Plenary 5

Next Generation Plenary: Small Sats – Involving Everyone through their Applications

Wednesday 3 October 2018, 08:30 – 09:30

Location: Bremen Conference Center – DLR Hall 


Space Satellites are making the vision of a more diverse space sector a reality today. The expanding pool of developers are finding more diverse ways of using satellites well beyond what was imagined a few years ago. Through new and innovative applications, the global space network will affect the lives of people around the world. The expanding knowledge base and reduced cost of engagement are enabling the Next Generation to be in the front ranks of the industrial expansion regardless of generation, gender, or geography. Here they have the opportunity to be leaders in finding new ways to use space resources to affect life on earth. In this plenary, students and young professionals will bring the story of how they are engaged in developing or using these applications.

The 69th IAC brings together another edition of the Next Generation Plenary. This year, we are pleased to introduce 6 panelists from around the world that are making an impact. The panelists will address how they expect to advance knowledge, improve conditions, protect life and property, and increase prosperity for an expanding portion of the global population through the use of Small Sats.



Agnieszka Lukaszczyk 

Senior Director – European Affairs,



Full Bio
Agnieszka Lukaszczyk is a Senior Director for European Affairs at Planet. A Polish/American national, has worked at the European Commission, Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit. She also worked at the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, Space Policy and Research Unit. Before she joined the Commission, Agnieszka was the Brussels Office Director for the Secure World Foundation. In addition, she is the former Chairperson and the former Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. Agnieszka also worked at the European Space Policy Institute as a research fellow. Agnieszka serves as the Vice President – Europe for the World Space Week And Sits on the Board Of Directors for the Women in Aerospace-Europe. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Space Security at the Polish Defence Academy. She holds a Master’s degree from the Warsaw School of Economics in Management of Space in New Economies and a Master’s degree from the American University School of International Service in International Politics plus a Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. She also studied at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium; the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and the World Trade Institute in Berne, Switzerland. She gained professional experience at the Political Section of the Polish Embassy in Washington DC, American Electronics Association in Brussels, European Department of the Polish Senate in Warsaw and the Warsaw Business Journal.


Marco Goméz

Research Engineer,

Costa Rica Institute of Technology,

Costa Rica

Full Bio

Marco Gómez is a research engineer at the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, where he co-founded the university’s Space Systems Laboratory (SETEC Lab). He is Project Manager of Irazú, consisting of designing, building and launching Central America’s first satellite to monitor carbon fixation in Costa Rican rainforests. Marco studied at the Georgia Institute of Technology, receiving dual degrees in aerospace and mechanical engineering and at the Delft University of Technology, obtaining a masters degree in aerospace engineering. Part of his graduate work was developed at the Swiss Space Center of EPFL, where he optimized spacecraft trajectories using low-thrust propulsion systems.

“The Next Generation Plenary is an excellent opportunity to share with the astronautics community the experience of developing the first satellite mission in an emerging space nation. The democratization of space is a growing movement and I am thrilled to share and learn from others’ experiences during this plenary.”


Ekaterina Timakova

Final-year student,

Aerospace department of Bauman State Technical University (BMSTU),

Russian Federation


Full Bio

Ekaterina Timakova is a final-year student of the Aerospace department of Bauman State Technical University (BMSTU). Since 2015 she is a member of the BMSTU Youth Space Center where she participates in many space-related competitions, meetings and conferences. Besides, she works on the “BMSTU-Sail” nanosatellite, which will be launched from the ISS in 2019. The experimental technology of the solar sail found its application in the project of nanosatellite constellation formation for solar research, held in cooperation with Physical Institute of Russian Academy of Science. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, skiing, reading classical literature and traveling.

“I believe the project we work on together with my team is a good demonstration of the fact how practically and scientifically useful nanosatellites can be. For me the NGP is the best way to share with the international space community our ideas and to learn a lot about the other progressive concepts.”


David Henri

Chief Executive Officer (CEO),




Full Bio

David holds an engineering and corporate strategy degree from Ecole polytechnique. He completed his education with a Degree from the University of Cambridge in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management. David has a work experience in the French Air Force, in a small satellite launch vehicle start-up and in a Corporate Venture Capital. David started Exotrail – a French start-up designing operation and electric propulsion solutions for the small satellite market – when he was studying at Ecole polytechnique. David is now leading strategy, business development and execution as Exotrail as Chief Executive Officer.

“Being a NGP panelist is a great honor for me – talking at the IAC conference with the most expert professionals in the space industry will certainly teach me a lot, and I hope sharing my experience in starting a New Space business will be useful and inspiring for young professionals!”


Anastasia Volkova

Aeronautical Engineer,

University of Sydney,


Full Bio

Anastasia is an aeronautical engineer completing her PhD in autonomous drone navigation. She has experience ranging from projects with the NASA robots onboard International Space Station to managing 370 person team for UEFA. Anastasia is a 2017 Amelia Earhart Fellow recognised for her commitment to advancing the application of aerospace engineering. Her passion for the real-world application has found expression in the startup, FluroSat, which after closing the seed round of funding is actively expanding across Australia and into the US commodity crop market. Most recently Anastasia has been named 2018 Women Creating Change by NSW/ACT (Australian Capital Territory and NSW) Young Achiever Award, which her colleagues promptly nicknamed “Chief Disrupter”.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the IAC 2018 Next Generation Plenary among other inspiration young people, shifting the future. It is a great privilege to attend the IAC forum where space industry meets its applications, where experts are shaping the modern industries and the way our society connects to the technology and the world around us.”


Ana-Mia Swardt

Chief Project Officer,

Simera Sense,

South Africa

Full Bio

Mia is the Chief Project Officer at Simera Sense which is an offspring company of Simera Group, based in the Western Cape of South Africa. After completing her degree in Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch, she joined Simera as an optical engineer, teaching herself with the help of her mentor the science of optical engineering and starting her career designing and building optical payloads for large satellites. She gravitated towards leadership roles, becoming project manager on these aerospace payload projects. She spearheaded the first small satellite project at the company which lead to the spin-off company, Simera Sense.

“I believe that the Next Generation Plenary is a great opportunity to exchange the experiences and the innovations that are currently being developed in the Small Satellite space. With such a diverse panel I am looking forward to learning from all of my fellow panelists and sharing my experiences.”


Alec Courtright

Research Assistant,

Global Science & Technology, Inc.,

United States


Full Bio

Alec Courtright is a research assistant working with Global Science & Technology, Inc. to support NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. He is also co-founder of Destination SPACE, a program dedicated to exposing underrepresented students to aerospace science and engineering applications through sustainable, experiential education programs. Alec graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Environmental Science. He developed a passion for applications based research using satellite data while serving as Center Lead for the NASA DEVELOP program. Through this experience, Alec managed ten research projects ranging from wildfire risk assessment to inundation risk in the Marshall Islands.

“Participating in the Next Generation Plenary provides an opportunity to exchange ideas with leaders and innovators in astronautics. I am honored to share our experiences spreading the wealth of aerospace innovations with underrepresented students. It is my hope that these discussions inspire more educational opportunities for students globally.”








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