The 4th session of the BIRDS International Workshop (4BIW) was held from November 25 to 28, 2019, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This annual international event of BIRDS Network was organized jointly by the Brac University, Bangladesh in cooperation with Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan & Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, Bangladesh. The BIW has become the most important international and interdisciplinary workshop aims to create the path for collaboration and enables the sustainability of the BIRDS community in the field of space engineering. The venue for the inauguration program was Pan Pacific Sonargaon, 107 Kazi Nazrul Islam Ave, Dhaka 1215, Bangladesh, and for other programs, the venue was be the BRAC Centre Inn, 75 Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The workshop was divided into four vital parts: The inauguration, Satellite Mission Idea Contest and Cansat competition, Cultural event and Excursion.

25th November 2019: The Inauguration of the event took place on November 25 at the Sonargoan Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The event commenced with a welcoming speech from Professor Arshad M. Chowdhury, Dean, School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Brac University followed by keynote speeches from Air Vice-Marshall Ahm Fazlul Haque, Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University (BSMRAAU) and Dr. Mengu Cho, Head, Department of Space Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan.The event witnessed a unique hand-over of the first flag of Bangladesh that went to space, from the Brac Onnesha, to Professor Vincent Chang, Vice-Chancellor of Brac University.

The procession also included speeches from the Chief Guest, Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood, Chairman, Bangladesh Communications Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL), and closing remarks from, once again, Professor Vincent Chang.

The inauguration ended with two valuable public lectures from Dr. Arifur R Khan, Assistant Professor from The University of Texas at EL Paso and Dr. Mengu Cho, Head of Department of Space Systems Engineering(Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan).

26th November 2019: The day was divided into three sessions : the Satellite Mission Idea Contest final presentation round, cansat competition and a panel session with all the delegates.

For the very first time in Bangladesh, IEEE Brac University Student Branch has organized Satellite Mission Idea Contest 2019, an inter-university paper writing competition on satellites, under 4th BIRDS International Workshop.

The competition was open for students of any educational institution in Bangladesh and it was based on generating new and improved ideas for satellites and writing a paper based on these ideas. Twenty-seven campus ambassadors from nineteen different institutions were assigned to help out with the promotion of the competition. With their help and the volunteers’ continuous efforts the overall response received was unbelievable. Twenty two teams from eighteen different institutions of Bangladesh registered for the competition including two school teams and one college team.

Previously Organized Satellite Mission Idea Contest Workshop :

A workshop titled “Satellite Mission Idea Contest Workshop” was organized on 13th November 2019 at Brac University premises. The workshop was conducted by Abdullah Hill Kafi, Research Associate of Nano Satellite Technology and Research (NASTER), Engineer at Brac Onnesha Satellite and Raihana Shams Islam Antara, Research Associate of Nano Satellite
Technology and Research (NASTER), Engineer at Brac Onnesha Satellite. The target of the workshop was to prepare the teams for the contest by explaining them how the paper needed to be written and how they should present on the main contest. A total of 15 teams attended the workshop and cleared their queries in an elaborate question and answer session at the end. The workshop wrapped up by handing over crests as a token of appreciation to the respected instructors and a group photo.

The journey started with 22 teams and 8 teams were selected for the final round based on their abstract paper. The finalist teams were:

Team Name Institute(s)
Asteroids Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology
Equinox Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology
Jontrojog Brac University
Mission 9.9 Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Oscillation Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and Brac University
Sentinel Brac University
Ulysses University of Dhaka (DU) and Jahangirnagar University
4 Red Bricks Islamic University of Technology

The Final Round of the Satellite Mission Idea Contest 2019 was held on 26 November, 2019 at Brac Centre Inn, 75 Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212.The two judges for the final round presentation were Omar Shahjalal Shantonu, Satellite Operation Manager at Spectra International Limited and Sanando Jagati Chayan, Project Supervisor at Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL). The event started off at 10:00 a.m. with the thankful and encouraging words of the Honorable Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammad Tamim. Then each of the teams presented their paper before the audience. A refreshment break was given in between the two presentation sessions. After the presentations the participants, judges and the volunteers had their lunch.

The prize giving ceremony started at 2:30 p.m. with the speech of the Honorable Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammad Tamim. He indicated on how information technology has advanced over the years and the fact that it is no longer enough to be expert at one particular field. He also mentioned that to reach the highest form of success one has to have the knowledge of multiple interconnected fields of study. Then the two judges shared their thoughts on the presentations of the teams and how amazed they were with their efforts and thirst for knowledge. After that the winner, the first runner-up and the second runner-up teams were announced.

The winning team of the Satellite Mission Idea Contest 2019 is team Ulysses from University of Dhaka and Jahangirnagar University. The first-runner up team is Oscillation from Brac University and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. The second runner up team is Sentinel from Brac University.

The winner, the first runner-up and the second runner-up teams were awarded prize money of fifteen thousand BDT, twelve thousand BDT and ten thousand BDT respectively. The rest of the finalists were awarded one thousand BDT each.

The Winner of Satellite Mission Idea Contest 2019 : Team Ulysses from University of Dhaka and Jahangirnagar University

First Runner Up: Team Oscillation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
 and Brac University

Second Runner-up: Team Sentinel from Brac University

Considering the fact that this is the first ever nationwide competition based on satellites, the overwhelming response from students all over the country has exceeded all expectations. It is safe to say that the utmost effort of the participants will open new doors to satellite studies and create enthusiasm among the general mass. Therefore, this competition should be held every year so that more revolutionary ideas can be generated and hopefully these ideas will lay a foundation to a better future for the country as well as the world.

In parallel to this, cansat competition organized by Brac University Robotics Club and a panel session discussion also took place at Brac Center Inn. The delegates discussed about their field of work in satellites and their starting motivation. The Pro Vice-Chancellor of Brac University, Professor Mohammad Tamim and Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science  of Brac University ,Arshad M. Chowhdury, PhD were also present at the panel discussion.

27th November 2019: A panel session with the delegates took place at 9am where they discussed about their future projects, goals and their research opportunities in the field of satellites. At 5pm a cultural event was organized to represent our country’s cultural background.

The ceremony represented the artistic and literary culture of our country through varied and numerous performances of the students. It displayed the beautiful music composed by Bengali instruments such as Tabla and Flute; not to mention the modern sounds of the violin and guitar. There was also marvelous Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Sangit and Folk songs.

In the middle of the procession, research Associates, Akh Kafi and Raihana Shams Islam Antara, presented the esteemed guests with magnificent framed ‘Nakshi Katha’ stitched artwork-symbolic of the Bangladeshi folk art.

The event ended with Monipuri dance and Kabbo Natto(with flute) performances.

28th November 2019: Ending a vastly successful workshop, 20 delegates left Brac Centre Inn at 9 am on the 28th of November in two different busses along with Brac University research associates Abdulla Hil Kafi and Raihana Shams Islam Antara for their day long excursion. The foreign delegates were takenShangshad Bhaban first and then to The Liberation War Museum and given an informative tour about the history of Bangladesh and the liberation war that delivered us our nation.

In the afternoon, they had lunch in Savar,BCDM from where they again left off for visiting Shaheed Smriti Shoudho where the excursion came to a formal ending. Later the delegates were escorted to Jamuna Future Park on their way back for a little souvenir shopping. Throughout the entire day the students formed small groups and helped the delegates according to their respective needs.

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