IAF Emerging Space Leaders 2019

The IAF Emerging Space Leaders (ESL) Grant Programme enables each year 25 students and young professional between the age of 21 and 35 to participate in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), as well as in the UN/IAF Workshop and the Space Generation Congress, both held the week prior to the Congress.

The IAF is proud to introduce the 2019 IAF Emerging Space Leaders!

These 25 students and young professionals were chosen by the IAF Emerging Space Leaders Sub-Committee composed of nine higly experienced space stakeholders. They will travel to Washington D.C. in October 2019 to participate in the IAC and have the opportunity to extend their network, gain knowledge and meet space experts!

Alexander Bowen-Rotsaert


Alexander Bowen-Rotsaert is a Systems Engineer at Boeing Defence Australia where he works on Project Currawong, delivering satellite communications capabilities and equipment to the Australian Defence Force. His efforts have been recognised with the 2018 Australian Industry & Defence Network Queensland Young Achiever Award. Active within industry groups, Alexander is a member of the Institute of Engineers Australia, Royal Aeronautical Society, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Space Generation Advisory Council, and Space Industry Association of Australia.

Alexander received his BE(Hons) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Queensland in 2013. During his studies he took semester abroad at the Technische Universiteit Delft, Netherlands, as well as business school studies at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. His honours thesis on health and usage monitoring systems was a finalist in the VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize and won the Data Processing/Electronics category. After graduating he completed the International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program in Adelaide.

Outside of work, Alexander is passionate about educating the next generation of engineers and scientists. In his capacity as Vice President of Space Design Competitions Australia (SDCA), he organises annual space settlement design competitions for primary and secondary school students nationwide. These competitions are a unique aerospace engineering industry simulation with an intense team-based learning environment. SDCA is part of an international network of competitions and Alexander has also supported the establishment of the Indian national design competition.

Alexandra Jercaianu


Alexandra Jercaianu is a Project Manager at Eurisy – a Paris based association of space agencies working to bridge space and society by raising awareness on the benefits of satellite-based services. In her position she works across the space value-added chain to exchange good practices on satellite applications and provide a bottom-up feedback on the policy barriers impeding the large-scale adoption of satellite-based services in sectors such as, emergency calling and health. As part of her role, she also coordinates Eurisy’s contribution to EU Horizon2020 Earth Observation Research and Development projects. Alexandra is an International Security and European Affairs graduate from the Paris School of International Affairs (SciencesPo) and the National School of Administration and Political Science (SNSPA) of her native country, Romania. Prior to joining the space sector she has worked as a Project Officer at the International Chamber of Commerce and as a Project Manager for Ipsos, the 3rd largest global market research company where she delivered knowledge to many globally marketed brands. A strong advocate for youth empowerment, Alexandra acts since June 2018 as the Regional Coordinator for Europe within the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), where she supports the work of an enthusiastic regional space community. Following her passion for European policy she is also a founding member of Argo, a French ThinkTank working to re-engage youth with the EU political debate. A passionate communicator and activist she strives to boost cross space sector cooperation, promote inclusiveness and help connect @ll Space People along the way!

Ana-Mia Louw

South Africa

Ana-Mia Louw obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch in 2014. While studying, she developed and interest optical design while doing an internship under South Africa’s preeminent optical designer and thereafter took a course in advanced optical physics. After graduation she immediately joined the Simera team as optical designer. Her passion for management and optics led to her spearheading Simera Sense, Simera Group’s product development company for imaging systems, focusing on earth observation payloads for small satellites with the xScape range of payloads. Since the start of 2018, Mia has been managing Simera Sense, and currently has 12 engineers working under her. Her is continually expanding her knowledge in optics and management and she recently completed a financial management course at the University of Stellenbosch Business school. She is a passionate, enthusiastic engineer with high hopes for the future of the space industry, both in South Africa, and in the world with unified space collaboration.

Before embarking the current development of nanosatellites in Simera Sense, Ana-Mia worked on three larger earth observation satellite payloads that were launched in 2018.

When not involved in the space industry and to stay fit, Ana-Mia literally climbs walls, but only when it is not feasible to scale cliff faces of the mountains around Cape Town.

Angeliki Papadimitriou


Angeliki Papadimitriou is a Political Scientist, specialised in high-tech and aerospace policy and law. Since 2016, she works at the Strategy Department of the European Space Agency (ESA), where she currently holds the position of Assistant Strategy Analyst. Prior to joining ESA, she has worked in banking and telecommunications industries. Her educational background is multidisciplinary, in the fields of political science, law and public administration. She holds a degree in Political Science and Public Administration, with specialisation in Public Law and Administrative Science, from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, where she got a distinction for her dissertation on Space and Security Policy in Europe. She is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Telecommunications and Space Law, with specialisation in digital communications law, at the University of Paris XI (Université Paris-Sud/Université Paris-Saclay). Her research experience has led to fourteen academic publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. She is member of Women in Aerospace-Europe (WIA-E) and Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). Her goal is to raise awareness on the opportunities arising from the active engagement in the space sector for socioeconomic growth, in the light of relevant policies and legislation.

Aqeel Shamsul


Aqeel is a space advocate and aerospace engineer from Malaysia. He believes that interstellar space is for everyone, and one day, we will go back and live on the Moon. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Astronautics and Space Engineering at Cranfield University, UK. Where he is developing a bioCubeSat called BAMMsat which stands for Bioscience, Astrobiology, Medicine and Material CubeSat, a miniaturised space laboratory which could allow low-cost BAMM experiment in space with reduced development times, more frequent flight opportunities and reduce cost. If we want to go venture in to space for long term duration mission, beyond the Earth magnetosphere; the effect of high energy particles radiation on Earth biologies remains a big question. BioCubeSats could enable quick turnaround and large experiment sample size for these biological experiments in space compared to traditional spacecraft and ISS, which often requires more significant resources.

He co-founded Malaysia Space Initiative (MiSI) in 2017 with other Malaysian space advocates to help grow the local space industry. MiSI is a non-profit NGO to promote space in Malaysia in collaboration with the Malaysian government, industry and academia to advance the space industry. Since it was founded, MiSI has organised pioneering space events named Space Entrepreneurship Symposium to promote space entrepreneurship and MiSI SpaceUp, an unconference event to encourage discussion and collaboration on space agenda with the general public.

Avid Roman Gonzalez


Avid ROMAN-GONZALEZ is an IEEE Senior Member. He is an electronic engineer from the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco, a systems engineer from the Universidad Andina del Cusco. He received his master’s degree in industrial and human automatic, from the Université Paul Verlaine de Metz – France, and he received his Ph.D. degree in image and signal processing from TELECOM ParisTech. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.

His work experience includes research at the French Space Agency (CNES) and German Aerospace Center (DLR); university teaching (Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco – UNSAAC, Universidad Andina del Cusco – UAC, Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria – UNI, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia – UPCH, Universidad de Ciencias y Humanidades – UCH, and Universidad Nacional Tecnologica de Lima Sur – UNTELS); performance as consulting engineer in the Peruvian Space Agency (CONIDA), SPECTRUM, EGEMSA, etc.

Currently, he is the coordinator of the Image Processing Research Laboratory (INTI-Lab) at Universidad de Ciencias y Humanidades (UCH) and full professor at Universidad Nacional Tecnologica de Lima Sur (UNTELS).

He participates as keynote speaker and jury of projects in various academic events. He has more than 60 international published papers. He gives more than 100 lectures.

His areas of interest are signal and image processing, biometrics, artificial intelligence, human automation, bioengineering, industrial automatic, control, and aerospace technology.

Charlotte Nassey


Charlotte is a French and British trainee at the European Space Agency. She works in the Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office of the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), in the Netherlands.

She first obtained a double Bachelor in Law and European Studies. She then completed a Master’s degree in Public International Law before obtaining her specialized Master’s degree in Space and Telecommunications law from University Paris-Saclay. This program included an internship in the legal department of French Space Agency Headquarters, CNES.

Once qualified as a space lawyer, she ambitioned to develop her technical and scientific knowledge. With the support of a joint CNES and ESA scholarship, she is currently in the process of completing her Master in Space Studies at the International Space University. During this year, she has developed strong multi-disciplinary skills ranging from engineering and medicine to management and economics. Within her team, she developed a set of Lunar Sustainability Goals aiming to guide and support the future steps of humanity on the Moon. In addition, her personal research focused on identifying the origins of the Moon Village concept in order to propose further strategies for its development. Her work on both these subjects will be presented at the next International Astronautical Congress in Washington.

As a lawyer in a technical field, having lived in France, Spain, the UAE and the Netherlands, she not only supports but lives according to the international, intercultural and interdisciplinary nature of space.

Charlotte is an alumni and former student Vice-President of the International Cité of Paris.

Di Wu


Di Wu is a PhD student in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Arizona and has been a member of the research group SAMOS since 2018. He received a bachelor’s degree in Space Engineering from Beihang University, and a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on using advanced astrodynamics and machine learning to gain insight into space situation awareness, space autonomy, and space sustainability. He is a member of SGPC, SSPI, and NSS.

Divya Rao Ashok Kumar


Divya Rao Ashok Kumar is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University, Mechatronics Systems Engineering department since 2018 Fall. She started working on satellites with the year-long internship for her master’s degree thesis at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India on the attitude control design using control moment gyros. She served as Assistant Professor & Principal Design Engineer, at Crucible of Research and Innovation, PES Institute of Technology, India. She has an extensive experience in the design and development of nanosatellites such as PISAT1,2,3 for about seven years. She was the head of attitude determinations and control system for PISAT which was launched in 2016. She played a major role in the selection of sensors and actuators, calibration and testing of sensors, the design of operating modes of satellite, orbit determination, onboard software development, mission analysis and development of onboard in-loop simulation system for ground testing in the PISAT development. All the designed control modes of PISAT really worked well in space and received a lot of appreciation from ISRO Scientists. The detailed work on PISAT mission provided her an opportunity to visit various ISRO centers and meet prominent scientists of ISRO during technical reviews of the satellite. In total, she experienced fundamental research, design realization, testing and validation, product development, computational modeling and simulation from this project. She also received funding and served as Principal Investigator for a funded project from Naval Research Board, DRDO, India; in the domain of low-cost MEMS-based sensors data fusion and estimation. She is also a proud recipient and co-investigator for major five projects funded by DRDO and private companies. She was also consultant for Team Indus project (Google Lunar X prize) for GNC system. Divya’s work resulted in 4 Journal articles and 15 conference papers in reputed international conferences. She is also awarded “Young Engineers Award” by Institution of Engineers India chapter in the aerospace discipline for the year 2016-2017.

Elena Petrakova

Russian Federation

Ms. Elena Petrakova, M. Sc. in Aerospace Engineering (ECTS Grading Scale: A). She is the founder and CEO of the Aerospace technological company Easar LLC which has grown from an international project launched by Elena in 2015 at the Department of Rocketry and Space Systems, Aerospace Institute of the MAI (National Research University). Patent owner for a small satellite launch system. Key professional interests: Rocketry, Space Systems Engineering, Additive Manufacturing, Space Safety, Social Implementation.

Faviola Romero


Faviola has a degree in Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering from the Universidad Privada Boliviana. For her final degree thesis, she worked with Queen’s University Canada, with spectrometry and photovoltaics. The six months spent in China Academy of Space Technology in the framework of the TK-SAT1 mission – the first Bolivian satellite- unlocked her passion towards space engineering.

She pursued her studies and obtained a Double Master Degree in Space Science and Technology, held in Germany, Sweden and France. During this time, she had the opportunity to contribute to the MAXUS 19 mission of Swedish Space Corporation, proposing a new algorithm to calculate the flight trajectory and impact point of a sounding rocket. For her Master Thesis work held at the Centre National d’Études Spatiales, she focused on the modelling of the radiation damage on CCD sensors from the Pleiades mission, currently on orbit.

After obtaining her degree, Faviola joined Thales Alenia Space in late 2017 to work for Earth Observation Programs based on Radar Altimetry such as Sentinel 3, SWOT and Jason CS/Sentinel 6. Since June 2019, she is working as a Test Engineer for the ExoMars2020 mission.

During her studies, Faviola was an active IEEE member, and helped to stablish the local student branch. Today, as a Young Professional, she is an active contributor to Space Generation Advisory Council, WIA-E and Thales internal organizations like EAT which addresses subjects like gender equality inside the space sector.

Femi Ishola


Femi Ishola is a Doctoral Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment and Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE), Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu, Japan. His PhD is focused on Deep-Space Optical Communication Technologies for Small Satellites; developing Cubesat Laser Communication Modules with associated Low Cost Telescope-Detector Ground System.

Femi is an Accredited Professional Engineer and Researcher at the National Space Research and Development Agency, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Nigeria. At the Space Agency’s Centre for Space Transport and Propulsion, he was the Pioneer and Project Manager of the Ground Control Station with interconnected Sounding-Rocket Avionics System.

Alumni of the International Space University (ISU) Masters Programme, Strasbourg, France. Participated in the South-Australian Universities Collaboration Satellite (SUSat) QB50-Project as an International Visiting Research Student, Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia. Obtained First Degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from University of Lagos and Distinction Grade in Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Ondo State Polytechnic, Nigeria.

Recipient of the Kano State Government Award for the Best Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Project, 2011. SEEES/Nigerian Society of Engineers Nationwide-Award for the Best and Most-Outstanding University Project on “Microwave Wireless Power Transmission Prototype and Demonstration”, 2010. Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules and Alenia-Aeritalia’s G-222 Aircrafts Avionics Engineering Work Experience, 401 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (ACMD), Nigerian Air Force, 2009.

Femi is the Founder-CEO, Phemotron Systems Ltd and Director of Student Affairs of the Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI, Nigeria). He affirms that Deep-Space Exploration, Resource Utilization and Planetary Colonies are the future of Mankind in the vast Universe.

Hansley Noruthun


Hansley Noruthun is a bioscientist, elected associate of King’s College and alumnus of London South Bank University and International Space University. He is currently the National Point of Contact (NPoC) for the Republic of Mauritius for the Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. He was awarded the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency scholarship to complete the Space Studies Program 2015 hosted by NASA Glenn Research Center. As a young professional, he has a proven track record in terms of innovation, creativity and self-starter in the space field. His portfolio includes projects such as an astronaut training, commercial airline travel study, BBC Stargazing partner, and several global outreach and awareness programmes as the recent African Space Generation Workshop 2018 – Launching Africa: Space Exploration, Innovation and Business. His research is on enabling and development of the future space workforce where the focus is on ‘Building the Africa we want: the role of Space Generation Workshops & youth in developing the space sector in Africa’. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Space Generation Leadership Award for his continuous work and contributions to the space community, subsequently a recipient of the Global Grant 2017 as the Mauritian delegate in Nigeria and the African Leadership Conference Scholarship 2018 from the African Union. Space is an inspiration for him – it is about the ability for humankind to unite and push the boundaries of the unknown beyond Earth. He is currently tackling local and regional issues using innovative approaches by applying space and science applications to address the participation for emerging and developing countries in the sector – from youth engagement, climate change, earth observation to others. He hopes to give back by engaging the next generation and further international cooperation to steer growth in the industry. His work has been recognised globally and as an ambassador, he is truly expanding the boundaries for the region and Mauritius whilst maintaining a role as an advocate for education and a young leader.

Ivan Vasilev

Russian Federation

Vasilev Ivan – the doctor in the surgical department of City Clinical Hospital № 29 named after N. E. Baumana of the Moscow Department of Health and researcher of the Department of operational management of medical support of space flights at Institute of Biomedical Problems of Russian Academy of Science.

In 2011 he graduated from the medical faculty of the Pirogov Russian National

Research Medical University specialty “General medicine”. He was trained in residency at the Department of faculty surgery №1 medical faculty of RNRMU (specialty “Surgery”). In 2013, he continued his postgraduate studies in two specialties – “Surgery” and “Physiology”. In 2017 he defended his thesis on “The results of treatment of trophic ulcers in patients with varicose veins of the lower limbs with immunocorrection.” At the same time he worked in the Scientific-educational medical-technological center at Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

Now combines medical practice the surgeon with scientific work in IBMP at a position of the researcher in laboratory of development of means and methods of rendering medical care in extreme conditions and telemedicine. Takes a direct part in medical support of space flights.

He is a regular participant of Russian and international conferences and scientific schools (seminars) on surgery and aviation and space biology and medicine. Holder of a number of diplomas and certificates, has publications in both national and international scientific journals.

Izrael Bautista

The Philippines

“I have been involved with the PHL-Microsat Program (now STAMINA4Space), the Philippines’ first microsatellite project, since 2015. I shared my expertise in the design and layout of power systems for the amateur radio of the Diwata-2 microsatellite. The amateur radio is now being used by amateur radio operators around the world utilizing its FM voice repeater functionality. I was also involved in the establishment of the amateur radio ground station in the University of the Philippines-Diliman which is being used to track and receive data from amateur satellites.

Currently, I am taking my Doctorate degree in Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, under the Philippine government’s scholarship through the STAMINA4SPACE program. I am also the project manager of the fourth Joint Global Multi-National Birds project or BIRDS-4 project, together with students from Japan, Paraguay, Nepal, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan and France.

Being a part of a multi-nation project such as BIRDS-4, made me realize that international cooperation is key in reaching greater heights in space science and technology. This is true especially for countries that lack the monetary resources and experience in space technology. Pooling resources from different sources, countries could build more capable satellites than what they can build using their resources alone. Working with people from different countries is really a one of a kind experience. One can learn a lot from one another’s culture, country, and many other things that onea can only experience through international cooperation.”

Jiten Thapa


Mr. Jiten Thapa is currently working as Research and Development Engineer at ORION Space, Nepal. He graduated in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Kathmandu University in 2018. Currently he is working in Electrical Power Subsystem, Ground Station and Structural Subsystem in Nepal-PQ1, which is Nepal’s first Picosatellite. At his company he is also helping to provide various trainings and workshops regarding Ground Station Development, CanSat and Picosat development in Nepal. He also took the course on HEPTA-Sat Training Course held on November 15-17, 2017 at Kathmandu University. He also took a short course on Small Satellite Mission organized by ISRO and CSSTEAP.

He is also the winner of oral presentation at National Young Scientists Conference 2019.

Jorge Nicolás-Álvarez


Jorge is currently carrying out his PhD Thesis at the CommSensLab (Unidad de Excelencia María de Maeztu) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Within the Remote Sensing line, his research is focused on the GEOSAR (Geosynchronous Synthetic Aperture Radar) concept. It is taking place in the context of G-CLASS, a space mission recently selected by ESA to compete as the tenth Earth Explorer. His work involves several fields of expertise: from the design and construction of the orbit observation hardware to the precise orbit determination and image processing procedures.

Born in 1994, he is originally from Banyeres del Penedès, a small town in the northern Mediterranean coast of Spain. He obtained the Aerospace Engineering degree in 2016, joined ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team as a stagiaire researcher in the mission analysis discipline during 2017 and got the Master in Aerospace Science and Technology in 2018.

Jorge is strongly committed to science and technology education: he has worked as a teacher for the past three years, currently participates in several space-related dissemination activities and recently won a scientific communication contest at country level. His hobbies include playing guitar and bass, judo and biking.

Martin Ristov


“As a student with academic research experience in aviation, aerospace and robotics, I have always been interested in developing technology solutions that advance and assist human spaceflight. These interests led me to MDA, where I support the Canadian Space Agency with robotics on-board the International Space Station. Specifically, I am implementing autonomous capability to the Mobile Servicing System (MSS). This will ultimately enable vision-guided control of the MSS manipulators – a step towards the next generation, Lunar Orbital Gateway–Platform robotics, that will have to operate without human intervention, using artificial intelligence to maneuver.

Fundamentally, my love of aerospace is derived from the people who comprise the field. I have the extraordinary opportunity to interact with individuals from all over the world with unique backgrounds, who are drawn to the unifying, romantic notion of driving humanity outwards in space.”

Mpho Tshisaphungo

South Africa

Ms Mpho Tshisaphungo is currently a Space Weather Practitioner at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). She is responsible for coordinating and managing the Space Weather Centre as well as ensuring that the space weather services reach the end-users. Her role includes monitoring and analysing space weather events and preparing space weather forecasts, warnings and alerts for government and private industry users. She is also studying part -time towards obtaining her PhD. As part of her PhD project, she currently has one peer-reviewed publication which is part of her contribution to the space science community.
She has presented about the space weather activities and research projects that SANSA is involved in, at different international workshops and conferences such as European Space Weather Week (ESWW), European Geophysical Union (EGU), International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) workshop, International Heliospheric Year (IHY), and the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP). She also attended the 2011 Centre for Integrated Space Weather Modelling (CISM) summer school for two weeks in Boston University, USA. At the summer school, a networking opportunity with some of the international experts in space weather was prevailed. The space sector is regarded as one of the knowledge-based sectors, which require increased research and development in areas where developing countries like South Africa has a potential advantage. International cooperation in space-related activities is an important part of what we do and to ensure future sustainability.

Nicole Villanueva


Nicole is a peruvian undergraduate student in the Management School at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, with a mayor in Project Management and Operations Management. Her research fields are: Systems design and mission architecture for space operations, pre-feasibility analysis and financial risks in space operations and Space technology and innovation for Humanity. She is the founder of the Space Studies Program at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, a project focused on promoting the participation of undergraduate students from multiple careers for the development and growth of the space sector in Peru. This year Nicole organized the first event related to this initiative called “Peruvian Mission to Mars”. Nicole currently holds the position of financial director of the Mars Society – Peru chapter, member of the board of The Mars Society – Latin American chapter and she is a volunteer student at the Institute for Radio Astronomy of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, INRAS – PUCP. She was participant of the Caltech Space Challenge 2019: Encelanders, a mission design competition to search for life in Enceladus, organized by the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is member of the Space Safety and Sustainability project group in the Space Generation Advisory Council, currently working in the socio-economic benefits of Space and has been selected to be s peaker at the International Astronautical Congress 2019 where she will present her study about the pre-feasibility of a Space Studies Program for Management students in South America in addition with a collaborative study by the members of the Space Safety and Sustainability project group about the benefits and uses of space technologies in Africa aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations.

Rigoberto Reyes Morales


Rigoberto is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KYUTECH) in Japan. His doctoral research is sponsored by the Mexican Council of Science and Technology. He is completing a research on attitude determination methods for free-rotating small/lean satellites. In addition, he holds a MEng in Mechanical Engineering, and a BSc. in Mechatronics Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Since 2009 he has been involved in space research. In 2013, he was selected as the Mexican student representative by the University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) to attend the 1st UNISEC Global Meeting. Two years later he was a short-term guest student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory, where he received basic training to operate the miniaturized satellites SPHERES. More recently, during his doctoral studies he was the responsible for the Attitude Determination Subsystem of the LEO satellite TEN-KOH (てんこう), which was successfully launched on October 29th, 2018.

“I believe that space plays a key role in addressing the myriad of challenges and needs that humankind faces, such as: global warming, inequality, and poverty. I think it is essential for developing countries to have access to and use of space-based technology and its applications. As several international initiatives have proved, I share that international cooperation is crucial for non-spacefaring countries to benefit from space technologies. Thus, helping these countries in their quest for space exploration.”

Tess Morris-Paterson

United Kingdom

Prior to working in the space sector, Tess pursued a career in human performance and research. This ranged from planning and delivering clinical trials to working with extreme explorers and elite athletes. She worked closely with athletes and their medical teams in a variety of arenas (such as Formula One, the Premier League and Olympic/Paralympic sport) in order to optimise physical and cognitive performance. In 2019 she started working at NASA Ames in California, leveraging her expertise in human biology to support the objectives of NASA GeneLab; a group who are dedicated to open source data whilst exploring the genomic adaptation to spaceflight. Tess has been completing her PhD part-time, which investigates skeletal muscle adaptation to simulated microgravity. This research has included development of a new microgravity analogue (hyper-buoyancy floatation) and a novel method for remotely and accurately measuring muscle (deuterium labelled creatine). This summer Tess is attending International Space University Summer Space Program in Strasbourg before piloting a general aviation flight around the USA, as she works toward gaining her commercial pilots licence. In her spare time, Tess enjoys weight lifting and running to keep fit, as well as skiing and mountaineering with her family.

Thomas Beckingham

United Kingdom

Thomas Beckingham is a first year PhD student at the University of Liverpool researching Sensors in Extreme Environments. This work, amongst other non-space related projects, has involved Tom in developing a sleep/fatigue monitoring system intended for use in microgravity so that astronaut rest and recovery may be analysed and potentially improved. To achieve this, techniques such as sensor integration, embedded IoT, and signal/data processing are employed; skills gained whilst an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering and Electronics also at the University of Liverpool. Tom is keen to take part in the Emerging Space Leaders grant programme to further develop his knowledge and gain experience, with hopes of benefiting the global space industry. Outside of academia, Tom enjoys the outdoors having previously been employed by the UK based charity, the RNLI; an organisation dedicated to saving lives at sea. He also enjoys playing sports such as cricket and hockey.

Usman Shehryar


“I am Usman Shehryar and worked in the Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Commission of Pakistan. During my stay here, I have gained diverse experience of space technologies starting from the design and development of high speed analog and digital electronic systems for satellite payloads to the system level architecture design of satellite ground stations.

Currently, I am pursuing Master degree in the Wireless, Photonics and Space Engineering program in Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden under the Swedish Institute Scholarship for Global Professionals(SISS). This program is enabling me to learn experiences of Swedish space, microwave and photonics sectors. I am doing research for optimization of satellite communication link by digital beam forming specially in ground stations which will be an important intellectual contribution to the experimental design in the future.

Many developing nations lack in the field of space engineering. I want youth to learn these engineering fields so that they can contribute to the knowledge of these evolving technologies to harness its benefits to their societies. One vision of mine is to educate manpower in these technical arenas by involving them practically in various projects of these technologies. All this requires extensive knowledge, practical trainings and industrial exposure. I am envisaging that ESL UN-IAF workshops and IAC participation will contribute to my knowledge database regarding ongoing researches in the space technologies and provide the opportunity to network with the space leaders.”

Yasir Abbas


Yasir ABBAS is a Sudanese Space Systems Engineer pursing PhD in Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) and doing researches in the embedded system laboratory in the university. He’s got an aerospace engineering MSc in Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey.

In Sudan, Yasir has been a TA and a Research Engineer in University of Khartoum. He worked with the Sudanese National Committee for Space (SUNACS) and with Ceres Space Technology Center (CSTC).

He was a cofounder of the first Sudanese CubeSat project, that project was the first step to establish several research centers and small satellite projects in Sudan. He is now a member of the Japanese team in BIRDS4 CubeSat multinational project carried out by Kyutech university.

Yasir is keen to develop the space field and increase the technical awareness, he was selected as the representative of The Universe Awareness organization in Sudan. He is part of the Young African Leadership Initiative established by President Obama in Africa.

By the international cooperation between the developed and developing countries, Yasir thinks Sudan and other nations in Africa and the middle east can promote their space abilities and activities. International cooperation in space programs reduces cost as well as maximize knowledge and technologies transfer.

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