National Aeronautics and Space Administration + NASA Quest
+ Search Quest
+ NASA Ames Education
 Find it at NASA
 banner for Australia 2009 expedition

Spaceward Bound Expedition: Australia 2009

Photo of David Willson

David Willson
Australian Expedition Leader


I am a senior mechanical project engineer based in Hobart, Tasmania and during last 14 years I have been project manager, design manager, projects engineer, responsible mechanical engineer, site engineer and a mechanical design engineer.

I have undertaken concept design, estimating, detailed design, tendering, commissioning and training operating personnel for projects worth up to $30m in heavy industry in most parts of Australia and Papua New Guinea including mining projects in extremely isolated locations. Projects I have completed include power station fuel in-feed systems, processing plants but mostly mining and wharf bulk handling systems including shiploaders, stackers and materials handling facilities. Some of these projects have won engineering and environmental design awards.

The most interesting work has been the project management of a $14m research mineral processing plant, a $1m research and development project for a new type of ship unloader and writing design procedures for design teams.

My preferred interest is, of course, space exploration. I am a director of Mars Society Australia and the project manager for the society’s Mars-Oz project. I also have co-authored papers on bent biconic space vehicles for Mars bases, a manned Mars mission architecture using bent biconic vehicles, the extraction of water from hydrated Mars regolith, Mars rover designs and the process of designing and testing rocket engines.

The spaceward bound expedition offers a very exciting mix of people from many backgrounds providing great opportunities to develop new ideas. My aim on the expedition is to provide the participants a safe and constructive environment to work together and enjoy the experience.

 FirstGov  NASA

Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe