The School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering would like to highlight one of our prestigious alumni. Divya Jindal graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Aerospace) and a Bachelor of Commerce. Jindal started out at Optus as a graduate Spacecraft Engineer and has worked her way up over 6 years to become a Senior Spacecraft Systems and Orbits Engineer at Optus Satellite.

Jindal works with a team of engineers to maintain a fleet of 7 geostationary satellites. Her role requires her to analyse satellite telemetry, run maintenance procedures, write code to command the satellites, respond to rare anomalies and to go on-call to provide satellite support after hours. 

Additionally, as satellites do not stay automatically in place while in orbit due to external forces, Jindal plans manoeuvres to fire on-board satellite thrusters to bring the satellite back to its desired orbit.

“Funnily enough when I applied for the Optus Graduate Program, I was not aware that Optus owned satellites, or that satellite would be one of the options available to choose from. When I saw satellite as an option, I immediately flagged my interest and that’s how I got into this exciting field”.

Equipment room at the Optus Satellite Ground Station

Coming from a highly educated immigrant family that worked extremely hard to secure a bright future for their child, Jindal cherished her education.

“My parents always instilled in me the importance of education and reminded me that’s how they got to Australia, and I learnt from them that education was the most precious asset you could acquire, and that no one could ever take it away from you”.

Having watched her father design cranes on complex software in his role as a Mechanical Engineer, Jindal was fascinated by engineering processes and design. A self-described late bloomer, Jindal enjoyed maths and science leading to an interest in physics. She eventually got interested in space after learning about it in high school physics. She then decided to pursue aerospace engineering as it would allow her to study her favourite subjects.

We spoke to Jindal about her role at Optus Satellite, her time at UNSW which included exchange in China and Indonesia along with societies that advanced her skills, her vital advice for students at UNSW to excel at their course and how she views the evolution of the aerospace industry. Check out the full interview.