WHAT

A one day event for SGAC members to learn from experienced professionals about topics germane to their career or entrepreneurial success.

WHY

One of the strategic goals of SGAC is to provide “opportunities for personal and professional development and skill-building through volunteer opportunities within SGAC” and we believe this event can help further this goal for our members. We want to ensure that membership in SGAC is valuable to all of our members, no matter their level of involvement with our organization.

WHEN and WHERE

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Messe Bremen – CBB Gauß and CBB Herschel

Application Process

Tickets Here

Timeline

Applications to Professional Development Open Until Filled. Purchase a ticket by clicking on the button above.

Preliminary Programme

9:00 – 9:30 Check-in and Coffee (location – tbd)

Track: Launching Your Career 9:30am – 3:45pm

Moderator: Leehandi Di Witt, SGAC NPoC South Africa

9:30 – 11:00 (1.5 hrs) Session 1 – Ingredients for a Successful Job Application

  • Mr. Leandros Foteinias, HE Space
  • Ms. Elisa Manfreda, HE Space

11:00 -11:15 (15 min) Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:45 (1.5 hrs) Session 2 –  The Art of the Successful Interview

  • Ms. Birgit Gratz, Airbus
  • Ms. Kathryn Robison, SGAC & University of Alabama

12:45 – 13:15 (30 min) Session 3 – Network Like a Professional

  • Mr. Remco Timmermans, Seventy Media

13:15 – 14:15 (1 hr) Networking Lunch

14:15 – 15:45 (1.5 hrs) Session 4 – Navigating the Space Industry 

  • Dr. Frank Zimmermann, ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg
  • Mr. Jonathan Hung, Singapore Space and Technology Association
  • Mr. Kyle Acierno, ispace
  • Ms. Virginia Hanessian, Gomspace

Track: Advancing Your Career  9:30am  – 4:00pm

Moderator: Anthony Yuen, SGAC Interim-Treasurer

9:30 – 11:00 (1.5 hrs) Session 1 – Navigating the Space Industry

  • Dr. Diane Howard, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Mr. Andreas Wienhues, ArianeGroup

11:00 -11:15 (15 min) Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:45 (1.5 hrs) Session 2 – Ingredients for a Successful Job Application

  • Mr. Leandros Foteinias, HE Space
  • Ms. Elisa Manfreda, HE Space

12:45 – 13:15 (30 min) Session 3 –  Network Like a Professional

  • Dr. Anthony Tsougranis, NASA

13:15 – 14:15 (1 hr) Networking Lunch

14:15 – 16:00 (1.75 hrs) Session 4 – Startup 101: Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

  • Dr. Luca Rossetini, D-Orbit
  • Mr. Christian Zach, HightTech Gründer Fonds
  • Ms. Irene Bejenke Walsh, MessageLab
  • Mr. Grant Bonin, Deep Space Industries
  • Dr. Chris Boshuizen, Data Collective and Advance

Professional Development Day Moderators

Anthony Yuen, SGAC

Anthony Yuen is currently a pediatric emergency physician and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He received his medical degree as well as a bachelor degree in mechanical and space engineering from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. 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. He served as the Web Coordinator for SGAC from 2015 to 2018 and is currently the Interim Treasurer.

Leehandi Di Witt, SGAC

Having worked in the space industry for the better part of 5 years, Leehandi is currently employed by the SmallSat component manufacturer, NewSpace Systems, as Sales and Marketing Manager and Export Compliance Officer. However, having graduated Cum Laude in the field of International Relations, Leehandi continues to utilize her policy background through her positions as Policy Advisor and UNCOPUOS representative for the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment and on an ad hoc basis, policy inputs to organisations such as SCS Aerospace Group and the South African National Space Systems Enterprise Initiative. In addition to this, Leehandi has also remained actively involved in the SGAC and currently holds the position of South African National Point of Contact. Through her developmental background and various industry and policy roles, Leehandi aims to support nascent space faring nations in accessing the full benefits of space.

Professional Development Day Speakers

Launching Your Career

Leandros Foteinias, HE Space

The best part of my work is connecting with people from all over the world with diverse backgrounds and cultures. My passion is to support people find the job of their dreams and help them grow professionally and flourish.  Recruiting is a challenging and intriguing process to me. In my view, recruiting is finding the right part of the puzzle in order to make the picture complete. I hold a master degree in Language and Communication and a certificate in Human Resources. I gained solid experience in retail recruiting in U.K. And The Netherlands.

Elisa Manfreda, HE Space

What I like the most at HE Space is the proximity we have to our customers and to our employees in their different locations. I really like visiting the customers’ sites and meeting with my colleagues during the several events HE Space organizes. I hold a master degree in Business Communication with a specialization in Human Resources Management and Personnel Administration. I have direct experience of different businesses (Accounting, Consultancy, Telecom, Space), plus I have worked and studied in different countries of the EU, gaining experience of different work approaches and multiculturalism.

Kathryn Robison, SGAC & University of Alabama

Kathryn Robison is the Recruitment Manager for the Space Generation Advisory Council, where she previously served as Project Groups Coordinator. Kat is also the Program Coordinator for The University of Alabama’s Tide Together Graduate Mentoring Program, which serves under-represented populations in graduate education, including Women in STEM. In this role, she works closely with graduate students and faculty to help prepare students for success before and after graduation, including professional development in areas such as interviewing and networking. Kat is also a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at The University of Alabama where her focus is on how political communications shapes and informs space policy both in the United States and around the world. She has traveled extensively around the world, including intensive language training in Turkey, undergraduate study in Botswana, and volunteer work in China.

Dr. Frank Zimmerman, ESA BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg

Dr. Frank Zimmermann is Managing Director of cesah, the Centre for Satellite Navigation Hesse. For more than 10 years, cesah has been managing an ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) in Darmstadt having supported more than 90 start-ups in the technical development, realisation and marketing of new products and services in the domain of space applications. As Head of Product Policy Management for New Markets, Frank is in parallel responsible for the product development at Telespazio VEGA Deutschland GmbH, a commercial shareholder of cesah. Frank has a background in aerospace engineering with more than 20 years of work experience such as in the Galileo programme and is a lecturer at University of Stuttgart.

Kyle Acierno, ispace

Kyle Acierno is the Managing Director of ispace Europe, a company which has raised $100M to build a spacecraft for the Moon. He is responsible for executing business strategies with a specific focus on lunar resource utilization missions conducted in Luxembourg as a part of the Space Resources Initiative.  After traveling to over 100 countries and working in 10 countries on four continents he is now focused on getting humanity, and himself, to the Moon.

Kyle holds a Masters in Space Studies from the International Space University and a Bachelors in International Security from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He is the Chairman of the Technical Committee of The Hague Space Resources International Working Group and a founding member of the Moon Village Association. In 2015 Kyle won the Space Generation Advisory Council’s Space Leaders award.

Virginia Hanessian, Gomspace

Virginia Hanessian works as a Project Manager and Systems Engineer at Gomspace, a leading manufacturer of nanosatellite solutions. For GomSpace, she has lead different international projects: 3 Diamonds (SAS), FACSAT (Colombian Air Force), SEAM (EU and KTH), Delphini-1 (Aarhus University) and RACE (EU). Virginia studied Physics Engineering at Metropolitan and Autonomous University in Mexico (UAM) and got a Master’s in Astronomical Instrumentation from National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE). She has worked in the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) for 3 years, supporting experimental CubeSats, spaceport’s studies and early warning systems for natural disasters.

Andreas Wienhues, ArianeGroup

Mr. Andreas Wienhues is the Head of HR Bremen for ArianeGroup. He has a Masters in HR Personnel Development which he obtained in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Wienhues also has a Masters of Economic Studies from Bremen and New York.

Birgit Gratz, Airbus

Birgit Gratz is a Talent and Community Manager for Space Systems at Airbus Defence and Space. She is based in Munich. In this role she is responsible for Talent Management in Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain and UK.

Birgit’s passion is focused on developing people especially on identifying and developing the talents of the future. Birgit helps talents and young leaders to realize and release their full potential. She supports young project managers, engineers etc. in finding their personal vision and connects them with the respective areas in the business.

Earlier in her career, Birgit was a Project Manager for International Cultural Change and Process topics at Airbus Corporate Functions. In that role she was among other things project manager for the Engagement campaign launched across Airbus. Birgit started her career as Learning Manager in the Military Aircraft division of Airbus.

Birgit holds a diploma in international economics and business science from the University of Innsbruck, she is a business coach and an advanced meditation practitioner.

Jonathan Hung, Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA)

Mr. Hung is President of the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA), Singapore’s lead, industry association focused on developing the space technology industry. The SSTA coordinates all elements of space activity in Singapore, ranging from government engagements with foreign space agencies, working with space industry chiefs and top research organisations spanning the globe. It also supports a range of start-ups, innovators and their venture capitalists

His international work experience includes senior management roles with the Contraves Group, CAE Inc and Flex, where he’s credited for establishing and leading their successful Advanced Incubation Centre. Prior to CAE, he managed Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Singapore Technologies Electronics (Satcom & Sensor Systems) and ST (Satellite Systems).

Earlier in his career, Mr. Hung was Centre Director for Middle East & North Africa Operations at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). There, he handled portfolios in aerospace, marine/offshore and super yacht sectors. In particular, he led the development of the space incubator unit that is presently EDB’s space office.

Mr. Hung currently serves on the Board of the Air Transport Training College, Synspective Pte. Ltd., Space Generation Advisory Council, International Lunar Observatory Association, and is an ExCom Member of the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum.

He also serves as:

Vice-President of the Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers (SIAE)

Co-Chair of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Aerospace Technology & Engineering Conference

Advisor to Transcelestial Technologies Pte. Ltd.

Strategic Advisor (Singapore) to UK-based Seraphim Capital

Impact Partner to Hong-Kong based Fresco Capital

Industry Mentor for FocusTech Ventures

▪ Member, Singapore Tourism Board’s Conference Ambassador Programme

Member, International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Commercial Spaceflight Safety Committee

Member, Ngee Ann Polytechnic Aerospace Technology Advisory Committee

Jonathan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, double majoring in Aerospace Science and Aviation Business Administration.

Remco Timmermans, Seventy Media

Remco Timmermans is a freelance social media advisor for the space industry. Over the past years he has worked with many institutional and commercial space organizations, running awareness, crowdfunding, recruitment and marketing campaigns on social media platforms. Before “rediscovering” space, Remco spent 20 years in IT, business process management, finance and consulting in the IT and financial services industries. IN 2013 he attended the ISU Space Studies Program. Since then he is involved in the SSP program as faculty, in different roles. He was a delegate at UN COPUOS and held several executive positions in space NGOs. Currently he is the CEO of the SpaceUp Foundation, and a communication advisor to SGAC.

In 2018, social media have evolved into a critically important platform for both job hunters and recruiters. Head hunters constantly scan social media profiles for the right candidates for jobs, recruiters will check your social media biographies before even looking at your CV and job hunters can check out their potential employers before even writing an application letter. It is therefore very important to be very strategic about your online profile. Remco frequently supports HR departments or individual job seekers on optimizing the use of social media platforms to find the perfect candidate or the perfect job.

Professional Development Day Speakers

Advancing Your Career

Dr. Diane Howard, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Professor Dr. Diane Howard teaches space law and policy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida USA. She serves the international community as Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and participates in numerous legal projects, both domestically (within the US) and internationally. Diane chairs the annual Space Traffic Management conference at Embry-Riddle and has been active in the STM community since 2011. In addition to the IISL, Diane is a member of the AIAA, the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, the American Society of International Law, and the Florida Bar.

Leandros Foteinias, HE Space

The best part of my work is connecting with people from all over the world with diverse backgrounds and cultures. My passion is to support people find the job of their dreams and help them grow professionally and flourish.  Recruiting is a challenging and intriguing process to me. In my view, recruiting is finding the right part of the puzzle in order to make the picture complete. I hold a master degree in Language and Communication and a certificate in Human Resources. I gained solid experience in retail recruiting in U.K. And The Netherlands.

Elisa Manfreda, HE Space

What I like the most at HE Space is the proximity we have to our customers and to our employees in their different locations. I really like visiting the customers’ sites and meeting with my colleagues during the several events HE Space organizes. I hold a master degree in Business Communication with a specialization in Human Resources Management and Personnel Administration. I have direct experience of different businesses (Accounting, Consultancy, Telecom, Space), plus I have worked and studied in different countries of the EU, gaining experience of different work approaches and multiculturalism.

Dr. Luca Rossetini, D-Orbit

Luca Rossettini is CEO and Founder of D-Orbit, Expert at the Space Advisory Group of the European Commission, Board member of AIPAS (space SME industrial association) and Board member of Confindustria Florence. He is also board member and founder of The Natural Step Italia. In 2008, Rossettini co-founded Imaging and Research Technology Association, where he held the position of President until 2011. He is an aerospace engineer with a Ph.D. in advanced space propulsion, awarded with honors by Politecnico di Milano. He holds a master in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability and a Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship from Santa Clara University, California.

Irene Bejenke Walsh, MessageLab

Irene Bejenke Walsh has been working as a Venture Coach for more than 18 years, specialising in fundraising and investor communications. Having worked out of London for nearly two decades with her own consultancy firm MessageLab as Director, Irene is widely regarded as an expert on pitching, investor presentations and IPO roadshows. She has successfully coached over 500 international start-ups across different tech sectors and worked with a wide range of Venture Capital firms, Business Angel organisations and Government accelerators in the UK and continental Europe. She has also lectured on entrepreneurship and investor pitches at four European universities, including Imperial Business School in London. Irene’s background as a print and broadcast journalist for The Wall Street Journal and CNBC has honed her ability to extract the essence of a compelling presentation or business pitch. Teaching these skills and creating rapport and trust with diverse audiences are her passion and area of expertise.  Irene is bilingual in both English and German.

Christian Zach, High-Tech Gründer Fonds

Christian Ziach is an Investment Manager with the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and has over 12 years of experience in management of complex civilian and military aerospace projects. Prior to joining the HTGF, he held a senior engineering position at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), where he led the technical development of MASCOT, a small asteroid lander jointly developed by DLR and CNES for JAXA´s Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission. He also served as an officer in the German Air Force and was in charge of the project management for a large UAV program. Furthermore, he recently became a start-up mentor for a business incubator run by the ESA. Christian Ziach has a master in aerospace engineering and business and economic sciences and has a deep passion for cutting edge technology and NewSpace. His investment focus is in the field of high-technology start-ups.

Dr Chris Boshuizen, Data Collective VC

Chris is an Operating Partner at Data Collective VC, a boutique investment firm specialising in deep tech and data-driven science and engineering companies. In 2014 Chris was won an Advance award in the manufacturing category, and also the overall Global Australian of the Year award winner. He has subsequently become a member of the Advance Board of Directors.

Chris was the co-founder of Planet Labs, a company providing unprecedented daily, global mapping of our changing planet from space. As the company’s CTO for five years he took the company from the drawing board to having launched more satellites into space than any other group in history, completely transforming the space industry along the way. Fundamental to Chris’s approach is a dedicated investment in people, especially youth and recent graduates, to create a powerful, connected global workforce capable of achieving anything.

Chris was previously a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research Center.  After working on a number of traditional spacecraft programs at NASA, Chris co-created Phonesat, a spacecraft built solely out of a regular smart phone. The cost was so low, and the concept so simple, that space exploration is now within grasp of the everyday person, and many other groups around the world are pursuing their own low-cost space programs as a consequence.

Whilst also at NASA, he established Singularity University, a school for studying the consequences of accelerating technological development. Initially fulfilling the role of Interim Director, Chris helped raise over $2.5 million to establish the university, assembling the faculty and serving as co-chair for the University’s Department of Space and Sciences. He was also previously the Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council, and co-led the organizing committee for 5 Space Generation Congresses.

Chris received his Ph.D. in Physics and BSc. with honours from the University of Sydney. He is also an avid musician and released his first commercial album, VHS, in October 2018

About the Sessions

Navigating the Space Industry: Meet in small groups with industry leaders  and SGAC Alumni to discuss important career topics such as mentoring, work life balance, advancement and how SGAC can help launch your career


Ingredients for a Successful Job Application: Bring your own cover letter and resume and work with a small group lead by an industry mentor or HR professional to make it stand out from the crowd


Network Like a Professional: Learn how to effectively network in professional settings


The Art of the Successful Interview: Practice and improve answers to common interview questions in small groups lead by an industry mentor or HR professional


Startup 101: Perfecting the Elevator Pitch: Bring your 3 minute elevator pitches and work on them in a small group with experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Opportunities to practice it in front of the friendly crowd and maybe catch the attention of our industry mentors. Don’t have a pitch? There will be opportunities to meet with a professional about how to market yourself or your idea in a 3 minute pitch!

Professional Development Day Sponsors