Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group
 

 

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Meet our Core team!

SSS Project Group Co-Lead
Alessandra Capurro

Alessandra Capurro
Alessandra is an Aerospace Engineer, EPFL alumni, currently working at Beyond Gravity in Zurich, Switzerland, as a manufacturing engineer of high precision mechanisms for satellites. She is deeply interested in environmental issues and aims to bring sustainable thinking to the space sector. Her interest in sustainability led to the creation of a project focused on Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) for which she was nominated Next Generation Hero 2021 in Switzerland. She did her master’s thesis in LCA of ground-based observing facilities for the European Southern Observatory (ESO). She was invited as a speaker to talk about sustainability in space at the House of Beautiful Business yearly event in 2021, and in various podcasts afterwards.

SSS Project Group Co-Lead
Mahhad Nayyer

Mahhad Nayyer

Mahhad Nayyer is an Astronautical Engineering graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Presently, he is starting his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University as a Graduate Research Assistant. His work primarily focuses on the broader field of Space Domain Awareness (SDA) and space sustainability.

Mahhad is particularly passionate about assessing the subjective and objective changes that emerging space economies can bring to the global Space Traffic Management (STM) framework and/or best practices. With his background in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master's degree in Space Systems (SSA) from TU Graz, sponsored by ESA, Mahhad brings a wealth of diverse knowledge and ideas that are essential for ensuring space sustainability.

In last two years, Mahhad has been awarded IAF Emerging Space Leader Award, SGAC Nebula Award, and AIAA Ascend Diverse Dozen Award. He is member of several technical and administrative committees for IAF and IAA. Moreover, Mahhad is an active young professional in organizing GNFs and Special Sessions for different IAF Conferences including the IAC.

Project Group Partnerships Co-Lead
Salman Ali Thepdawala

Salman Ali

Salman Ali is an Aerospace engineer from Pakistan and is passionate about education, sustainability and market opportunities within the space ecosystem. He is currently a Munich Aerospace PhD scholar at Universität der Bundeswehr, Germany, working on a solution for AI-based Onboard Collision Avoidance in Large Multi-Satellite Systems. In his free time, he helps Neutron Star Systems with technical projects, proposals and representation in Munich. Besides, Salman Ali serves various roles at multiple space sector NGOs, most notably as the National Coordinator for Germany at the Moon Village Association (MVA) and as Partnerships Lead for the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

Project Group Partnerships Co-Lead
Alvaro Menduina

Alvaro Menduina

Alvaro Menduina is one of the Partnership Coordinators for the SSS PG. He has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford and he is currently working as Mission Safety Analyst for the UK Civil Aviation Authority. He is involved in the technical assessment of licence applications from space companies trying to operate from the UK.

After receiving his BSc in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), he moved to the Netherlands where he studied an MSc in Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft, specializing in Space Flight.

PR and Communications Coordinator
Subhrajit Barua

Subhrajit Barua

Subhrajit is an M.S. graduate from ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia. He is an ardent astrobiology researcher and his work deals with space omics and astronaut health. He studies the effects of microgravity, ionizing radiation, and magnetic fields on gene expression and correlates their effects on physiological pathways.

He is also a graduate of Rencontres Exobiologiques pour Doctorants 2021, France, and has experience in teaching astrobiology.

Besides academia, he is also passionate about science communication and outreach.

PR and Communications Coordinator
Nishita Sanghvi

Nishita Sanghvi

Nishita Sanghvi is an Aerospace Engineer from India with a passion for space exploration. She worked as a project trainee at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), where she focused on the star trackers and sun sensors of the Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS), a constellation of communication satellites. She also has a keen interest in CubeSat and SmallSat engineering, which she sees as a promising way to expand access to space and promote innovation in the field.

Nishita is a member of the Gender Equality and Diversity in Space Exploration (GEDSE) committee of SEPG, where she advocates for gender equity and diversity in the space industry. Her love for space extends beyond her professional work, as she also enjoys teaching children about space sciences and inspiring them with the wonders of the cosmos.

As a passionate proponent of sustainable space exploration, Nishita firmly believes in using space research and technology to benefit humanity and the planet, while promoting inclusivity and diversity in the field.

Visual Communications Coordinator
Arianne Lazaro

Arianne Lazaro

Arianne Lazaro is a Research Scientist at Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, CO. In her current role, she develops strategy for the implementation of materials modeling and simulation tools and provides Materials Engineering support for human spaceflight and deep space exploration missions.

She received her B.S. (2020) and M.S. (2021) in Materials Science and Engineering and a certificate in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Florida. Her interests include self-healing materials for space applications, space resources and sustainability, and planetary science

Project Group Members Coordinator
Kyle Cybul

Kyle Cybul

Kyle is an MBA graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a focus on Strategy & Innovation. He is business-oriented with a deep passion for space and sustainability. 

He is also the Founder of a Space Sustainability startup called the Clean Orbit Foundation (COF), which aims to be a central hub for education, information archives, collaboration, and idea-sharing. Our goal is to help centralize the world’s information on space debris and space sustainability into a database, simplify it to make it more easily understandable to anyone, and build an educational platform to close the gap in common knowledge to bring more awareness to the industry and problem.

Project Group Members Coordinator
Joe Humphries

Joe Humphries

Joe is an engineer in the Australian Space Industry, having completed his Master’s of Space Operations in mid-2022. His professional background is in strategy, problem solving, requirements engineering, and technical documentation.

He is currently pursuing his interests in space domain awareness systems through research on the intersection of information systems and human factors.

Meet Our Project Leads!

Essay Competition Project Co-Lead
Ts Uma Shangery Aruldass

Ts Uma Shangery Aruldass

Ts Uma Shangery Aruldass is an Aerospace fan from Malaysia. She has earned her Professional Technologist (Ts) in Aerospace and Aviation technology from the Malaysian Board of Technologists (MBOT). Uma has completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and Masters in Aviation Management.

She is an HRDF-certified Trainer and an active Science Communicator. She has been recognised as one of the D12s around the world, for Space Debris Management and presented her thought-leadership speech at the 2022 Ascend event in Nevada, USA in October 2022.

Uma is one of the Space4Women talents who has been invited to the Expert Meeting in South Korea in August 2022. She has been a part of the KiboCube Academy through the initiatives of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2021 and 2022.

Besides, Uma has been awarded the AXIATA Young CEO Development Program in 2021. She is also an international award recipient for ‘Outstanding Solution for the Case Study’ by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2018 in Shenzhen, China. She has published chapters, papers and articles on both Aerospace and Aviation technology development.

Uma is an active Toastmaster who has served as Club President and Area Director in 2021 and 2022 respectively and International Speech Contest winner too. She explored her interest in Space Debris Management via a competition that she has participated in and continued ever since then.

Essay Competition Project Co-Lead
Sara Venditti

Sara Venditti

Sara is a young professional working as a Regulatory & Compliance Monitoring Manager at Avy, a drone manufacturer based in Amsterdam. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of aerospace cooperation between European countries from LUISS University (Rome) and conducted visiting research at UC Berkeley (California), and the European University Institute (Florence).

She is an ISU alumna and was previously the lead of a Space policy team for a political party. She has a pilot license for light aircraft and drones.

ICASI (OOS) Project Lead
Virgile Gautier

Virgile Gautier

Virgile is the Founder of ICASI, a project from the SGAC to propose a standardization of interfaces for on-orbit servicing. His double engineering studies and his experience in satellites and rocket operations in France and in Germany gave him keys to understand the challenges and needs to implement a sustainable space industry.

ICASI (OOS) Project Co-Lead
Lea Dubreil

Lea Dubreil

Lea is an Aerospace Engineer from IPSA Toulouse, and Hochschule Bremen. Currently finishing her master thesis at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt Germany, she is focused on embedded systems and telecommunications for space applications.

In the course of her studies, her awareness on space sustainability grew specifically on the technical challenges arising. Hence, she joined ICASI in April 2022, bringing her help as a co-lead of the project along with Virgile Gautier.

UNCOPUOS Space Debris Compendium Project Lead
Clarissa Luk

Clarissa Luk

Clarissa Luk is from Australia and studying a rare double degree in Space Engineering and Law. She has recently completed her Honours year research on regulation for orbital debris mitigation, which purports to provide a solution to incentivise and guide better engineering practices for a sustainable orbital space.

Clarissa is passionate about safety and sustainability in the space domain, with a particular interest in using interdisciplinary problem solving methods to tackle these complex challenges. Clarissa’s broad academic skillset is supplemented by diverse experiences in her early career, having immersed herself in the emerging Australian space industry through different organisations.

Within SGAC, Clarissa is leading a collaborative project between the Space Law and Policy and Space Safety and Sustainability project groups to review the UNCOPUOS Space Debris Compendium and provide recommendations to advance international norms for space debris mitigation.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Project Lead
Selene Cannelli

Selene Cannelli

An archaeologist working in space, outside academia she’s a rugby athlete.

Selene has a unique background that has taken her from the study of archaeology and molecular biology to the vastness of space.

She’s a PhD student at Tokyo Tech, studying the origins of life on Earth and beyond, interested in exploring whether minerals could have played a role in the creation of life.

She has a passion for travel, which has led to a strong appreciation for other cultures and environmental conservation. Now, she hopes to protect our planet orbits, by taking an archaeological approach. Selene’s current project, Earth’s orbits as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, focuses on the critical issue of space debris and how it endangers Earth’s orbits, as well as our future in space and on Earth. The project aims to protect this environment, securing a flourishing space economy and contributing to the democratization of space. This work also advocates for outer space environmental and human heritage protection policies.

Newsletter Team Coordinator
Lilith Salisbury

Lilith Salisbury

Lilith Salisbury is a current Air and Space Law Advanced LLM student at Leiden University conducting research on liability issues surrounding SSA data and on the legal aspects of interplanetary contamination. She completed her Law LLB in Manchester England in 2022.

She is interested in the legal framework surrounding sustainability in space, with a particular focus on the UN Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines as a tool of soft law to enforce sustainability practices in outer space. She has years of experience in space news reporting, including interview coordination, current updates, opinion pieces and opportunity updates. In her spare time she enjoys mountaineering and sport climbing.

Newsletter Team Coordinator
Bas Jacobs

Bas Jacobs

Bas Jacobs is currently pursuing an advanced LL. M in Air and Space Law at Leiden University, recently graduated cum laude from Leiden University’s LL. M program in Public International Law, and holds a B.A in International Justice with an emphasis on European and Public International Law from Leiden University College. For his graduate thesis, he focused on the reliability and credibility of using satellite imagery as evidence of criminal responsibility in proceedings before the International Criminal Court.

He also worked alongside his masters as a student assistant at the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian law. Currently, he is researching European and Dutch space law as an intern at the Space Court Foundation while also being a part of the team representing Leiden University in the European Rounds of the Manfred Lach’s Space Law Moot Court Competition.

UN SDG Project Co-Lead
Niki Sajjad

Niki Sajjad

Niki is a PhD candidate and enthusiastic space engineer with an electrical engineering background, highly motivated for working toward sustainability to serve humanity and pave the way for the next generations to become key players in the space sector, especially in non-space-faring countries. She has been a member of three student satellite projects since 2017 as an ADCS and HIL engineer, currently receiving data from one of them orbiting Earth as a result of an international collaboration.

Niki has been an active member of SGAC since 2020, is the national point of contact for Iran, and currently leads the UN SDGs project from Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group.

UN SDG Project Co-Lead
Zineb Bouaoudate

Born in Morocco, she is an aerospace engineer with an unswerving passion for aviation that began in her youth, watching planes glide above her neighborhood near the airport. Her educational journey took her across Morocco and France, culminating in a Master’s thesis focused on a satellite project at Ecole Polytechnique de Paris (l’X) for the Ministry of Defense.

Beyond her aerospace expertise, her diverse interests span from artistry and culinary arts to professional networking, multilingual proficiency, and a dedicated commitment to volunteerism. Her leadership prowess is underscored by her past roles as General Secretary and International Relations Coordinator in her university’s student council and as President of the Press Club.

Today, she serves as an Aeronautical Engineer at Airbus, specializing as a Mechanical Stress Engineer for all in-service aircraft programs. Notably, she was chosen as an Airbassador to represent Airbus, reaffirming her dedication to the aerospace industry.

Her mission is to make space accessible to all, advocating for a sustainable future for space while fostering youth opportunities through collaboration with local academic institutions and space-focused organizations. Recognized for her expertise and dedication, she also serves as the National Point of Contact for Morocco within Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) as well as she holds the esteemed role of co-lead within the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group for United Nations initiatives through SGAC.

Overall, she is a highly accomplished and resolute professional, determined to advance aerospace and space sectors on a global scale. Her aspiration extends beyond borders, aiming to leave an indelible mark not only on her cherished Morocco and the vast African continent but also on the world itself through her relentless efforts and unwavering dedication.