s RACQ Maryborough Technology Challenge on September 15.


Fraser Coast

Public Presentation: Sustainability - Lessons from Space
Maryborough Central State School Hall - Kak' Kal Ba
Saturday 15 September 2012 from 2pm to 3pm


The Sustainable Business Conference, designed for years 11 and 12 students and their teachers will be held on Monday 17 September between 8.30am and 2.30pm at the USQ Springfield Auditorium.

The Space and Sustainability Experience, designed for years 2 to 6 students and their teachers will be held on Tuesday 18 September between 8.30am and 2.30pm at the USQ Springfield Auditorium.

Conversations around space, sustainability and risk management, a public lecture will be held on Thursday 13 September between 5pm and 7pm at the USQ Springfield Auditorium.


Humans in Space - Sharing the Experience and the Future at NASA
Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre, USQ Toowoomba
Wednesday 12 September 2012 from 6pm – 7.30pm
*Unfortunately we have exceeded capacity and registration is now closed.

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