2020 IPMC Young Professionals Workshop

Sunday, 11 October 2020

The International Project/Programme Management Committee (IPMC) Young Professionals Workshop seeks to gather input from young professionals in the international space community to gain the knowledge they need to better develop and empower the next-generation workforce. The Young Professionals Workshop culminates in a one-day event where delegates present their results to the IPMC and a wider audience.

Team Leaders and Topics

Topic 1


Mechanical Engineer, Kuwait University


My name is Ghanim Alotaibi, and I started my career as an engineer in the oil sector. After I obtained my master’s degree from Freiburg University in solar energy, I switched my career to the space sector. This was not an easy switch though – I am currently working on KuwaitSat-1, the first CubeSat in the country, which has made me the first person to have a full-time space job in Kuwait. I am also the Project Manager for the ‘Moon Village – Participation in Emerging Space Countries’ (MV-PESC) project and the Middle East Regional Coordinator for the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

The space sector is very dynamic and interactive, with many programs that focus on youth’s involvement. As a young professional from a non-space faring country, I see that the IPMC YP Workshop is a great opportunity to learn, network, and reflect on my aspirations for the future. Indeed, my amazing team is from all over the world, and working with them is a great experience.

Our team’s topic is “How do fragmented, remote, delocalized and virtual teams affect the way space projects are managed?”. The topic is already challenging the team because we found it a bit difficult to find a suitable slot for everyone to conduct online meetings.

Topic 2


My name is Antje Stamm and I was nominated by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR e.V.) to attend the 2020 IPMC Young Professionals Workshop. 10 years ago, I got hooked on “space” when I started as a Project Control intern in the aerospace industry, and I am now a Project Manager for DLR projects in one of Europe’s largest aeronautics research programs. Our group’s topic is “Which are the key leadership and planning aspects of PM in a time of crisis?” I chose this especially because of the theme’s concern for key leadership and planning aspects of PM and the impact of the current crisis on future projects and PM, with which my personal interests are met. In my opinion, leadership and management have never been as important as during this pandemic. Particularly, leadership has to adapt even faster to this changing world than ever before. Over the last month I have noticed that executives and managers are challenged on a multilateral level. On one hand, they have to manage their teams, the people behind the teams and the project itself, and adapt to the best way possible in this volatile and fast changing situation. On the other hand, they have to deal and manage a situation in which projects, which were running smoothly and successfully up until the global lockdown, are threatened by a premature end, because e.g. one of the leading core partners is facing bankruptcy. I chose to do this workshop because being part of this workshop gives me a chance to build up a global network in the international space community. More importantly, I hope to find approaches to face the challenges the pandemic brings us and learn how other organizations in the industry manage the current situation. Furthermore, I like to show that you can also start a career in the aerospace industry when you don’t have an engineering or sciences degree.

Topic 3


I am Adriana Andreeva-Mori and I have been with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Aeronautical Technology Directorate since 2013, where I do research on air traffic management, trajectory and fleet optimization, and unmanned and manned vehicle interaction. In the 2020 IPMC Young Professionals Workshop, my group will be discussing the relation between space and society, in particular by investigating the role of space programs and the space community at large in shaping the societal impacts of forced social isolation and economic lockdown. I believe that aeronautics and astronautics technologies and communities as a whole can provide connectivity and insight much needed in the current global crisis and we, young professionals in the field should explore not only technological solutions but also efficient public outreach. Through participation in this workshop and broad collaboration with young colleagues, I hope we can prove the new work paradigm offers both challenges and opportunities and it is up to us to explore them thoroughly.

Topic 4A

Clement GOUJON

I am Clément Goujon, a French young professional working at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. My job is to lead the development of phase 0/A/B1 Space Exploration studies and programs through functional analysis and system architecture using Model Based System Engineering. I have the pleasure to be the topic leader of one of the teams for the 2020 IPMC Young Professional Workshop. Our team is currently working on quantifying the direct and indirect impacts of the current international crisis on the projects. Additionally, we are working on how the lessons learned can feed future programs to secure the execution and minimize the risks; knowledge management can help learn from this crisis on how to improve project management. From my point of view, our topic addresses a key point in project management: how do we ensure that the knowledge collected and generated during the execution of a project will be available for the future projects, and how the crisis we are living can teach us how to handle the projects in general. The knowledge management and lessons-learnt are multidisciplinary competencies. I proposed my candidature to the workshop in order to get involved in a team of talented people from all over the world – and by doing this workshop and leading this awesome group, I have indeed the possibility to meet, learn, and build something with great people from many horizons. Our international team is the mirror of the current international cooperation for space, and I find this incredibly exciting.

Topic 4B

Takeshi SHOJI

I am Takeshi Shoji, a researcher from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). My current work involves the development of safe and clean aircraft propulsion systems. My long-term goal is to lead an international project to create innovative aerospace transportation systems which enable people to easily travel between the earth and space. This goal motivated me to join this workshop and be the topic leader for one of the working groups. In this difficult time, I have been deeply distressed and repeatedly thinking about how I can internationally support people who have been affected by COVID-19. As a young aerospace professional, I believe I should try to gain knowledge or ”lessons learned” from this global crisis and keep moving forward to realize the safer, infection-resistant world, via future aerospace projects. This brings me to the topic our group is currently tackling: “What is the impact of the current international crisis for the future of space projects, and how can project managers shape this impact into successful progress, ensuring acceptable risk and pioneering a new way toward?” We have only recently begun work on this project, but I am already confident this experience will be “one giant leap” for all the participants to empower the present and future aerospace field.