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Programs : Brochure

Detailed information about this program is shown below.
  • Locations: Hermanus, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Spring and/or Summer
  • Restrictions: UM applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications, please see Dates & Deadlines or contact the sponsoring office for more information.
Program Description:

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Research at South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in Hermanus, South Africa



SANSA Participants

The University of Michigan partners with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) to offer this unique research program. Students will join researchers at the SANSA Space Science Directorate in Hermanus, South Africa, to work on a variety of space weather science and engineering projects. Students are paired with SANSA scientists, engineers, and post-doctoral students, who provide one-on-one research mentorship. The program includes 2 weeks of pre-and-post travel activities at the University of Michigan, centered around scientific, cultural, and professional development to enhance the impact of the international research experience, guided by U-M scientific mentors. 

The program's goals include:

  • Engaging undergraduates in publishable research projects
  • Developing students' scientific communication skills
  • Developing culturally-competent and societally-aware scientists and engineers
  • Strengthening existing and developing new U-M and SANSA collaborations and exchanges

Research is conducted in English.

Professional Applications: international experiences offer students the opportunity to observe and engage in engineering as a global profession.
Participants on Research at South African National Space Agency in particular will benefit from the following professional development opportunities:

  • Professional Networking | Participants will receive mentorship from South African scientists, engineers and post-doctoral students promoting their global network.
  • Professional Practice | Students on this program will have the opportunity to participate in a research project, gaining valuable experience in the field with the opportunity to publish.


  • Minimum 2.0 GPA*
  • Current U-M Ann Arbor students currently declared in engineering 
  • Undergraduate students only
  • Sophomore or above**
  • There is no foreign language requirement for this program
  • Designated spots available for first-generation engineering students through the Experiential Learning Fellowship***
*A minimum 2.0 GPA is required for this program; students are not allowed to petition for an exception to GPA rules.

**Class standing for IPE programs is determined by year of study, regardless of credit hours earned. Applicants must have completed the required year(s) of college study by the program start date.

***Additional eligibility requirements apply


  • Students do not earn academic credit for the research project. 

Example of a potential project: Computerised Ionospheric Tomography (CIT) is a technique where multiple measurements from signals modulated when passing through an object, are used as inputs to reconstruct the three-dimensional structure of the object by employing mathematical inversion techniques.  In CIT the "object" is the spatial distribution of the electron density composition of the Earth's Ionosphere, i.e., the ionised component of Earth's atmosphere extending from about 50-2000 km above Earth. SANSA's Matlab-based near real-time TEC imaging system utilizes GPS observations from a Southern African regional network of about 60 dual frequency GNSS recievers. The objective of the project will be to develop necessary algorithms and software to extend SANSA's present 2D ionospheric TEC imaging system to a 3D Computerised Ionospheric Tomography system.


Students selected for the program will be fully funded. The funding covers the research project, housing, airfare, food, and a stipend. 


Click Here to Learn More About Available Funding

Passport and Visa

Students going on an IPE Program are required to have a passport which is valid for six months beyond the end date of their program. For this program, your passport must be valid through January 2020.

U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa for visits to South Africa under 90 days. U.S. citizens will receive the appropriate passport stamp at the airport when they arrive which limits their stay to 90 days.

Students cannot apply for a visa until after they are admitted to a program and IPE does not guarantee that a student can obtain the appropriate visa for his/her international experience. IPE does not grant visas for students nor claim to be a visa authority. Learn more about IPE's role in the visa process if you are required to obtain one.

Passport Photos:

IPE offers a free passport photo service by appointment every Friday that classes are in session in the IPE office (245 Chrysler). Undergraduate CoE students needing passport photo(s) for a passport or visa application may drop in to have these photos taken and printed for free. 

Make Your 10-minute Appointment

In your appointment request, please include the following information:

  • What is the international experience you need the photo(s) for?
  • Where is the international experience you need the photo(s) for?
  • How many photos do you need?

Application Procedures

MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS POLICY: Please note that the M-Compass application system allows students to open multiple applications for the same term, but IPE has specific rules regarding the number of applications per student we will review. Please refer to our Multiple Applications Policy for details, and contact your IPE advisor if you have any questions.

While this program is marked as having "Rolling Admission", complete applications will not be reviewed until the priority deadline. Once the priority deadline passes, students will be notified as decisions are reached. Accepted students will have 7 days to submit their confirmation decision.  

Dates & Deadlines

Key Program Dates: May  - July, 2019

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Due to a large volume of applicants for the 2019 program cycle this program is now closed.

ORIENTATION: All participants who confirm participation in the program must complete two mandatory components to the Pre-departure Orientation:

  1. The Online Supplement to Pre-Departure Orientation is a self-paced online course that must be completed any time before 11:59 PM on April 1, 2019.  Additional information will be provided to students once confirmed in the program.
  2. In-person Pre-departure Orientation on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM on North Campus.


Students will be housed in dormitories at the SANSA complex.

Need to Know

Contact Information

Professor Mark Moldwin (

Lead Advisor: Emily Aiken (

UM-SANSA International Research Experience for Students (IRES) Program 
Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering
University of Michigan 
2455 Hayward Street 
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2143

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications, please see Dates & Deadlines or contact the sponsoring office for more information.