SGAC Announces the Winner of the 2023 Space Generation Leader Award

One of the goals of the Space Generation Congress (SGC) is to provide an opportunity for interaction between members of the space sector with diverse geographic and technical backgrounds. To enable those members of the SGAC community without sources of funding to attend the event, and recognize our active members, SGAC has been running the Space Generation Leadership Award (SGLA).

The Space Generation Leadership Award facilitates the attendance of international delegates who bring unique and insightful firsthand perspectives to the Space Generation Congress. It selects top international applicants to attend the 21st Space Generation Congress (28 – 30 September, 2023) and the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) (2-6 October, 2023)  held in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

Congratulations to all the winners!

Antonio Scannapieco (Italy)

Dr Antonio Scannapieco is Product Owner for Volocopter GmbH, pioneer in the Urban Air Mobility field. Previously, he was Senior Autonomous Flight Engineer for Volocopter and Autonomous Driving Engineer for Stellantis – formerly known as FCA – focusing on cutting-edge technologies for autonomous systems. He was also active in academia, with a postdoc – and then a visiting fellowship – at Cranfield Defence and Security.

Antonio holds an MSc in Aerospace Engineering (2013) and a PhD in Industrial Engineering (2017) awarded by University of Napoli “Federico II”, Italy. During the PhD, he joined Fraunhofer FHR (Germany) as Visiting Researcher. He was also the Rapporteur in the “Highly Integrated Distributed Systems” session at IAC 2018 and has served as Mentor for Constellation organization. For SGAC, Antonio serves as Regional Coordinator for Europe since August 2022 and is highly involved within Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group and Commercial Space Project Group. Previously, he was National Point of Contact for Italy and led the development and growth of the Italian Space Startup Competition programme.

“I am humbled to receive the Space Generation Leadership Award and recognition for the contribution to growth of SGAC and its members. I look forward to contributing to SGC and IAC in Baku with even higher motivation and to meeting old and new friends in the space community!”

Gourav Namta (India)

Gourav Namta is a Space Systems Engineer who recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Space Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin. He is currently working as a Space Systems Engineer at ConstellR. Gourav‘s interests lies in Model-Based Systems Engineering, Mission Design and Spacecraft Operations.

Gourav has been involved with SGAC for over 5 years now and has served different roles within the organization including being the Jobs Board Manager for the inaugural SGAC Jobs Board and the Sponsorship Manager for SG[India]. For his active involvement within SGAC, he won the Asia-Pacific Space Leaders Award at AP-SGW 2019. Apart from SGAC, he is an active member of the International Astronautical Federation Space Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee (SEIC) as well as Austrian Space Forum (OeWF).He firmly believes that space technology will play a pivotal role in resolving Earth’s challenges, and he is committed to dedicating his career to this pursuit.

“Would be fairly easy for me to say that this is solely a product of my hard work and passion, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with incredibly smart and kind people over a long period of time within SGAC and in my other professional endeavors. And I think, that in the end, has made all the difference. Overjoyed but this recognition also bears the responsibility of paying it forward and I’ll try my best to do so. Thank you SGAC!”

Lindsey Wiser (USA)

Lindsey Wiser is an Astrophysics Ph.D. Candidate at Arizona State University, where she studies the atmospheres of exoplanets through computer modeling, observations with space telescopes (Hubble, Spitzer, and JWST), and future mission planning. Lindsey earned her B.S. from Johns Hopkins University in Engineering Mechanics and Earth and Planetary Science, and in 2019 she was awarded the Brooke Owens Fellowship for women and gender minorities in aerospace. Since then, she has explored science, engineering, and space policy positions. Throughout her career, Lindsey is eager to combine her backgrounds to help formulate science missions and strategies.

Lindsey is the Lead of SGAC’s U.S. Task Force, part of the Space Generation Advocacy and Policy Platform. The U.S. Task Force envisions a sustainable, fair, and cooperative space future, furthering this vision by providing a platform for young professionals to share their perspectives and encouraging broad involvement in policy discussions. U.S. Task Force members will present a paper at IAC 2023.


“I am honored and grateful to be awarded the Space Generation Leadership Award. The SGAC community consistently inspires me, and I am excited to showcase the work of members of the US Task Force in our IAC paper.”

Mohadesse Daryabari (Iran)

Mohaddese is a second-year space engineering master’s student at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. She has a huge enthusiasm for integrating Artificial intelligence into space systems and her thesis focuses on satellite formation flying prognosis using hybrid method (Data-based and model-based). Moreover, she has a BSc in mechanical engineering.
Mohaddese joined SGAC in 2019 as Iran NPoC representing SGAC in Iran by organizing different levels of events for different Iranian space audiences. Simultaneously, she was a member of the very first Middle-Eastern space generation workshop organizing team which was held in Dec 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. She worked on the delegates’ side of the event and also attended the workshop as “Space Applications in the Middle East Region: Cooperation vs. Competition” working group rapporteur. Afterward, She joined the Local and Regional Events Coordination Team in 2021 as a member helping event managers around the world to come up with impressive local and regional events and webinars.
Mohaddese’s dedication to space engineering, academic pursuits, and community engagement drives her to advance space technology and foster international collaboration. She is also passionate about women’s presence in STEM and believes that pioneer women in the international space sector must create a smoother path for future generations of women in the industry.

Lindsey is the Lead of SGAC’s U.S. Task Force, part of the Space Generation Advocacy and Policy Platform. The U.S. Task Force envisions a sustainable, fair, and cooperative space future, furthering this vision by providing a platform for young professionals to share their perspectives and encouraging broad involvement in policy discussions. U.S. Task Force members will present a paper at IAC 2023.


“I am truly honored to have been selected as Space Generation Leaders Award recipient. This prestigious recognition not only brings me closer to my career goals but also serves as a powerful inspiration for young girls in the Middle East to fearlessly pursue their dreams in STEM. I am thankful for the light SGAC brought to my path to space!”

Johann Ekue (Ghana)

Johanne Ayeley Ekue is a master’s student at the National Institute for Space Research, studying space geophysics. She is also the founder of Space Tech Innovation Hub Ghana. In addition to her studies and entrepreneurial endeavors, Johanne actively participates in initiatives such as “Mentor a Girl Gh,” led by Professor Nana Ama Browne Kluste. Through this initiative, Johanne aims to encourage and mentor girls, particularly those living in rural areas of Ghana.

Johanne holds the distinction of being the first female in Ghana to organize space webinars, providing both students and young professionals with an opportunity to engage in the space sector and also create a database of active space members in Ghana. Furthermore, she serves as the Funds and Partnership Director of Adoye Foundation in Ghana.

Currently, Johanne holds the position of Executive Secretary at SGAC (Space Generation Advisory Council). She has previously contributed to various organizing teams, including the 21st Space Generation Congress in France, the 6th South American Space Generation Workshop, and the 5th African Space Generation Workshop.

Johanne possesses a natural aptitude for programming, physics, and space-related topics. Her research in these fields has been recognized and accepted for presentation at prestigious conferences such as the European Astronomical Society and the International Astronautical Congress, and the Open Science Conference.

“I am honored to receive the Space Generation leadership award. As my mentor Professor Nana Ama Browne Klutse said, you can have all the opportunities in the world, but mentorship is invaluable, I will continue to give back to SGAC and the space society. I will not only work on my personal success but will also actively work to create opportunities and support younger generation.”