The Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) is pleased to announce the 2021 Future Space Leaders Grant Program. Intended for U.S. graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing space- and satellite-related careers, the program will provide grants for participation in the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, USA, October 25 – October 29, 2021. In addition to attending the IAC, Grant Recipients will also be involved in supplementary career development activities in Dubai. These IAC-associated events include the Cross-Cultural Presentation Workshop, the United Nations/International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Workshop, the Space Generation Congress hosted by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and the Young Professionals Workshop. These additional activities will necessitate Grantees’ presence in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, beginning on October 20, 2021.
Shayna Hume is a Ph.D. student studying Martian Entry, Descent, and Landing at the University of Colorado Boulder. In 2020, she completed her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and M.E. in Engineering Management from CU. Previously, she interned as a Matthew Isakowitz Fellow at the Aerospace Corporation, and before that, at NASA Goddard, Lockheed Martin Space, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. On the side, she supports the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, volunteers with the Space Generation Advisory Council studying the logistics of lunar settlement and running the SGAC Mentorship Program, and works to understand space exploration from the perspective of human settlement through her work as an Analog Astronaut.
Josh Ingersoll is currently serving as a Satellite Regulatory Engineer for Amazon’s Project Kuiper where his focus is on space safety and spectrum allocation. In the evenings, Josh conducts research for The George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute under the advisement of Dr. Scott Pace. This work will culminate in a Master of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy and a Master of Business Administration in STEM Management. His research is focused on developing regulatory frameworks for Non-Geostationary Operators (NGSO’s) that allow for commercial development while also protecting the commons that is Low-Earth Orbit. Outside of his professional and academic endeavors, Josh serves as the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program’s Recruitment Chair and as a member of Georgia Tech Aerospace’s “Mentor in Residence” program. He also enjoys giving space lessons to elementary school students through the Skype a Scientist platform. Josh received his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Molly MacEachen is a research associate for the Space & Sustainability Initiative (SSI) at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder where she performs project management, coordinates RA and volunteer work, and plays a crucial role in the operations of the core research team. She recently graduated magna cum laude from CU Boulder with a dual degree in business and sociology. During her time at CU, Molly’s research on sustainable innovation, corporate social responsibility, and interactions between industry and society was funded by multiple grants & scholarships and showcased at conferences around the globe. In addition to her research, Molly is a consultant for the United Nations Global Compact where she focuses more broadly on the topic of corporate sustainability reporting. Ultimately, her work is centered around the private sector’s impact on the world, focusing specifically on training the next generation of leaders to be responsible and sustainable. Molly will be sharing her perspective as panelist for the Plenary Session, “Social Responsibility in Space: How the Next Generation is Leading the Charge” at the 2021 International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
Ufuoma Ovienmhada is an Aeronautics and Astronautics PhD student in the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. In her research, Ufuoma studies applications of Earth Observation (EO) technologies for sustainable management of socio-ecological systems. Her paper at the IAC discusses the creation of EO-powered data tools for the management of an invasive plant species in West Africa. Ufuoma has interned at Planet Labs and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she researched EO applications for the study of urbanization and methane detection, respectively. Prior to arriving at MIT, she graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She also holds an M.S. from MIT in Media Arts and Sciences.
Simon Shuham is a Senior Sales Engineer at Ursa Major Technologies, a Colorado-based rocket engine manufacturer. Prior to joining Ursa Major, Simon was a propulsion engineer at Blue Origin working on the design, integration, assembly, and test of the BE-3U and BE-4 engines. Before Blue Origin, Simon worked at United Launch Alliance as a propulsion engineer, developing fluid systems and components for the Atlas, Delta, and Vulcan launch vehicles. Simon is an Aviation Week 20 Twenties recipient and remains involved in a variety of young professional development organizations including SGAC, SEDS, AIAA, the Zed Factor Fellowship and Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Simon graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering.
Andrew Swackhamer is a Research Assistant at the Space and Sustainability Initiative at CU Boulder, where he is investigating how the recent rise in commercial space actors has affected the space environment, how taking safe and sustainable actions will affect space business models, and whether there exists the potential for self-governance among commercial actors in lieu of or in addition to legally binding regulation. Currently a student in the Aerospace Engineering department at CU, Andrew organizes and facilitates two of SSI’s four Working Groups, focusing on Orbital Debris and Right of Way scenarios involving conjunctions between two active satellites. In addition to his work with SSI, he was the project lead for CU Boulder’s team that finished second place in the 2020 SEDS-SSPI Competition: Taking Out the Trash, where they researched and detailed the multitude of policy, business, and technological elements involved in adequately addressing the growing congestion of near-Earth space. At IAC 2021, Andrew will be sharing his experiences working in the space sustainability field on the Next Generation Social Responsibility Plenary.
Anna Voelker (they/them) joined the Aspen Science Center as its new Executive Director in June 2021. Anna is also the founder and Executive Director of the SciAccess Initiative, an international program dedicated to advancing disability inclusion in STEM. Through SciAccess, they lead numerous science inclusion initiatives, including an annual conference launched by their receipt of the $100,000 Ohio State University (OSU) President’s Prize in 2018. Anna is currently organizing the SciAccess 2021 Conference, which will take place virtually on November 12 and 13, 2021. Along with George Whitesides, former CEO of Virgin Galactic, Anna serves as the Project Lead of Mission: AstroAccess, a new SciAccess project that aims to pave the way for disabled space explorers. Mission: AstroAccess, in partnership with numerous nonprofit organizations, will send a crew of disabled researchers on a parabolic ZERO-G flight later this year. Anna specializes in accessible science outreach for diverse learners and has worked extensively with blind and low vision students using 3D printing and data sonification. Anna is passionate about making STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) accessible to all, as detailed in their 2017 TEDx Talk. As a student at OSU, Anna designed their own major to pursue this passion and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Science Communication and Accessibility, with a minor in Astronomy and Astrophysics. In May 2021, Anna hosted a live NASA event where astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) answered questions from students with disabilities. This was the first ISS event to feature American Sign Language in over a decade. Anna was named a 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow and previously worked at NASA Kennedy, NASA Goddard, the OSU Department of Astronomy, the OSU Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development, and the Aerospace Corporation.
Tatem Burns has a Masters degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago, IL and is in the process of earning doctoral candidacy in this field of study. As a graduate student, her passion lies in conducting research on individual differences, gender differences, and team composition. She conducts research for two NASA-funded grants, the work of which brings a multifaceted approach to understanding and optimizing crew relations in simulated space mission teams by considering the person, the team, and the context. Her paper at the IAC examines how crew differences in gender and personal values predict crew relations, findings of which can help inform team composition decisions for long duration space exploration.
Liz De La Torre has a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design, designing vehicles and environments for feature film. Liz uses creative methods to imagine the future of technology in space. She is a Creative Technologist, MS Candidate and Research Assistant at the MIT Media Lab, hailing from The Studio at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where for 5 years, she worked on creative projects for various space missions and pre-mission formulation for future missions. Her current research examines the intersection of creativity and aerospace, and how creative techniques are of benefit to space technology innovation. Lizbeth is also a consultant with The Science and Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that connects entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers to create a synergy between accurate science and engaging story lines in both film and TV programming. This summer, she is a Graduate Associate Intern with Disney, learning from the Imagineering process and how it might benefit space. She plans on returning to JPL to support space technology innovation.
Conor Duggan serves as the Business Development Manager for Aerospace at the Washington State Department of Commerce, where he manages the state’s aerospace business development portfolio and is working to strengthen and grow Washington’s aviation, space, and drone industries. Prior to joining the state government, Conor worked for Moon Express and gained industry expertise in government affairs, business development, marketing, and communications. Combined with previous experience in international relations at NASA Headquarters and NASA Ames Research Center, he has become adept at bridging the divide between business and government in the aerospace sector. Conor also founded Project Human, a grassroots campaign to capitalize the letter H in Human in order to promote the idea that being Human is part of our individual and global identity. Conor earned a B.S. in Political Science from Santa Clara University, where he became passionate about the role of science and technology policy in fostering global peace, progress, and prosperity.
Tanya Harrison lives in Washington DC as the Account Manager for Scientific Users at Planet Federal. She holds a PhD in Geology with a specialization in Planetary Science and Exploration from the University of Western Ontario. Tanya is considered a passionate advocate for Mars and a social media influencer, using Twitter for public outreach about space. She spent 4 years working in mission operations as an Assistant Staff Scientist at Malin Space Science Systems on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera (CTX) and Mars Color Imager (MARCI), as well as the Mast Cameras (Mastcam), Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) aboard the Curiosity rover. Later at Arizona State University she worked in mission operations for the Panchromatic Camera (Pancam) aboard the Opportunity rover and held the position of Director of Research for the Space Technology and Science Initiative for 3 years. Currently she also serves as the youngest member of the Board of Governors for the National Space Society.
Caroline Juang is an incoming Ph.D. student in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and formerly the project coordinator for the NASA citizen science project Landslide Reporter at Science Systems and Applications, Inc./NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At NASA, Caroline launched the project and handled all aspects from outreach to data analysis with the help of the GSFC team. Previously, she interned as a Brooke Owens Fellow at Bryce Space and Technology. On the side, she volunteers with the Brooke Owens Fellowship and the Space Generation Advisory Council, motivated by her passion to increase access to opportunities in space. Caroline graduated in May 2017 with an A.B. in Earth & Planetary Sciences and a minor in Environmental Sciences and Public Policy from Harvard University. She is the only applicant accepted for a Plenary in IAC this year.
Steven Ramm works at Lockheed Martin Space as a Systems Engineer and the Commercialization Lead in Advanced Programs. Based in Denver, Steven helps shape and execute human space exploration projects such as NASA’s Lunar Gateway, Commercial Lunar Payload Services, and the Orion Commercial Payloads effort announced at IAC last year. Steven aspires to create a future where humanity has established a sustainable presence and vibrant economy on the Moon, harnessing deep space resources to improve life on Earth and propel us farther into the solar system. Prior to Advanced Programs, Steven performed Flight Test Integration on the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program in the Bay Area. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. Outside of work, Steven shares his passion for space by being very active in the local community, performing various outreach activities to encourage younger generations to pursue careers in space.
Dr. Todd F. Sheerin will be joining The Aerospace Corporation in the Vehicle Design and Innovation Department this August where he will focus on spacecraft systems engineering for civil, commercial, and defense sectors. Todd recently completed his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received fellowships from the Draper Fellow Program (2014-2019), the Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (2016-2019), and the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program (2018). Todd’s doctoral research focused on a first-of-its-kind optical atomic clock for GPS-denied positioning, navigation, and timing for which he led systems integration, thermal control design, atom-laser interactions modeling, and frequency reference instability investigations as part of a DARPA program and a Draper-NIST collaboration. Prior to his doctoral research, Todd led a variety of technology development and space systems maturation efforts at Draper, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and NASA directing three separate microgravity flight campaigns and working on projects ranging from astronaut mobility systems to reconfigurable spacecraft, small satellite deployables, lunar and low-gravity hoppers, high power solar electric propulsion and spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control. Todd received his Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Harvard University.
Caleb Williams is the Lead Economic Analyst at SpaceWorks Enterprises where he oversees delivery of business strategy and economic analysis engagements for private-sector clients. During his time at SpaceWorks, he has served as the principal analyst for more than 15 engagements, covering topics ranging from Lunar Landers to additively manufactured rocket engines. Caleb is particularly interested in enabling wide-spread commercialization of outer space and his commentary regarding the commercial space industry has been widely featured across Forbes, WIRED, SpaceNews, Aviation Week and many others. In addition to his professional work, Caleb currently serves as an Advisor to the Symposium on Space Innovations at the Georgia Institute of Technology and previously served as the Principal Investigator for the Solar Crafting project in NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Design Challenge. He received undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Economic Consulting from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Melodie Yashar is an architect, designer, and researcher. She earned a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI) within the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University as well as a Masters In Architecture at Columbia University. Melodie is a Senior Researcher within the Human Computer Interaction lab within the Human Systems Integration Division of NASA Ames. She is also co-founder and member of SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture), a group which won NASA’s Phase I and Phase III 3D-Printed Habitat Competition, and has since been collaborating with researchers at NASA Langley to realize a sub-scale demo for a future Martian ice habitat.
Chris Beauregard is a second-year graduate student at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, where he is studying the intersection of space policy and commercial activity, and a member of the International Space University Space Studies Program class of 2018. During his studies, he has supported several organizations in various capacities, including United Launch Alliance, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, European Space Policy Institute, and the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. He currently volunteers as a regulatory compliance advisor for the Micropropulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory to support the launch of GWU’s first satellite, and is the manager for the SGx Conference. His authored and co-authored works have been published by the Journal of Science Policy and Governance, International Association for Advancement of Space Safety, International Astronautical Federation, European Space Policy Institute and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Stephanie Booth, a data professional at Bryce Space and Technology, leads analytics and knowledge management initiatives for government and commercial space clients. Her passion lies in the optimization and digital transformation of aerospace organizations through actionable insights gained from both big and small data. Stephanie also brings relevant interdisciplinary experience in microbiology, virology, and homeland security to the aerospace community. She holds a M.S. in Computational Science and Informatics from George Mason University and a B.S. in International Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Hiroshi Furuya is a recent NASA Space Technology Research Fellow investigating the development of augmented reality technology for use in manned space flight operations. During the course of this work, he led the development and evaluation of a prototype augmented reality application to guide astronauts in completing cargo logistics operations, which he will present at IAC. His passion is engineering and advocating for the integration of augmented reality technology in manned space exploration efforts. Previously, he interned as a Testing and Evaluations Scholar at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, White Oak Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9. He received his M.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University and his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Emily Petersen is a graduate student in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Purdue University, having earned her B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from Michigan Technological University (’17). She has earned highly competitive internships at NASA LaRC, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, and Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. She presented her work in artificial gravity design and strategic business development at the 2016 IAC and the 2018 International Space Development Conference, and she looks forward to being a speaker at this year’s IAC in Bremen. Her prior research has ranged in focus from additive manufacturing economics to composite materials to high-temperature alloys, culminating in 4 journal publications and numerous speaking engagements at local, national, and international conferences.
Barret Schlegelmilch recently graduated from the MIT Leaders for Global Operations program with an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an MBA. He earned his BS in Astrophysics from UCLA in 2011 and is a former U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer. He will be joining Blue Origin’s Advanced Development Programs division after completing the 2018 International Space University Space Studies Program. Barret’s passion is working towards the future of humanity being an interplanetary species, and he still has the dream of becoming an astronaut one day. His hobbies include ultramarathons, exploring remote locations (most recently the North Pole and a marathon in Antarctica), and drumming.
Lauren Smith currently works at Northrop Grumman as the Mechanical Test Engineering Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and has also supported as the JWST Integration and Test Non-Explosive Actuator Lead. Before JWST, Lauren held diverse roles in air and space, most recently as a program manager for NG Next. In this role, she led rapid design and strategy development for new space systems and small satellites. Prior to joining Northrop, Lauren worked at NASA Glenn Research Center as an engineer in the Simulated Lunar Operations Lab; she conducted her thesis research there and developed a novel, patent-pending locomotion mechanism that increases robot mobility. Lauren graduated from Case Western Reserve University with an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, B.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and a minor in Political Science. Outside of work, Lauren serves as the U.S. National Point of Contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council, which represents young space professionals to the United Nations. She is also the vice president of Caroline’s Project, a nonprofit that awards scholarships to girls who wish to attend STEM summer camps.
Jeffrey Stuart is a member of Mission Design and Navigation Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, having received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2014. While at JPL, he has worked on a variety of missions in flight and development, including as the MDNav lead for the SunRISE heliophysics mission proposal. Jeff actively explores and develops a wide range of aerospace topics, including automated trajectory design, advanced navigation techniques, combinatorial optimization, interactive visualization methods, and formation flying. Beyond his technical work, Jeff seeks to grow JPL’s research capabilities by leading the New Researchers Support Group and pursuing strategic partnerships with several universities. In his free time, Jeff enjoys hiking, flying, travel, reading, and is passionate about helping foster the next generation of space explorers.
Deepak Atyam has co-founded and is running a NewSpace startup, Tri-D Dynamics, which focuses on mass producing liquid rocket engines for the burgeoning launch vehicle markets. He has received his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a Major focus in Manufacturing Engineering from Purdue University (’17) in addition to a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UC San Diego (’15). Atyam has worked at Space-X, GLXP Team Moon Express, Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratory, NASA JPL (x2), LaRC (x2), and MSFC starting from the age of 17 and has led multiple successful NASA funded projects including the production and testing of the first and second fully 3D printed liquid rocket engine from a university. He founded and served as the President of the SEDS@UCSD and UCSD’s Triton Rocket Club. Atyam has also been selected as a Gordon Engineering Leadership Fellow, a University Innovation Fellow, a Kairos Fellow, Aviation Week’s 20Twenties in Aerospace, a Forbes 30 Under 30 Student Scholar, won multiple business plan competitions, and has 5 patents pending along with 1 patent allowed.
Sirisha Bandla currently works at Virgin Galactic in the D.C. operations office on Government Affairs and Business Development, supporting both LauncherOne and SpaceShipTwo programs. Previously, Sirisha served as the Associate Director for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of commercial spaceflight companies, working on various policies with the aim to promote the commercial space industry. Before CSF, she worked as an aerospace engineer designing components for advanced aircraft at L-3 Communications. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from Purdue, and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the George Washington University.
John Conafay is a graduate of the design school at Arizona State University and veteran of the United States Air Force. He has worked with multiple labs and space initiatives at ASU before working as a Business Operations Intern at Spire Global in San Francisco, CA. Conafay was Treasurer and then Executive Director of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, USA. While in these roles he, with his phenomenal team, streamlined operations, finance, and accounting systems, invested the national endowment, spearheaded the first national rebrand in over 35 years, and raised over $500,000 for the organization. John is currently an analyst with Bryce Space and Technology, formerly as a contractor for NASA Headquarters before being asked to join the Bryce business development team.
Joshua W. Ehrlich is a Systems Engineer for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company working test & verification on the Orion European Service Module. His previous job experience includes integration and test on the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Veggie and Advanced Plant Habitat science payloads at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Prior work in research includes areas in advanced applications for composite materials, dual-axis wind turbine blade fatigue testing, and semi-closed cycle gas turbine systems. He has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a thesis defense focus on Lagrangian-point propellant depots for interplanetary missions to Mars. Joshua was selected as a crew member for HI-SEAS Mission V, serving as the Mission Specialist of Biology performing plant growth optimization with NASA’s Veggie ground test hardware during the 8-month Mars-simulated mission.
McClain Goggin is pursuing a masters degree in astrodynamics and space applications at Purdue University. He has lead the payload team on a NASA-funded CubeSat project, taken multiple space-policy study abroad trips, and worked internships at Cummins Engine Company, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Northrop Grumman. His ultimate goal is to bring the durability and reliability of diesel engines to the space industry in order to allow more people to take advantage of space on a regular basis. He has a passion for building the future he wants to live in and the relationships with those he wants to share that future with. He loves working on difficult problems and looks forward to solving the problems that will arise as mankind ventures farther and farther into space.
Peter Schulte is currently a fifth year graduate student and National Science Foundation Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Peter is a PhD candidate in the Space Systems Design Laboratory under advisor Dr. David Spencer. His research career began as an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, where he was involved in student satellite projects Bevo-1 and FASTRAC. His Master’s research at Georgia Tech involved development, integration, and testing of an autonomous Guidance, Navigation, & Control (GN&C) subsystem for the Prox-1 student satellite project. Peter’s PhD topic involves the development of a state machine architecture for aerospace vehicle fault protection.
Anna Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University studying hypergolic ionic liquids for application as green propellant alternatives. She obtained her B.S. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013. After which, she was awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct combustion instabilities research at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. Since starting at Stanford University in 2014, Anna has completed her M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics with a research focus on propulsion technologies. Her research interests include propellant chemistry, combustion science, and chemical kinetics.
Travis Doom is an engineering graduate of Arizona State University. He started his career working for ASU’s highly-ranked science policy think tank in Washington, DC. Now as an aerospace analyst with The Tauri Group, Travis supports strategic investment planning across NASA’s technology portfolio, as well as in-depth market and industry studies. Travis’ goal as a Future Space Leader is to build strong linkages between the science policy and aerospace communities. Travis is excited to be participating at IAC 2016 in Mexico, especially as more countries emerge, seeking to leverage space capabilities to help address complicated issues, such as socioeconomic development.
Alexander Gibson is a Space Operations Officer in the US Army National Guard, Project Engineer in the Oil & Gas Industry, and Regional Coordinator for the Space Generation Advisory Council. He graduated from Imperial College London in 2006 with a BEng in Materials Science and Engineering, for which he studied micrometeorite impacts on the Hubble Space Telescope. He has had a lifelong interest in space, attending Space School UK and being the first British alumni of the European Space Camp in Norway. He is currently studying for dual Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Management at the University of Colorado, Boulder, specializing in Bioastronautics.
Tara Halt is a first year graduate student at George Washington University, where she studies International Science and Technology Policy with a concentration in Space Policy. In December, she graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Space Operations. She recently finished an internship at the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Previously, Tara has interned at NewSpace Global and the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
Kavya K. Manyapu is a Flight Crew Operations Engineer at the Boeing Company building the CST-100 ‘Starliner’ Spacecraft for NASA, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota researching technologies for planetary spacesuits. She has previously worked on the Orion program at Lockheed Martin and other space exploration projects. With a M.S from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a B.S In Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, she is interested in building technologies to propel human space exploration with a belief in the universal applicability of space research for the betterment & sustainability of our planet. Her paper at IAC Mexico focuses on new technologies for dust mitigation of lunar spacesuits. Kavya enjoys educating and inspiring students to pursue careers in STEM field.
Tomoya Mori is a young professional whose passion lies at the intersection of space exploration, business, education and multimedia. He recently graduated from Brown University with a B.A in Astronomy and now works at WayPaver Foundation as a research assistant, focusing on lunar resource acquisition, processing and storage. In 2014, Tomoya cofounded “Metaplaneta,” a creative think tank that promotes a multidisciplinary approach to space and has organized integrative space workshops in Japan, Singapore and USA. In addition, Tomoya is also an active science writer, and has contributed to Space.com, Air&Space Smithsonian Magazine and Wired Japan. At IAC, Tomoya will talk about the “Integrated Design Approach to Space Exploration,” an innovative discovery process that he has been developing to stimulate innovation by catalyzing interdisciplinary fusion within the space industry.
William O’Neill is a PhD student at Purdue University studying System of Systems Engineering. The main focus of his research is portfolio optimization of modular spacecraft in regards to deep space human exploration missions. Bill is also a graduate co-op at Johnson Space Center in the Flight Dynamics Division supporting the International Space Station and the Orion Vehicle.
Javier Stober is a Ph.D. Candidate in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, focusing on experimental investigations of hybrid rocket motors. Javier grew up in Florida, watching space shuttle launches and firing rockets of his own. He earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida in 2010, and a Master’s Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 2012. Javier has also worked in the aerospace industry at small and large, public and private organizations, including NASA, Boeing, and Space Propulsion Group, Inc.
Dr. Danielle Wood is a space systems engineer and researcher with expertise in technology policy for the US and emerging nations. She currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Previously, Dr. Wood held positions at the Aerospace Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. Dr. Wood studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a PhD in Systems Engineering, M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, M.S. in Technology Policy and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. At the 2016 IAC, Dr. Wood will present a paper on innovation dynamics within government agencies.
Brittany Zimmerman is from San Bernardino, California, and Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. After graduation she was an Aerospace Systems Engineer for several years before returning to the world of academia where she is currently finishing her thesis for her Master of Science in Space Studies degree. She is a key member in the school’s rocketry team, leads the Dakota Space Society and can be found participating in volunteer and outreach activities weekly. Brittany is interested in engineering biospheres and life support systems for long-duration spaceflight with an emphasis on hybrid bioregenerative and physical-chemical systems.
Dr. Justin Atchison is a young professional who received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University in 2010. Dr. Atchison served as a graduate exchange researcher at JAXA in 2008 and now works at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a mission design and navigation engineer. He is the Mission Design Lead for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which aims to test and characterize asteroid impact mitigation techniques, making our local solar system more accessible and secure.
Sarah Hefter Flanigan is a member of the Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and holds degrees in Aerospace Engineering from both Virginia Tech and Cornell University. She was the Lead Guidance and Control Engineer on the MESSENGER mission whose spacecraft was the first to orbit Mercury. She is also the Deputy Lead Guidance and Control Engineer on the New Horizons mission whose spacecraft will fly by Pluto on July 14, 2015. She plans to share a paper on the much-anticipated New Horizons mission at the IAC.
Raphael Perrino is an M.A. student in International Science and Technology Policy with an emphasis in Space Policy at George Washington University, and plans to graduate in August 2015. He holds an M.S. in Technical and Scientific Communication from James Madison University and is an Eagle Scout. Mr. Perrino is an Aerospace Analyst at The Tauri Group and has worked on the GAO 2015 NASA Quicklook, FY16 NASA Budget Request, and Start-Up Space study. He has authored and co-authored several papers on Space Policy, including one on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program that he has submitted to this year’s IAC.
Ms. Jillianne Pierce. In her position as Government Affairs Associate for the Space Foundation, Jillianne regularly interfaces with the Administration, Congress, and various federal and international departments and agencies to educate key decision-makers on issues of importance in the space policy arena. A member of the Florida bar, Jillianne earned a J.D. from the University of Miami and a B.A. from the University of Central Florida. Her IAC presentation will focus on how commercial imaging satellites can provide evidence of human rights abuses, and how such image-gathering influences the evolution of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.
Ms. Julia Stalder is a young professional who plans to complete her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UCLA in June of 2016. She currently works at the California Institute of Technology’s NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she has had the opportunity to work as a mechanical engineer on the Surface Water and Ocean Topography program for CNES and the ISS instrument RapidScat. Julia is a recent recipient of the NASA Early Career Achievement Honor Award. She is also the only applicant who is a panelist at the Next Generation Plenary.
Mr. Paul Warren is a student and young professional at Stanford majoring in Computer Science. He has helped organize and has participated in numerous space and zero gravity experiments, and is now the co-president of the Stanford Space Initiative (SSI). SSI will send the first university-built rocket to space, launch two satellites, send a weather balloon across the United States, and has generated enough interest in space for Stanford to create a new Aerospace and Aeronautics program within the next three years. Warren continues to use his experience and contacts within the space industry to help fellow students develop space related careers.
Alexander Burg is a Ph.D. student in Systems Engineering at The George Washington University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT with a focus in astronomy and astrophysics and a Master’s Degree in Applied Physics from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Space Systems. Before starting at GW, Alexander worked for nearly four years at Applied Research & Engineering Sciences (ARES) Corporation, specializing in risk analysis for NASA, the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Marines, and Orbital Sciences.
Alexander’s current research focus is on developing a new modeling approach that is grounded in empirical observation to understand the NASA innovation landscape, allowing him to answer questions about technology funding, mission planning, and workforce allocation.
Anne Caraccio grew up on Long Island, New York and earned her B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College. Ms. Caraccio came on board full time with NASA in 2011 after completing three semesters in the NASA Student Co-op Program.
She is currently working as a chemical engineer on several projects that support deep space exploration. Her main project involves developing a system for recovering logistical waste from long duration space missions to produce usable gases for propulsion, environmental control, and life support systems. Ms. Caraccio also supports fiber composite repair technologies as well as chemical analysis investigation for projects such as Lockheed Martin’s EFT-1 Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Exploration Vehicle.
As a crew member of the 2014 HI-SEAS Mars analog simulation, she supported a 120 day psychological study and performed various research projects while living in an isolated Mars-like habitat with an international crew. She is a graduate of the 2012 NASA FIRST leadership development program and also a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida.
Katrina Laygo is a recent graduate of the George Washington University, where she received her M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy with a concentration in Space Policy. Her research interests focus on civil and commercial space applications for support of maritime security, and on international space policy issues. Katrina graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2010, receiving her B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies and a minor in Geospatial Information Systems and Technology.
During her graduate studies, Katrina completed field research in Manila, Philippines as a visiting scholar and Freeman Foundation Fellow, studying U.S. and Philippine policy issues related to the application of space technologies for support of maritime domain awareness in Southeast Asia. Katrina previously interned with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where she focused on national disaster management policy issues. Prior to the White House OSTP, she served as a Student Director and Research Scientist under NASA’s DEVELOP Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2010 – 2012) and at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (2012 – 2013) and was the recipient of a NASA Group Achievement Award in 2011.
Katrina is a NASA Student Ambassador, was President of the George Washington Space Society (GWSS) at GWU, served as the Science and Technology Mentor at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Meeting, and is an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in support of the UN Programme on Space Applications. She enjoys running, reading, swimming, and pilot training.
Samantha Marquart is a PhD student in the Systems Engineering department at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. Her research with her advisor, Dr. Zoe Szajnfarber, focuses on the impacts of government policy decisions on space system architecture manufacturing and design. Samantha holds a M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy from the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute and a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In addition to her academic pursuits, Sam has held several positions in the aerospace industry. Most recently, she worked for Alliant Techsystems (ATK) as a Program Manager in Beltsville, MD. Prior to her work with ATK, Samantha worked for the Aerospace Industries Association in Arlington, VA and Virgin Galactic in Washington, DC and Mojave, CA. Sam currently sits on the national board of Women in Aerospace as an early career board member. She spends her free time volunteering with the MIT Alumni Association and the 10,000 Girls Educational Support Program in Senegal, West Africa
Mandy Sweeney is an aerospace consultant with the Tauri Group. She served as a deputy program manager for a team of program analysts at NASA headquarters for 5 years and currently provides communication and coordination support to clients in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Mandy is also an active volunteer in the Washington DC community. In 2013, she helped found the Museum of Science Fiction, a new nonprofit educational and cultural institution. She earned a BS in Economics from George Mason University and is currently completing her finance degree at Harvard University.
Jason Dunn – In 2008 Jason formed his first company, Earthrise Space Incorporated (ESI). The mission of ESI was to give students firsthand experience building real space missions. The company had its kick-off by entering the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private competition to land a robot on the surface of the Moon with a cash purse of 30 million dollars. Today ESI is the only entrant in this international competition to be formed and run entirely by students. Since its forming in 2008, ESI has made considerable progress towards the Moon, including winning a contract with NASA worth up to 10 million dollars to deliver data on its lunar mission.
In 2010, Jason created his second space company, Made In Space (MIS). Made In Space is focused on bringing manufacturing technology to space in an effort to reduce, and one day remove completely, the need for space travelers to be “Earth dependent.” MIS is adapting 3D Printing technology to be used in space. Today the company is working under contract with NASA to develop and fly a 3D Printer on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014. Made In Space is working step-by-step towards a day when entire space colonies are manufactured in space using no supplies from Earth.
In late 2010, Jason also began work with Moon Express, another contender in the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Moon Express was formed during the Summer of 2010 by Jason’s mentor, Bob Richards. Bob hired Jason as the first Project Engineer with the company, where he began the work of helping rapidly build a company to do a lunar mission. Over time his role evolved into the Payload Project Engineer, managing all payloads that the company will be sending to the Moon. These payloads represent paying customers on each lunar mission. In January of 2013 Jason left Moon Express to dedicate his entire attention to Made In Space. Today you can find him at Made In Space Head Quarters at NASA Ames Research Park in Moffett Field, CA.
Paul Guthrie – A Senior Economist and Business Development Lead at the Tauri Group, Paul is an expert in commercial space markets and multi-disciplinary technology investment management. He has conducted analysis for senior NASA leadership, and for many leading aerospace firms. Paul holds masters degrees from the Johns Hopkins University in Applied Economics, and the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington in International Science and Technology Policy. Paul is a former member of the United States Rowing Team (2003-2004), a Pan American Games Bronze Medalist (2003), and has won five US national championships as an Olympic Development rowing coach.
Aaron Olson was born in Kikwit, D.R. Congo and raised in Madison, WI, U.S.A. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2012 and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics, both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his undergraduate education, Aaron studied abroad at the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in Toulouse, France for a semester, and had internships at both NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Langley Research Center. He was also part of the 2011 winning NASA Exploration Habitat competition student team that built an expandable module for NASA’S Deep Space Habitat Prototype. Aaron was the president of the UW-Madison chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, participated in NASA’s Undergraduate Microgravity Research program, and was also a crew member of the 110th Mars Desert Research Station Crew.
Aaron is the 2013-2014 Dr. Laurel Salton Clark Memorial Graduate Fellow, as named by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, and a graduate student in Fusion Technology Institute of the UW-Madison Engineering Physics department. He is researching the acquisition of lunar resources for power generation and life support purposes.