Space Architecture and Systems Engineering: different disciplines or the same?

FRIDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 10:30 – 11:30




Space architecture looks at the design of complex systems considering various aspects, taking into account how different design elements affect each other and the project as a whole.  These elements are also known as systems, and systems engineers may refer to their parts or whole as subsystems, or systems of systems.  Some may argue that systems engineering lacks a human aspect; in human space architecture, the design revolves around human needs and ergonomics.  Yet aren’t all systems driven or designed by humans at some point? Common terms have been found in both disciplines: big picture, integration, breadth and depth, multidisciplinary, holistic view, etc. They use the expertise of various backgrounds: mathematics, history, psychology, medicine, policy and law, various branches of the fundamental sciences and engineering, and many other tools and operating systems from various other trades and professions.  Therefore, are space architecture and systems engineering really two different disciplines, or rather two facets of a single multidiscipline?  Does one of them govern the other? Or, are they the same?  This panel session will convene experts in the aerospace community working in both areas.  This panel aims to generate a vivid discussion of something that we may have already noticed in our daily jobs in industry and academia, but that has not been discussed formally.  We will learn from those who have been actively practicing and participating in complex system architecture synthesis, complex systems creation, development and systems integration and operations, and those who are currently at the front line of this ill defined profession.  The panel will then draw recommendations based on the discussion to implement them in future collaboration of both Space Architecture and Systems Engineering fields.





Vera Mayorova


Bauman Moscow State Technical University

Russian Federation




vOlga Zhdanovich

Adjilon for ESA

European Space Agency (ESA)

The Netherlands





Brent Sherwood


Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Solar System Mission Formulation

United States




Olga Bannova

Space Architecture Professor

University of Houston

United States




vvDr. Stefano Ferretti 

Space Policy Officer seconded to the European Space Policy Institute






klausProf. Dr. Schilling

Professor and Chair or Robotics and Telematics

University Würzburg





aGeilson Loureiro

Head of the Laboratory of Integration and Testing

INPE (Brazilian Institute for Space Research)







Jackelynne Silva-Martinez

Aerospace Engineer

NASA Johnson Space Center

United States