Les Johnson, NASA

Les Johnson

Author and futurist, NASA scientist

A physicist, an author, and the Principal Investigator for the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout solar sail mission at the NASA George C.Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Les is the Watkins Prize winning author of several popular science books including “Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel” and his latest, “Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material That Will Revolutionize the World”.

He is also a science fiction writer; his fourth novel, “Mission to Methone,” [published February 2018 - Baen Books]. In his career at NASA, Les was the co-investigator on the European Union’s InflateSail solar sail mission and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s T-Rex tether mission. He thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and has 3 patents. lesjohnsonauthor.com

Christophe Lasseur, ESA

Christophe Lasseur

Head of MELiSSA project, European Space Agency

PhD in bioengineering from University of Compiegne (France), joined first MATRA space Branch (today Airbus), where he worked on the control of higher plant chamber for space missions. Later on, he became the project manager of the echograph Anthrorack that flew with success on US Shuttle D2 mission.

In 1990, he joined ESA for a research fellow position devoted to the precursor of the MELiSSA pilot plant. In 1992, he became MELiSSA project manager, and in 1998 the coordinator of ESA R&D in the life support domain. From 2000 to 2010, he chaired the International Life Support working Group, which involved NASA, JAXA, CSA, RSA, and ESA.

He currently acts as well as European representative to the ISS Medical board for microbiology, and is adviser for several European Union activities. Since 2012 he chairs the Life Support Sessions (F4) of COSPAR. He regularly teaches in several European engineering schools (e.g. KTH, EPFL, Agro-Paris). In March 2017, he received a Doctor Honoris Causa from Antwerpen University (Belgium), he was invited speaker to the 2018 World Government Summit in Dubai.

Antonio Del Mastro, Mars Society

Antonio Del Mastro

President and Project coordinator, Mars planet

Graduated in Electronic/Telecommunication Engineering with a specialization in SAR satellites data analysis. He has acquired a long experience in the risk analysis techniques of devices and systems in Space and not-Space industry. Currently his main area of research are virtual reality, robotics, AI. Antonio is the president of the Italian Mars Society which he founded in 2004, as Italian branch of the International Mars Society.

Zainab Saleem, Iceye

Zainab Saleem

Engineer with expertise in guidance, navigation and control in the area of aerospace and robotics, ICEYE

She is currently working at ICEYE as an Attitude and Orbit Control System engineer for design, development and verification of the system for a SAR satellite constellation. ICEYE aims to launch and operate a constellation of micro-SAR satellites providing access to timely and reliable Earth observation data. ICEYE is the first company that has successfully miniaturized a SAR satellite, creating a unit that is 100x more cost-effective than traditional counterparts.

Having a bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering from Pakistan and a master's degree in Astronautics and Space Robotics from Europe, Zainab Saleem has been working in field of aerospace for many years now.

Barbara Imhof, Liquifer

Barbara Imhof

Space architect, design researcher and educator. Co-founder and CEO, LIQUIFER Systems Group

Barbara Imhof is the co-founder and CEO of LIQUIFER Systems Group, an interdisciplinary team comprising engineers, architects, designers and scientists. LIQUIFER’s projects deal with spaceflight parameters such as with living with limited resources, minimal and transformable spaces, resource-conserving systems; all aspects imperative to sustainability.

Projects Barbara has led for LIQUIFER include the design of the first transportable European space simulation habitat SHEE (Self-deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments), the design of sampling tools for human-robot collaboration in project Moonwalk.

Adding to her experience about space simulations she served as simulation astronaut for the project Moonwalk’s Mars demonstrations in Rio Tinto, Spain in 2016. Another path Barbara has been following since the 2000s are biomimetic designs for architectural structures such as in the projects Biornametics and Growing As Building. LIQUIFER’s partners and clients belong to internationally renowned institutions and space agencies.

Daniel Sors Raurell, Open Cosmos

Daniel Sors Raurell

Aerospace engineer, Open Cosmos

Daniel is an aerospace engineer passionate about space science and technology. Back at university he organised different international CanSat competitions and coordinated different rocket and sounding balloon projects. He has several years of experience working at the European Space Agency and is now working as an engineer at Open Cosmos contributing to simplify access to space.

Tom Rousek, XTend

Tomas Rousek

Terrestrial and space architect. Founder, XTEND London

Tomas Rousek is terrestrial and space architect. He has collaborated with NASA JPL and clients such as Vodafone, Shell, Skoda Auto and Mercedes-Benz. He collaborated on missions to Moon, Mars and asteroid and developed SinterHab, first concept of 3D-printed lunar module based on NASA technology. Tomas is a founder of XTEND DESIGN LONDON and A-ETC PRAGUE.

He worked on architecture for Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, FIFA championship in Qatar and Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi. His designs were presented in 17 exhibitions in Europe and America and won several awards (e.g. from NASA). His research involved sustainable architecture and transport, robotic construction methods, membrane structures, 3D printing, artificial gravity and space tourism.

Frank Preud’homme, Qinetiq

Frank Preud’homme

Sales and Business Development Director, QinetiQ

As a graduated Master of Science engineering and Biomedical engineering at the University of Leuven (Belgium), he joined QinetiQ Space (previously Verhaert Design and Development) almost 30 years ago as a Project Manager for the development of Life Science related instruments for microgravity research.

He later became responsible for the Space Instruments Business Unit. In this role he was responsible for the production of important parts of the ISS facilities (as BIOLAB, Fluid Science Lab, Modular Cultivation System, Microgravity Science Glovebox, …), other microgravity labs for MIR, the Shuttle, Foton satellites, sounding rockets and parabolic flights.

After the acquisition by QinetiQ Ltd  he became Sales and Business Development Director in charge of the strategy, Business development, Sales team, Governmental affairs and communications of QinetiQ Space. Currently the main focus is on small Earth Observation satellites and innovative mechanisms for exploration (IBDM docking system) and in-orbit servicing.

He was member of several workgroups for ESA like the Human Spaceflight Vision Group, promoting the return to the moon and the Development Projects Implementation Improvements workgroup, providing review and recommendations for improved contractual and project management rules of the Agency.

From 2011 to 2014 he was President of Belgospace, the Belgian space industry association and he is still President of the Flemish space industry association and of Redu Operation Services, the joint-venture running the Redu (Belgium) satellite ground station.

Dr. Alexander Reissner, Enpulsion

Dr. Alexander Reissner

Founder and CEO, Enpulsion

In 2016, Alexander founded the company ENPULSION, dedicated to the commercialization of the IFM Nano Thruster.

Alexander Reissner has been appointed to be the General Chair of the International Electric Propulsion Conference (IEPC) 2019, that will take place in Vienna.

He started his career in the space business with RUAG Space, working in Thermal Hardware and later in Mechanical Engineering on projects like Sentinel or Bepi Colombo. He then joined the Austrian Institute of Technology and became the Team Leader for Electric Propulsion Systems. In 2013, he became the head of the department shortly after it was moved to FOTEC. There he was head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering which consists of 17 scientists and engineers dedicated to the development of new innovative space-related technologies. The group focuses on chemical and electrical propulsion systems as well as energy systems for satellites and space probes.

His education took him from a Dipl.Ing. (MSc) in Physics at the Technical University of Vienna to the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea where he started a PhD program in Aerospace Engineering. He then followed his supervisor to the Technical University of Dresden where he finished his PhD Program.

Darot Dy, PwC

Darot Dy

Manager – Space, PwC Advisory

Manager in the PwC Space practice, Darot has more than 6 years experience as an engineer, business developer and analyst in the aerospace, defence and security sector with a strong focus on space related projects. He has shared his knowledge and expertise in the space sector for both private and public actors. As a member of the PwC Space practice, he led several studies for large industrial space programmes.

He has notably worked in the past on several studies for the European Commission and the European Space Agency aimed at characterizing the socio-economic impacts of space activities in Europe.

William Carbone, IBM

William Carbone

Chairman of IBM Technical Experts Council – CZ|SK

William leads Cognitive Solutions for IBM, globally. William is among the most exceptional IBMers appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Academy of Technology member. Top 100 technical leaders providing the direction of IBM with innovation that matters. William is also the Chairman of the Technical Experts Council for Slovakia and Czech Republic, focusing on innovation, patenting, research and state-of-the-art technologies and fostering the technical eminence of young talents/experts in the region.

Marek Aldorf, ESA BIC

Marek Aldorf

ESA BIC Prague Programme Manager

Marek works as Programme Manager of business incubation centre of the European Space Agency in Prague (ESA BIC Prague) since its establishment in 2016. His aim is to look for entrepreneurs and young start-ups with innovative ideas exploiting space technologies and help them to develop their businesses on (and around) Earth. ESA BICstranslate space technologies into solutions for everyday life and the Europe-wide network of almost 20 incubators has produced more than 700startups to date. The programme in the Czech Republic is run by the investment and business development agency CzechInvest.

Jakub Brogyányi, OHB

Jakub Brogyányi

Aerospace Engineer, OHB System AG

Jakub is an aerospace enthusiast and engineer. At the University of Applied Sciences FH Joanneum in Graz Jakub joint multiple projects in the field of mechanical design and CFD analysis. He developed a passion for flight control systems and dynamics. After graduating in 2014, Jakub started his career as a project engineer in the field of composite build aircraft, developing a mission pod and contributing to the preliminary design of a new aircraft model. His passion for space was triggered with the development of a nano-suspension experiment for the International Space Station, with former Astrium at Lake Constance. In 2017 Jakub went on to design satellites for Bremen-based satellite manufacturer OHB Systems, working in the department for mechanical design.

Oana van der Togt, TNO

Oana van der Togt

TNO Senior Business Developer. Account Manager ESA and NASA

Oana is a Business Developer responsible for a part of TNO’s space portfolio which includes the space science (GAIA, LISA) and calibration (GOME, OMI, Sentinel5) activities. She is the Account Manager for the European Space Agency and respectively NASA, being in charge with the strategy and developments around those two customers.

She has a background in Optics with a PhD in optical system design for lithography. She has joined TNO twelve years ago where she has started her career as an optical designer for the semiconductor and space markets. In this role, she has been involved in the development of a number of optical instruments delivered by TNO (e.g Sentinel5P – TROPOMI). She has continued her career as Project and Programme Manager and has supported TNO Companies, the TNO office in charge of bringing new valorisations to the market.