SGC 2012 Staff Team

SGAC has selected a fun team of motivated, self-starters to organise SGC 2012! A Congress of this calibre takes the dedication of selected volunteers. Keep reading to know better the SGC 2012 Staff Team, and the SGC 2012 Local Organising Team.


Chair: Catherine Doldirina (Georgia)

Catherine Doldirina earned her PhD at the Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University. She has been conducting legal research relating to space activities since 2005. Her expertise lies in the field of intellectual property law and her current research relates to the legal status of remote sensing data. She has lectured on European competition law, European copyright law and space law at the University of Bremen and at the European Humanities University (Lithuania). She has also tutored at the European Space Law Centre summer school on space law and policy. Her professional experience was gained as legal assistant to specialist copyright lawyers (Bremen). She successfully completed an internship at the European Space Policy Institute, Vienna, drafting the study “Case for Space” during this time. She authors work on other aspects of space law, is engaged in the research activities at the Institute of Air and Space Law (e.g., the Space Security Index) and is a member of the International Institute of Space Law. In 2009, she was awarded the Diderick Verschoor award and prize for the best paper by a young author for the Colloquium on Space Law of the International Institute of Space Law. Catherine has been involved with SGAC for several years as the SGAC’s National Point of Contact for Georgia and the Project Coordinator for the 2010 Space Generation Congress.

Co-Chair: CJ Nwosa (Nigeria)

CJ Nwosa holds a Bachelor degree in Astrophysics from the University of Nigeria, and a Masters in Space Science and Technology from the University of Cape Town. His Masters research focussed spacecraft-environment interactions including space debris and space weather effects on space missions. As an ardent space enthusiast, CJ has been involved in payload design, experimental rocket campaigns, in-orbit risk assessment for spacecraft, and has actively participated in many local and international space-related events. He was a major driving force behind the success of the first-ever Space Generation Congress, and International Astronautical Congress, on the African continent. CJ's professional membership profile includes the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), South African Space Association (SASA), South African Institute of Physicists, and Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). CJ is the CEO of Heliocentric Technologies ZA Ltd, and co-lead for SGAC’s Space Safety and Sustainability Working Group, which contributes to the global debate on the safety and long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

Executive Director and Congress Manager: Andrea Jaime (Spain)

Andrea Jaime Albalat (Andrea Jaime) is a Spanish aerospace engineer that was born in Onda, Spain. In 2007 she earned a double undergraduate degree in both Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona. During these studies, she spent one year at the North East of Wales Institute (NEWI) in the United Kingdom. In 2010, Andrea earned her Masters in Aerospace Science and Technology, also from UPC in Barcelona (2010). Additionally, Andrea is an alumni of the International Space University's (ISU's) 2009 Summer Studies Program (SSP) which was hosted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California, USA; and of the CVA (Communauté des Villes Ariane) Summer School on Space Transportation, hosted in Rome in 2011.
She started her professional career working as part of the organisational committees of several workshops and conferences including the ISU's 2008 SSP in Barcelona. Since then, Andrea has worked at the European Space Agency as a Young Graduate Trainee. Based at ESTEC in the Netherlands, she worked for the Human Spaceflight and Operations Directorate.

Logistics Lead Coordinator: Matteo Emanuelli (Italy)

Matteo Emanuelli was born in Milan, Italy. He has served as a National Point of Contact since July 2011 and he is currently in the final year of his Masters degree in Space Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (PoliMI). He worked on his thesis project on a space debris removal mission at the Omsk State Technical University in Russia. This project was presented during the Heinlein contest “Flight into the future 2011” in Moscow.
“I’m truly excited to be part of the LOC team. SGC 2012 will be my first Space Generation Congress and it’s going to happen in Naples, a city I love and that I think the delegates will also love. I have already known some of the other people in the team and they are all very committed and enthusiastic. I'm looking forward to working with them.”


Logistics Co-Coordinator: Pierre Van Heerden (South Africa)

Pierre did his undergraduate studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and completed a MSc. under the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme at the University of Cape Town. He has been involved with the organisation of two SGCs (Prague 2010 and Cape Town 2011) and he has been NPoC for South Africa since 2011.
“I'm happy to have been given this opportunity and will do my best to ensure that this year's SGC runs smoothly. It is my sincere hope that we can make SGC 2012 even more productive and enjoyable than the previous ones.”


Logistics Technical Supporter: Chris Vasko (Austria)

Christopher was born in Vienna, Austria. He studied Physics at the Vienna University of Technology, which brought him in contact with the topic of space and research from a scientific perspective. During his studies he became an active voluntary member of the Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF) where he participated as an engineer in various national space related outreach/educational projects. During his last years at the university, he worked as an intern at a small privately held Austrian company, assisting in developing a novel plasma engine for space applications. After his thesis, Christopher had an internship at the European Space Policy Institute, the SGAC Vienna office and worked as scientific advisor for an international think-tank based in Germany. Christopher is currently completing his PhD in applied physics at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has been an active member of SGAC since 2009 as part the SGAC web editors, as National Point of Contact for Austria and as the Treasurer of SGAC.
"I am grateful to have the opportunity to support our team in Italy! I am confident that we can make this congress as smoothly, pleasant and well organized as previous ones."


Project Lead Co-Coordinator: Kate Becker (USA)

Kate Becker is a masters student at the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, Washington DC, USA. Kate holds a BA in physics and mathematical sciences and an MA in theology and ethics. She previously worked at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in space science education and as the staff assistant at the Space Policy Institute. She currently works for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Satellite and Information Service International and Interagency Affairs Division.
"I am honored and excited for the chance to be part of the SGC 2012 Project Team. The project reports coming out of SGC are the primary output of the congress and a great chance to get the student and young professional voice heard. I look forward to working with the other members of the Project Team and SGC Staff Team to produce great results from SGC 2012!

Project Lead Co-Coordinator: Carmen Felix (Mexico)

Carmen Felix is a Mexican space professional with a Master in Space Science from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, and a BS. in Electronics and Communications from the ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico. She is the Deputy Manager for the Space Safety Magazine and the National Point of Contact in Mexico for Space Generation. She is currently collaborating with the International Space University for the Space Studies Program 2012 to be host by NASA Kennedy and the Florida Institute of Technology in Florida. Carmen has experience working with companies as AT&T and Texas Instruments in the areas of networking protocols, communications and testing. During 2010, she worked at NASA Ames as an engineer researcher for the Small Satellite Division, at the Mission Design Center. Carmen has experience in leadership and management, and has experience in space analogs testing in Rio Tinto and publishing some papers. She is driven by a passion for space exploration and human spaceflight.
“I am really thankful for the opportunity to be part of the SGAC 2012 team. I am sure this will be a great experience and I will enjoy it and put a lot of hard work into it. I have experienced organising symposiums and congresses but something tells me that this is going to be a unique event for me. I am expecting to increase my management abilities, to meet new people and to bring new ideas to the event in order to help to create a successful Congress in Naples.”

Project Lead Co-Coordinator: Natassa Antoniou (Greece)

Natassa Antoniou is Project Manager for Secure World Foundation. She is based in Brussels where she supports and oversees projects dealing with space policy and human and environmental security issues. Prior to joining Secure World Foundation, Natassa worked as a trainee for the European Commission, DG Enterprise & Industry, Unit Space, Research & Development, where she assisted in The European Earth Observation Programme (GMES). She also worked as an external consultant for Ecopolis Europa and Act2innovate. Moreover, in her work as a former EU policy assistant in REGIOEUROPA, the representation office for Greek Local and Regional Authorities in Brussels, she assisted the regional and local authorities in meeting the demands of a modern regional policy with a European dimension.
Natassa studied Environmental Science at Aegean University, Department of Environment, in Greece. She received her Master's at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands where she double majored in Urban Environmental Management and Environmental Communication and Education, with an emphasis in environmental management systems and tools. She also holds a specialisation as a Project Consultant and Community Advisor from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium in collaboration with the Italian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce.
“I am very glad I have been selected to join the Project Team of the SGC 2012. Ever since I learned about SGAC, I have admired the efforts and commitment these young people put into the organisation of this event and I look forward to start working for the same cause.
This position will give me the chance to contribute to this great idea and support the whole organisation in reaching its goals. I am aware that a lot of hard work is waiting for me, but I am prepared to face all the difficulties. Thanks to teamwork, inspiration and enthusiasm I am sure that we will prepare an excellent conference. I expect to be able to combine hard work with a nice and enjoyable environment, to meet interesting people and organise a great conference”.

Delegate Lead Co-Coordinator: Edu F. Aymerich (Spain)

Edu F. Aymerich was born in Barcelona in 1987. He has been interested in space since he was a child. He earned an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-2008). He spent his last six months of university at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, completing his final project. In 2010, Edu earned his Master’s in Aerospace Science and Technology from UPC and received the award of “first class with distinction”. He started his professional career in 2010 as a Research Assistant with the Center for Research in Nanoengineering in Barcelona, dealing with nanocomposites. He is also pursuing his PhD in Aerospace Science and Technology. He also earned a Master’s in Education from UPC in 2011. His Master thesis was entitled “How to improve communicative skills.” Since 2009, Edu has been teaching maths, science and technology at the high school level. Edu is co-founder and CEO of the company “I Sweet Horta, S.C.P,” which operates a candy shop in Barcelona. He is also an amateur actor for a local theatre company and a professional assistant director for other stage plays. Sport is always present in his life; he has practiced Judo for 11 years, played Handball for 3 years and continues to regularly swim and play football.

"I am really proud to be part of the Delegate Team for the SGC 2012. I know how difficult is to get this position, so I will work with responsibility. It also represents the chance of working in an international environment and learning from every second of the experience. I'm glad I can contribute to SGAC this way or anyway."


Delegate Lead Co-Coordinator: Guzel Kamaletdinova (Russia)

Guzel has been a member of SGAC since 2010 and is a National Point of Contact for Russia. She is a Ph.D. student in Aerospace Engineering (Life Safety) at the State University of Aerospace Technology in Moscow (MAI). Her research focuses on long-term spaceflights and crew operation.
Guzel has a Master's degree in Engineering from the State University of Aerospace Technology in Moscow (MAI) (Applied mathematics and physics faculty with a special course of applied economics). Her graduate work received an order of the Department of Education and Science of Russia. She is currently working as an engineer in JSC “NIIchimmash”. Her work includes hardware and software design, scientific research, as well as public work with the youth community. In 2010 she received a grant from the International Astronautical Federation to participate in the annual International Astronautical Congress, in Prague, Czech Republic and previously was previously awarded Russia’s Astronautics Federation Medal.
Guzel is also a youth inspiration programme manager at the World Space Week Association.

"I am very proud to be chosen! It is very important to me and I am looking forward to working with such a great team! I am ready and happy to work hard to help with our annual event preparation and I believe we will be able to uphold our usual high standards! I hope our collaboration will be fruitful and very interesting! So, it's time to buckle down!"


Delegate Lead Co-Coordinator: Muhammad Shafiq (Pakistan)

Muhammad Shafiq is a space enthusiast and has completed a PhD in Remote Sensing. His interests include the application of space science and technology in various areas of use. He has been a general member of the Space Generation Advisory Council since 2005. He has participated in several SGAC activities with various responsibilities. He was the Moderator of the Climate Change working session at the 2010 Space Generation Congress and received the UNOOSA award for workshop on “Space and Climate Change” in 2011. He has been an National Point of Contact for Pakistan and an Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator during his volunteer activities with SGAC.
“I am pleased to hear about my election for the prestigious role of Delegate Coordinator for the 2012 Space Generation Congress to be held in Naples, Italy. This role means a lot to me and is a great opportunity to work with future leaders in space science and technology and to act as a point of contact for the reputable delegates of SGC 2012. I would like to thank SGAC for trusting me and assigning me this role. I am happy to be a part of the Space Generation. The SGAC is a great example of a multicultural volunteer youth network, where the members come from different countries, religions and customs and are committed to volunteer in space awareness and outreach activities. I would say, SGAC is simply awesome.”


Communications Lead Coordinator: Mattia Mazza (Italy)

Mattia was born and raised in Pordenone, a small city in North Eastern Italy. He studied his Bachelors and Master in International Sciences and Diplomatic Relations (University of Trieste) in Gorizia, Italy. He also holds a Masters in Diplomatic Studies and is currently completing another one in Space Institutions and Policies, with both courses undertaken at SIOI, The Italian Society for International Organisation, in Rome. He spent a year in Madrid, Spain as an Erasmus student and 4 months in New York, USA for an internship at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN. He has worked for the French Trade Commission in Milan, Italy and for the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU in Brussels, Belgium.
“With my background, I decided to provide myself with a new, vibrant and extremely interesting experience, the Space Generation Congress. I am eager to give my best in order to promote and advertise this wonderful event, as well as to meet and interact with the rest of the incoming generation of space policy professionals and students from all over the world. I strongly believe that communication and public relations in this field, both in Italy and abroad, must be strengthened and expanded. My mission will be to get our message across and let the new generation's voice be heard.”

Comunications Lead Co-Coordinator: Wissam Rammo (Germany)

Wissam Rammo attended the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, and the University of Leipzig, both in Germany where he earned his physics degree. In 2008, Wissam studied at the University of Toulouse, France as part of an exchange programme. He has worked for the Astrophysics Institute Jena (Germany) and has moved to France in order to attend the International Space University (ISU), obtaining an MSc in Space Studies. Together with people from 20 different countries he worked on the project “Human Spaceflight from Kourou Spaceport” to communicate sustainable European human spaceflight from Europe’s spaceport. He works for the German Space Agency (DLR), and is an active volunteer as one of the Sub-Project Coordinator for CONSTELLATION, which is a platform for all kinds of aerospace related simulations.
“I feel very honoured to have been chosen to be a member of the communications team; and I am looking forward to being more involved in SGAC activities and to work with people who share my enthusiasm for space. When I first attended the 2011 SGC, I was not only impressed by the idea of giving young people a voice in the space world, but also of the wonderful people I’ve met there. This has really ignited me from inside to strengthen SGAC visions in the world. My involvement will offer me a unique possibility to work with colleagues from a diverse range of disciplines and cultures to communicate findings and insights. Being a part of the SGC 2012 staff team is an ideal support for me as young professional to achieve and to broaden my educational horizon into a much a higher degree and to broaden my knowledge of space and the world we live in.”


SGC Local Organising Team


Nunzia Paradiso (Italy)

Nunzia grew up with stars and galaxies in her mind. Her keen interest for space never died down, even though her studies and her passion for life were leading her to explore and experience very different things. Something important happened the day she discovered that her Master Degree course on International Relations offered a course on Space Law: she could finally link her university studies with her never-ending passion for space! She wrote her final dissertation on the Moon Treaty. She then attended a post-university Master course on Space Policy and Institutions and she was chosen to present it to the UNCOPUOS with a technical presentation. She participated to the ESA/ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy and then went to ESA HQ in Paris for a six-month traineeship. She is currently a resident fellow at the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna, and she is the SGAC Regional Coordinator for the European Region.

Simone Pirrota (Italy)

Simone’s education has included a M.Sc in Mechanical Engineering, a B.Sc in Naval Engineering and a PhD in Materials Engineering. Since September 2007 he has been at the Exploration and Observation of the Universe Unit of the Italian Space Agency, ASI, where he has used his technical background in structural and experimental mechanics for the management of engineering aspects of space programs. His strongest recent challenge was being responsible for the design and qualification process and interface management for the launcher and spacecraft hosted modules for the LARES Italian mission that was recently launched on the maiden VEGA flight. Simone found Participating in the launch campaign operations at Centre Spatiale Guyanais in Kourou and following the final chronology and flight from the Control Room were a very unique professional and personal experience. Simone also contributed to the development of Long Duration Flight Balloon born experiments, including the organisation and the participation of launch campaigns in the arctic region, through the SoRa mission from the Svalbard Islands. Currently, he is part of the ASI team of the Italian instrument SIMBIOSYS for the BepiColombo ESA mission, cooperating with French partners, the LESIA and IAS institutes. Simone is also working on the Italian scientific payloads for the ExoMars 2016 ESA-NASA missions, specifically the DREAMS pl for EDM.
“To be involved in the 2012 SGC as part of the LOC team is so exciting to me! I was only introduced to the SGAC last year and experienced the SGC in Cape Town in October 2011, but I feel as if I’ve been part of the group since the beginning. I’m very proud that I have the opportunity to contribute to the next SGC in Naples, where Italian hospitality is at its best. I hope all of the participants will be able to experience this!”

Andrea Faber (Italy/Australia)

Andrea Faber is an ISS Operator and Operations Engineer based in Brussels with dual Italian and Australian citizenship. Her SGAC involvement started in 2006 with the inaugural internship in Vienna and she's enjoyed working in many other positions to assist through the years. Andrea has a degree in Mechatronic Engineering from Australia/Korea, postgrad Diploma from Italy and many years of experience in Control Systems and Automation along with world skills gained through work & study adventures in ~50 countries across six continents. Most definitely from the South, Andrea is half from Calabria and did high school in Sicily next to the active volcano Mt Etna. She looks forward to supporting the Logistics and Delegate teams, interfacing bilingually and showing off her other home country's best side. She looks forward to meeting you in the birthplace of pizza - If you need assistance in Italian or English, let her know.

Dragos Paun (Romania)

Dragoş Alexandru Păun has been an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council since 2010. He completed his degree in Aerospace Engineering at Transylvania University in Braşov, Romania (2003 – 2008). In December 2009 Dragos obtained his Postgraduate Master’s Degree in Space Systems Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin after successfully completing the international SEEDS programme. He completed an internship within the Mechanical CAE unit of Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy and has since continued his activities within the same department as an external consultant. He is a specialist in the finite element modelling of space structures, particularly in the field of Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels and has extensive knowledge in the field of Space Systems Engineering. In 2010 he has participated in the Space Station Design Workshop held at the Stuttgart University Institute of Space Systems, Germany. He also holds a glider pilot license with the Romanian Air Club.
“Being a part of the SGC 2012 local organising team represents a wonderful challenge and a great responsibility. It is an honour to have been chosen to be a part of such a great team“

Benjamin Stepin (Germany/Australia)

Benjamin Stepin has been member of the Space Generation Advisory Council since 2007. He has completed his degree in Applied Physics at the University of South Australia, in Adelaide, Australia (2006-2010) where he specialised in Lasers and Optics and worked in the Laser Light Scattering Lab. He took part in the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Summer School held at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. In July 2010 Benjamin decided to move closer to the action and was able to secure a job in a start-up Firm in Switzerland, called Air-On. He is head of Humidification, and is a specialist in High Voltage Filter Technologies. He has attended and Contributed to two successful Space Generation Congress' and is looking forward to being a part of the next.
“I am honoured to be a part of the SGC 2012 local organising team! This is an opportunity I don't take lightly and will give my best efforts to make this SGC Successful! I am looking forward to the things I will learn from the team and the contributions I am able to make!“

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