Phylis Makurunje is a PhD candidate at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials which is hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand. She specializes in ultra-high temperature composites (UHTCs) for rockets and space planes. A passionate public speaker and advocate for space technology applications, Phylis was a Famelab South Africa 2017 finalist and a 2018 Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans listee for her work on aerospace materials. Phylis is excited to be carrying the space applications torch to her home country, Zimbabwe.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Henry has always been fascinated by the stars while growing up as a kid. Henry earned a Bachelor's degree in Meteorology and Climate Science and holds a Certificate in Project Management. He is the co-founder of AstioTech Enterprise, a tech-based social enterprise that leverages on 3D-Printing technology and local-materials to manufacture affordable amateur Telescopes used to teach and inspire young students in undeserved communities in Nigeria into STEM careers. His ultimate goal is to see that every young person in Africa regardless of social-economic background is empowered with quality and innovative learning tools that will inspire them to dream BIG.
Samanvay currently works as a Data Scientist in Melbourne, Australia. He is also studying a part-time M.Phil at the University of Sydney with hopes of creating an intelligent satellite through combining AI and space technology. His bachelors is in aerospace engineering. During his time at university, he did an internship at DLR, helped launch one of Australia's first student built satellites to space (Inspire-II), attended the UN Youth Assembly in NY, co-founded a start-up and created a dual-mode charge exchange thruster. His hobbies include fitness, photography, tennis, building friendships and reading.
Mitchell Scher has been the SGAC Strategic Partnerships Coordinator since December 2016. He currently works in Government and Regulatory Affairs at Planet, holding responsibility for coordination with the US Department of State, Commerce, NOAA, and OFAC. In addition, he organizes a space community in the Bay Area, bringing together more than 100 space folks each month, and is a contributor to NewSpace Hub, a global organization mapping the space industry. Mitchell left his previous position in Healthcare IT to attend the International Space University's Space Studies Program in Haifa Israel in 2016. After graduating, he joined the Wilson Center in Washington, DC to perform research on China's space program prior to joining Planet. He also holds a Degree in Chinese and Mathematics from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.
Anthony Yuen is a medical doctor with a degree in mechanical and space engineering from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He is currently a pediatric emergency physician and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Prior to medical school, he was the Chair of the 2006 Queensland Youth Aerospace Forum and attended the 2007 Space Station Design Workshop in Sydney. His experiences span areas as diverse as ramjets, global health, artificial hearts and medical simulations. His eventual goal is to develop innovative approaches that encompass medicine, engineering and technology to overcome the challenges of long duration space flight on the human body.
Eric Mwobobia has huge interests in the technology and space sector with a background in Computer Science. He is currently a risk analyst in the telecommunications space. Eric has huge experiences in community, technology and leadership development from his previous initiatives and innovation projects. His key drive is his passion for technology - Internet of Things (IoT) and change making in our generation. His other research interests are in the design, adoption and impact of innovative low-cost appropriate updated tech solutions. Eric supports cross-functional strategic development activities and is fascinated about space applications.