Antonio Fulvio Scannapieco

Antonio Scannapieco manages and ensures efficient and effective completion of several projects 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 for the “Highly Integrated Distributed Systems” session at IAC 2018 and Co-Chair for “Space Culture – Public Engagement in Space through Culture” session at IAC 2023. Antonio has also been Mentor for Constellation organisation.

For SGAC, Antonio currently serves as Regional Coordinator for Europe (elected in August 2022) and is highly involved within Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group and Commercial Space Project Group, co-leading two projects (RESEARCH in DGE PG, with 6 research lines, and Pre-Accelerator in CS PG). Previously, he was National Point of Contact for Italy, leading the growth of Italian community development of the Italian Space Startup Competition programme, and active member of the Small Satellites Project Group. Antonio is also a recipient of the SGAC European Space Leader Award (2022) and Space Generation Leadership Award (2023).

History with SGAC

I started in SGAC back in 2015, but at a slow pace, becoming more involved within the Italian community in 2017 and then getting to organise the First Italian Space Startup Competition, in Milan, in 2019.

It was the turning point, as I saw the great opportunities that SGAC can offer to students and young professionals: I proactively organised more events in Italy, making the Italian Space Startup Competition a regular event for SGAC – consistently having the editions of the Italian Space Startup Competition in English, to be inclusive with the many students and young professionals from abroad that were in the country (or in neighbouring ones) – and eventually getting elected National Point of Contact for Italy.

As a National Point of Contact, I was able – in cooperation with the other NPoC – to grow the community. It was during the pandemic times, so we decided to establish the “Meet the NPoCs” monthly appointment, to make sure that we could remain in touch and exchange, far but yet close.

Strange as it may sound, it was not until 2021 that I attended my first events as delegate, SG[Germany] and the 5th E-SGW, and 2022 was the year for the first E-SGW in person, in Cyprus. It was an incredible experience, allowing me to know more space enthusiasts and boosting my energy towards new endeavours.

Indeed, I was elected Regional Coordinator for Europe in 2022, with the mission to bring a sustainable growth to the Region, with relevant interconnection with Project Groups, and to give focus and support to NPoCs, the ones that really allow us to keep the SGAC community growing and connected.

For this, I put in place the Buddy NPoC Programme, which was born out of feedback received from an NPoC, and have my direct involvement in mentoring new NPoCs as well as in connecting experiences and new NPoCs from different countries. Another action was the re-establishment of 1-1 meetings RCs-NPoCs, to fully focus on each country and understand the issues and give customised feedback. In the last year, more and more cross-country collaborations are happening and more SG[country]/partnered events are in plan, a sign that the teams in the region are growing confident of their means.
Furthermore, I am also proud of fostering the cooperation between Regions and PGs. It is something that I care a lot about, as it would potentially benefit emerging and developing spacefaring countries in Europe but also set the foundations for global support. And while this might seem out of scope for regional activities, I strongly believe it is our duty to think how to contribute and make things better all around.

Last but not least, since 2021 I have actively joined Project Groups, too. The first work was with the Small Satellites Project Group, researching Machine Learning for Earth Observation Operations. Then I devoted – and still doing so – my time to the Diversity and Gender Equality PG, for which I now hold the position of co-lead for the RESEARCH project team, and the Commercial Space PG, in which I am co-leading the Pre-Accelerator project. In both cases, trying to make a positive impact and support inclusive opportunities.

While receiving this award, Antonio, said:

I couldn’t be prouder to receive the Pioneer Award! It comes after a long history within SGAC for me, in which I put my efforts towards the community of space enthusiasts and beyond. If with my actions I am able to inspire people, and make an impact in creating equal opportunities, fostering growth and inclusivity, that is definitely something to be proud of.

But of course this is not the destination of the journey: there is much more to do, that I wish to do, to always strive for the better in bringing forward SGAC mission and vision and ultimately give back to our ever growing community!