Adam Okniński, PhD, Head of the Department of Space Technologies at the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, has been awarded in the European edition of the prestigious Forbes “30 under 30” competition in the category “Manufacturing & Industry”.

300 young visionaries from 32 countries in Europe – this group includes a young Polish scientist, Adam Okniñski, who heads a team of over 50 engineers working on space technologies in the £ukasiewicz Research Network  – Institute of Aviation in Warsaw.

Forbes “30 under 30” is a list of 30 leaders and female leaders under 30 selected in 10 categories, who have a significant impact on changes in such areas as: technology, industry, science, business or society.

The list of this year’s winners of the Forbes “30 under 30” competition includes many well-known names (including activist Greta Thunberg), including a group of actors, athletes and startups.

Forbes “30 under 30” distinction in the category “Manufacturing & Industry”. (Production and industry) is not the first prize awarded to Adam Okniński in the context of scientific achievements and in the industrial category.

In previous years he was also the winner of the third place in the world in the ICAS-IFAR Award 2020 competition (at the same time 1st place in the space technology category), 1st place in the Innovator of Mazovia competition and many other, team distinctions – among others for the development of the ILR-33 BURSZTYN suborbital rocket and ecological satellite drives.

Space technologies for industry

Adam Okniński’s distinction in the Forbes “30 under 30” competition is an appreciation of his participation in the development of a significant space propulsion development centre in Europe.

– Although the prize was awarded individually, the jury appreciated the achievements of our entire team. We see this as a confirmation that the technological niches for innovative space propulsion, on which we have bet, are the right path of development. We make sure that our work translates into an increase in the capabilities of the domestic space technology sector, and that it will ultimately translate into new products and profit for Polish industry – says Adam Okniński.

It is in the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation that research and development works are carried out in the field of rocket technologies, satellite propulsion, ecological propellants and deorbitation modules. The Institute works on a daily basis on many projects commissioned by the European Space Agency, as well as in partnership with ThalesAlenia Space, Airbus Defence & Space, ArianeGroup, DLR, CNES or Polish companies: Creotech Instruments, Astronika, Mesko, ZPS Gamrat and Jakusz.

Research projects

The team of engineers led by Adam Okniński also implements an ambitious project of the ILR-33 BURSZTYN suborbital rocket (currently in 2K version), which is the first structure in the world to demonstrate the use of hydrogen peroxide in flight with a concentration above 98%. BURSZTYN is a cost-effective, scalable and ecological platform for atmospheric probing and microgravity testing. The rocket has been successfully tested during flight tests.

The team is also developing technologies to enable the development of European lunar and planetary landings. The ESA PLIIS programme, as well as the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme, is developing the technology needed to change the thrust values of engines over a very wide range, which is necessary for an efficient landing on the Moon. The Polish solution, developed with Astronika and JakuszSpaceTech, is the first in the world to develop this type of technology for engines for ecological and space-stored propellants, which is fundamental for the planned new generation of European exploration missions. At the same time, it is a technology that can also be used in small reusable rockets whose first stage could land back on the ground.

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