Priyanka Das Rajkakati Aerospace Engineer | Artist



A very basic duality

Priyanka has always lived a dual personality, with two, seemingly contradictory, sides fused into one: as a dynamic and expressive artist, and also as a reserved, logic-oriented scientist. And then, a wide-eyed fascination for Space.

Born in the Himalayan mountains, Priyanka grew up in the hustle and bustle of New Delhi and moved to France at age 21, to explore various opportunities in diverse domains. Through years spent experimenting with various scientific fields, including pursuing a PhD in Aerospace engineering, she realised that she kept repeatedly gravitating towards the artistic aspect of the subject at hand. For example: bioluminescent bacteria and their patterns in Biology; algorithmic art in Computer Science; and, during her PhD research on satellite navigation, the fascinating patterns made by signals and accumulated noise. Thus, it was clear that Science and Art were not orthogonal entities but simply different viewpoints on experiencing Nature and the Cosmos.


On discovering that the domain of Space research was in fact a highly interdisciplinary field, Priyanka found a context for her work in mixing Art and Science. Her work currently involves experimentation with mixed-media art techniques and visual representation of data. She has also illustrated for magazine covers, articles and contributed designs for communication-related activities.

Quite rattled by the current state of humanity through her own experiences, Priyanka is also actively involved in STEM and art outreach activities: as ambassador of the L’Oreal-UNESCO Girls in Science initiative, as member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), as expert to the IAF Technical Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space (ITACCUS) and through collaborations with the EuroMoonMars initiative. Finally, as part of the 5th cohort of the Homeward Bound initiative for women in science, she will also be taking part in a trip to Antarctica in 2021.