In Partnership With…


March 13 – 14
Washington, D.C.

In partnership with the Future Space Leaders Foundation and SATELLITE 2023 Conference, the Space Generation Advisory Council will host its eighth SGx event in Washington, DC on March 13th and 14th, 2023.

SGx is a fast-paced, content-rich conference modeled on the TEDx “lightning talk” format, creating an environment where young professionals, industry experts, and government executives gather to network, share insights, and inspire each other.

SGx2023 stands out as a unique two-day event focused on cultivating the next generation of space leaders: connecting them with their peers and experts, exposing them to a diverse set of knowledge, and empowering them with unparalleled speaking and career opportunities.

SGx2023’s engaging program includes:

  • Thematic expert “lightning talk” sessions, followed by moderated Q&A panels…
  • A dedicated SGx lunch with a featured sponsor keynote…
  • Networking sessions, breaks, and receptions throughout the morning, day, and evening…
  • An expanded, multi-day exhibit hall “job fair,” co-partnered with the SATELLITE 2023 conference…
  • A new second day of programming, featuring Young Professional lightning talks

Join us for fast-paced and engaging discussions that tackle pressing issues and innovative ideas to inspire the next generation of space leaders.

Register Today!

Want to see what SGx is all about? Miss last year’s event?
Check out the full playlist of SGx2022 content

How to Register

SGx tickets are available through the SATELLITE 2023 registration system. Simply select SGx2023 as part of your registration!

SGx attendees can get complimentary access to the SATELLITE 2023 exhibit hall! Use VIP code SGXEH during check-out.

Pricing is as follows:

  • $65: Young Professionals/Students under the age of 35.
  • $195: All other Industry Professionals.

Already registered?

  • Visit the Registration Resource Center.
  • Enter your Badge Number and Email Address to access the online portal.
  • Click the “Upgrade” arrow and add SGx2023 to your registration.

SGx2023 Program & Schedule

SGx features a full day of informative, rapid-fire “lighting talks”! The day is broken into thematic sessions, each covering the latest and great topics involving the space industry and spaceflight.

SGx 2023’s sessions includes talks from space sector leaders across government, academia, and private industry, covering the following subjects:

  • Space Sustainability…
  • Human Space Exploration…
  • International Norms of Behavior…
  • Deep Space Exploration…

SGx2023 also features several high-level keynotes, interactive panels, and networking opportunities, as well as a new and unique second day featuring young professionals and students giving their own lightning talks!


Sunday, March 12 – Pre-Event Activities

The SGx2023 Organizing Team be holding an (optional) pre-event meet-up and social activity on Sunday, March 12, for those who would like to socialize and network before SGx2023 and the SATELLITE Conference officially begins!

The pre-event activities begin with a visit and tour of the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall at 3:00 pm (EST).

If you would like to join, be sure to get a free timed-entry pass for March 12 at 3:00 pm from the NASM Website. We have a limited number of first-come, first-served passes already secured, but we highly recommend you secure your own ticket if you’d like to join. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee your entry if you don’t have a ticket secured by the time you arrive.

After our visit to the National Air and Space Museum, we will be holding an informal dinner meet-up at Union Market DC – 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002 – at 7:00 pm (EST).

Monday, March 13 – SGx2023 Day 1

7:30 – 9:15 AM 

SATELLITE/SGx Registration


9:15 – 9:30 AM

SGx2023 Opening Remarks

  • Jeff Hill – Executive Chairman, SATELLITE
  • Bradley Cheetham – Chairman, Future Space Leaders Foundation
  • Anthony Yuen – Co-Chair, Space Generation Advisory Council 

9:30 – 9:45 AM

Introductory Keynote 

Clay Mowry – President, International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

9:45 – 10:45 AM

Human Space Exploration Lightning Talks & Panel


  • Amelia Batcha – Executive Officer to the Associate Administrator, Human Systems Development Mission Directorate, NASA


  • Tim Kopra – CEO, Nanoracks
  • John Marzano – Director, Human Landing System, Northrop Grumman Space Systems
  • Jason Hopkins – Director, Lunar Infrastructure Services, Lockheed Martin

10:45 – 11:00 AM

Coffee Break & Networking

Sponsored by Northrop Grumman

11:00 – 12:00 PM

International Norms of Behavior Lightning Talks & Panel


  • Kristina “K” Leszczak – Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State


  • Masami Onoda – Director, Washington D.C. Officer, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
  • Paul Steinmetz – Consul General & Executive Director, Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office, New York
  • Krystal Azelton – Director of Space Applications Programs, Secure World Foundation

12:00 – 1:30 PM

SGx2023 Lunch & Special Keynote

Sponsored by Northrop Grumman

Blake Bullock – Vice President Communication Systems, Northrop Grumman Strategic Space Systems

1:30 – 1:45 PM

Featured Keynote

Debra D. Facktor – Head of AIRBUS U.S. Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.

1:45 – 2:45 PM

Space Sustainability Lightning Talks & Panel


  • Deborah (Debi) Tomek – Senior Advisor, Space Infrastructure and Logistics, In-Space Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing, NASA


  • Eric Ingram – Founder & CEO, Scout
  • Trevor Bennett – Co-Founder, Starfish Space
  • Dr. Clare Martin – Executive Vice President, Astroscale U.S.
2:45 – 3:00 PM Coffee Break & Networking Sponsored by BryceTech
3:00 – 3:10 PM Congressional Speaker Mariah Baker – AAAS Congressional Fellow, Office of Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO).
3:10 – 4:10 PM Deep Space Exploration Lightning Talks & Panel


  • A.C. Charania – Chief Technologist, NASA


  • Alex Gilbert – Director of Space & Planetary Regulation, Zeno Power
  • Gary Li – Manager of Business Development, Impulse Space
  • Marshall Smith – VP, Exploration, Voyager Space
4:10 – 4:20 PM Day 1 Closing Remarks Ashley Peter – SGx2023 Deputy Manager
5:30 – 7:00 PM SATELLITE 2023 Opening Reception  
7:00 – 9:10 PM SGx2023 Reception at Little Penn Coffeehouse Sponsored by Lockheed Martin

Tuesday, March 14 – SGx2023 Day 2 – Sponsored by Northrop Grumman

8:30 – 10:00 AM SATELLITE Keynote & Opening Ceremony  
10:00 – 10:15 AM SGx “Day 2 Young Professional/Student Talks” Introductory Remarks Brandi Burnett – Sustainability Director, Northrop Grumman Space Systems
10:15 – 11:00 AM SGx Young Professional/Student Lightning Talks


  • Stephanie DelPozzo – Associate, NextFed
  • Elias Hailu Daniel – Aerospace Engineering Student, University of Maryland College Park
  • Sapna Rao – Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin
  • Carson Coursey – Associate Member of the Technical Staff, Aerospace Corporation
11:00 – 11:15 AM Day 2 Expert Keynote Tom Colvin – Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Technology, Policy & Strategy, NASA
11:15 – 11:45 AM SGx Young Professional/Student Lightning Talks


  • Rachita Puri – Aerospace Engineer, Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation
  • Alex Merker – Senior Consultant, Guidehouse
  • Emma Louden – Astrophysics Ph.D Student, Yale University
11:45 – 12:00 PM Day 2 Expert Keynote Mike French – Vice President for Space Systems, Aerospace Industries Association
12:00 – 12:05 PM SGx2023 Closing Remarks Cody Knipfer, SGx2023 Manager
12:05 – 1:00 PM Lunch (On Your Own)  
1:00 – 3:00 PM SATELLITE Exhibit Hall Tour/Walk-Through Meet by the SATELLITE Exhibit Hall “A” entrance (by the elevators).

SGx2023/SATELLITE Job Fair

In partnership with the SATELLITE Conference, SGx2023 features an expanded “job fair!” This is an excellent opportunity for students, young professionals, and others who are interested in learning about new career opportunities to engage with leading companies in the space sector.

The SGx2023 Job Fair will be held in the SATELLITE Exhibit Hall, by the restaurant (see map below) throughout the duration of the SATELLITE Conference! The Job Fair will run through:

  • Tuesday, March 14 – 10:00 am to 5:45 pm (EST)
  • Wednesday, March 15 – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (EST)
  • Thursday, March 16 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (EST).

Sponsor companies and participants in this year’s SGx/SATELLITE Job Fair include:

Check out these exciting opportunities available!

“We’re growing at Astroscale! Watch our careers page for upcoming opportunities “

(Northrop Grumman):

SGx2023 Speakers

SGx2023 Introductory Keynote

Clay Mowry
President, International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

Clay Mowry is responsible for growing sales, aligning Voyager operating company product/service offerings, developing analytics, setting strategy, and delivering customer success.

He previously served for five years as Vice President for Global Sales at Blue Origin. His mission was to provide commercial and government customers with safe and affordable space transportation services with the reusable New Glenn orbital and New Shepard suborbital launch vehicles. Mr. Mowry worked for 15 years as the President and Chairman of Arianespace, Inc. As the head of the Arianespace’s U.S. subsidiary, he was responsible for managing the company’s sales, marketing, strategy, government relations, and communications activities.

Before joining Arianespace, Mr. Mowry served as the founding Executive Director of the Satellite Industry Association, a non-profit alliance of U.S. satellite operators, manufacturers, and ground equipment suppliers. Prior to his role at SIA, he worked as a space industry analyst, trade negotiator, and Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

Human Space Exploration

Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 orbital flight made him the first-ever person in space, kicking off the beginning of now over 60 years of human exploration beyond Earth’s atmosphere. As access to space has evolved, both sovereign and commercial human spaceflight expeditions from around the world are set to increase in number, diversity, and scale over the coming decade. From new long-duration platforms in low-Earth-orbit, to suborbital flights for tourists and scientists alike, to multiple nations’ ambitions to return to the lunar surface, the next generation of human spaceflight is busier and more complicated than ever. Our conversation will center around “what’s next” as humanity seeks to create a more permanent presence further out in our solar system. Yuri said it best: “Poyekhali!” – “off we go!”

Amelia Batcha

Executive Officer to the Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate

Amelia Batcha serves as the Executive Officer to the Associate Administrator of the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. In this role, Amelia leads front office operations to support international partner and project activities; maintains overview of issues, policies, and program development; and implements a broad spectrum of management actions. She provides recommendations and detailed analyses on technical topics for senior ESDMD management.

She is also a trajectory design engineer and will support Artemis I as a certified Trajectory Analysis Retargeting and Optimization (TARGO) Officer in the Mission Evaluation Room (MER). Previously in her role at the Johnson Space Center, she served as the Orion Lead to the Exploration Systems Development cross-program and intra-agency End-to-end Mission Performance Team (EMPT) responsible for trajectory products used for the Artemis missions. She managed configuration and data products of mission feasibility and opportunities for launch date planning. She designed trajectories that close performance gaps and balance margins to maximize Artemis I launch opportunities and support development of mission contingency scenarios in conjunction with the Flight Operations Directorate. 

Amelia earned her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2015 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in astrodynamics from Purdue University. 

Jason Hopkins
Director, Lunar Infrastructure Services
Lockheed Martin

Jason Hopkins is Director of Strategy and Business Development of Lunar Infrastructure Services at Lockheed Martin. Jason has extensive experience in developing and operating space systems as a civil servant and in industry. He worked as a Flight Test Integration Manager on NASA’s Orion program for Exploration Flight Test-1 and managed integration operations in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He also worked in the US Senate as a Science and Space Technical Advisor for Senator Bill Nelson. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics and a master’s degree in systems engineering from George Washington University.

Tim Kopra
Chief Executive Officer

Tim Kopra has been a career military officer, astronaut, and now senior business leader. He is currently the CEO of Nanoracks, a Houston-based space company. Previously, Tim served as the President of OneWeb Technologies, Vice President, Robotics and Space Operations for MDA, and as Partner of Blue Bear Capital. Prior to his work in the private sector, Kopra spent 18 years as an astronaut for NASA, including his role as a flight engineer on Expedition 46 and commander of Expedition 47. While at NASA, he completed two spaceflights, three spacewalks, and logged 244 days in space. Tim is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, and MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School.

John Marzano
Director, Human Landing System Program
Northrop Grumman Space Systems

ohn is the currently the Director of the Human Landing System at Northrop Grumman Space Systems. He has more than seventeen years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry working in strategy, engineering, finance, and business development roles.

John was previously the Director of Strategy & Business Development for the Civil and Commercial Satellites Business Unit of the NGSpace sector.

John was previously a consultant with the global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. He is a MBA graduate of Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. John earned his MS in Systems Architecture from the University of Southern California and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Areas of Specialization: Strategy Development, Strategic Planning, Transformation, Capture Management, Program Management, Operations, Engineering, Manufacturing, Big Data Analytics, Leadership, Complexity Reduction, Cost Modeling, Supply Chain Management, Acquisition and Logistics Strategy, Process Redefinition, Competitor Analysis, Price-to-Win Analysis, Position-to-Win Analysis.

International Norms of Behavior

Just as the space environment is a truly shared domain, SGAC is a truly international organization – representing students and young professionals in space from 160+ countries. This “International Norms of Behavior” thematic lightning talk session and panel brings together the leading voices from sovereign space agencies and commercial actors from spacefaring nations from across the world. This discussion will be a timely reminder that, as more new entrants join the space domain, it’s our responsibility to understand perspectives of operators from all nations – so that development in space continues to yield benefits for everyone on Earth.

Kristina “K” Leszczak
Foreign Affairs Officer
Department of State Office of Space Affairs

Kristina “K” Leszczak is an interdisciplinary, collaborative leader with foreign policy, real estate, and start-up experience. She is currently serving as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the State Department’s Office of Space Affairs (OES/SA), directing the Artemis Accords portfolio. Ms. Leszczak earned a degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame, completed a Master of Philosophy in Latin American Studies at Cambridge, and received her Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. She has studied Haitian Creole, French, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese, and is the recipient of several State Department Superior Honor Awards as well as the Boren and Pickering Fellowships. K is a proud (#fosterfail) dog mom and in her free time enjoys hitting the Anacostia Riverwalk and San Clemente Beach Trails. 

Masami Onoda
Director, Washington D.C. Office
Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency

Masami Onoda is currently Director of JAXA Washington D.C. Office, representing the Japanese space agency in the Americas. Dr. Onoda has extensive experience in international affairs, satellite applications and industry relations. She has held several international positions, including at the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Onoda holds a Ph.D. in Global Environmental Studies (2009) and master’s degree in environmental management (2005), both from Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, and a BA in international relations from the University of Tokyo.

Paul Steinmetz
Consul General & Executive Director
Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office, New York

Educational Qualifications

1982 Master in Public Law (University Assas Paris 2)

1983 Diploma in Political Science (Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP), Paris)

1983 Post Graduate Degree in Foreign Trade (University Dauphine Paris 9) 

2001 Post Graduate studies in Public Administration

(Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), Paris)

Career with the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry 

Jan 1989  Joined the Ministry as Assistant to the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, concurrently in charge of the Asia desk (1989-1992), then the Latin America desk (1993) within the Directorate for Political Affaires

1994 – 1998 First Secretary, then Counselor, Luxembourg Embassy in London

(Accredited to UK with co-accreditation to Ireland and Iceland)

1998 – 2002 Director for Legal and Cultural Affaires at Foreign Ministry,

Luxembourg and non-resident Ambassador to Kiev (Ukraine)

2002 – 2007 Ambassador in New Delhi (India)

2007 – 2013 Ambassador in Tokyo (Japan) with co-accreditation to the Republic of Korea and the Republic of the Philippines

2013 – 2017 Ambassador in Beijing (China) with co-accreditation to Pakistan and Mongolia

2017 – 2021 Ambassador in Athens (Hellenic Republic); with co-accreditation to the Republic of Cyprus and Romania

Other Work Experience 

1985 – 1987 Legal Advisor, International Protection Division of UNHCR (Geneva)

1984 – 1989 Lawyer in Private Practice (Luxembourg)

May – Dec 1997 Political Advisor with OHR (Sarajevo), under Luxembourg EU Presidency

* Recipient of Commandeur de l’Ordre national du Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (2014)

Krystal Azelton
Director of Space Applications Programs
Secure World Foundation

Krystal Azelton (née Wilson) is a Director of Space Applications Programs at Secure World Foundation and has over 10 years of international and domestic space, public policy, and management experience.

Prior to joining SWF, Ms. Azelton was a consultant at Access Partnership, where she worked with international satellite service providers and other leading technology companies on policy issues related to spectrum management, emergency communications, telecommunications standards, orbital debris, and multilateral processes including representing industry at the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission. She has also served as a project manager at the Tauri Group, a leading aerospace analytics firm, providing research, analysis, strategic planning, and regulatory assessment to government and commercial clients. She led and supported production of NASA’s strategic plans, audits, performance plans, budgets, and annual reports. Her work exposed to the full range of NASA’s Earth observation, human exploration, and aviation programs. In that role, she was also recognized as a key member of a data management team that received the NASA Group Achievement Award.

Previously, Ms. Azelton was in the field of international development as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at Development Alternatives, Inc in Afghanistan working on US military and local government initiatives and as Senior Program Assistant at the National Democratic Institute in Africa and Washington, DC working on sustainable governance projects. In those roles, she worked closely with the United Nations, the World Bank, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, US and international nonprofits, and others.

Ms. Azelton holds a BSFS in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC and completed the Programme Internationale at Sciences-Po in Paris, France.

SGx2023 Lunch Keynote

Blake Bullock
Vice President Communication Systems
Northrop Grumman Strategic Space Systems

Blake Bullock is the vice president for the Communication Systems business unit within the Strategic Space Systems division of Northrop Grumman Space Systems, a premier provider of space and launch systems serving national security, military and space customers.

In this role, Bullock leads the organization providing architectures, systems, payloads, advanced products and technologies to satisfy current and future communication needs of air, space, and terrestrial users across the defense, intelligence, civil, commercial and international communities.

Prior to Bullock’s current position, she served as vice president of National Security Systems within Northrop Grumman’s Tactical Space Systems division, providing responsive and scalable solutions across scientific, weather, and national security missions.

Bullock served in positions of increasing responsibility across her 15-year career with Northrop Grumman involving systems engineering, strategic planning, business development and management in various programs including the James Webb Space Telescope and Advanced Mission Programs. She also served as director of Civil Air and Space Mission campaigns for business, and advanced systems development for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector.

Previous to joining Northrop Grumman, Bullock served in a variety of roles in academia, government and private sector including director of corporate development for the University of California, Irvine; science journalist and mass-media fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a Presidential Management Fellow working for NASA and with the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Bullock holds a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in astronomy from Wesleyan University.

Featured Keynote

Debra D. Facktor
Head of AIRBUS U.S. Space Systems
AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.

Debra Facktor is the Head of U.S. Space Systems for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. She leads the Airbus U.S. Space line of business consisting of National Security Space (small satellites) and Space Exploration. Debra serves on the board of Airbus OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb operating a high-volume, highspeed satellite manufacturing facility in Florida.

Prior to joining Airbus U.S., Debra was Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Operations for Ball Aerospace, leading the company’s Washington D.C. operations, strategic development, and marketing and communications. Her extensive business experience includes serving as President and Owner of AirLaunch LLC, and as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Kistler Aerospace Corporation. She also served as an industry professor at Steven Institute of Technology School of Systems and Enterprises and as Director of Strategic Programs for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). Earlier in her career, Debra was Chief of Moscow Operations for ANSER’s Center for International Aerospace Cooperation.

Debra is actively engaged as an advisor and mentor in the aerospace community and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She sits on the University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering Industrial Advisory Board and is Chair of SSPI-WISE (Space & Satellite Professionals International – Women in Space Engagement), former chair of the Board of Women in Aerospace (WIA), and former treasurer of the Future Space Leaders Foundation. She is also a fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS), an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and a member of Chief.

Debra received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and is an alumna of the International Space University summer session program in Strasbourg, France.

Space Sustainability

Humans love to launch objects into space. From massive exquisite satellites and observatories, to crewed vehicles and Human-rated destinations, as well as proliferated constellations of small spacecraft, our busiest orbits are more crowded than ever. In fact, most data-driven predictions anticipate up to 100,000 operational satellites in space by 2030. In order to ensure that space remains a safely operable environment, it is critical that all operators commit to responsible behavior in orbit and beyond. Today, commercial and sovereign actors alike are taking steps to advance capabilities that contribute to “Space Sustainability” through SSA (Space Situational Awareness), ADR (Active Debris Remediation), and more. This thematic lightning talk session and panel will examine “what’s next” in space sustainability, with a focus on the perspectives of commercial companies tackling these big problems.

Deborah Tomek
Senior Advisor, Space Infrastructure and Logistics, In-Space Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing (ISAM)

Debi Tomek has over 23 years of research and technical management experience and began her career with NASA Langley. Debi has served as a researcher, principal investigator then executive of numerous inter- and intra-Agency programs. Debi’s early research in dynamic stability was instrumental for numerous space vehicles and led to work on the Space Shuttle leading a team that obtained critical re-entry data of the Orbiter. After four years in the Administrator’s Suite leading Agency technical capability assessments she returned to Langley as Chief of Staff before becoming Deputy Director, then Director, of the Space Technology Directorate. She shepherded pre-formulation of the National Initiative for On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM). This led to her current appointment as NASA Senior Advisor for OSAM and National Initiative lead. Ms. Tomek holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University and Master’s degree in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University.

Dr. Trevor Bennett
Co-Founder, Starfish Space

Dr. Trevor Bennett is a co-founder at Starfish Space where he’s giving life to on-orbit services. He earned a PhD from the University of Colorado where he was a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow and awarded the 2022 Outstanding Alumni for Excellence in Commercial Enterprise (under 40). Trevor has worked at both NASA Goddard and JPL on robotic missions, as well as at Blue Origin on New Glenn. He has broad technical expertise in Guidance, Navigation and Control, with a particular focus on rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking (RPOD). Outside of aerospace, Trevor lives in Seattle, Washington and spends a lot of his time on outdoor adventures including scuba diving, rock climbing, and skiing. 

Eric Ingram
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer
SCOUT Space, Inc.

Eric is a commercial spaceflight regulatory expert with a tremendous reach in the space industry. Additionally, he is an active and recognizable figure in space exploration and disability advocacy. Currently, Eric is the Co-founder and CEO of SCOUT Space Inc., a spaceflight hardware, software, and data provider developing solutions for improved safety and transparency in space. Previously, he served as an Aerospace Engineer at the FAA Office for Commercial Spaceflight. He is also a Board Member at the Space Frontier Foundation, an Organizing Team Member & Ambassador for Mission: AstroAccess, and serves on the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES).

Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Old Dominion University, majority of a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston, and a sport pilot certificate. 

Dr. Clare Martin
Executive Vice President
Astroscale U.S.

Dr. Martin joined Astroscale U.S. in August 2019 as Executive Vice President. She brings many years of experience in space technology management, operations, and engineering to support the foundation and growth of Astroscale U.S.

Dr. Martin previously held the position of the Director, Orbital Solutions at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). She was responsible for the management and technical performance of the engineering staff and delivery of projects, including planning and managing technical and programmatic solutions to ensure quality, business, and financial objectives were met.

Prior to joining GA-EMS, Dr. Martin was the Chief Operating Officer at Surrey Satellite Technology US, where she led the Surrey project management and engineering teams. As a member of the Surrey Satellite US Executive Team, Dr. Martin managed the bidding, negotiation, and execution of projects, and was responsible for ensuring the company’s cost-effective methods were appropriately applied to the execution of programs.

Dr. Martin transferred to Surrey Satellite US from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in the United Kingdom, where she held several positions including the Head of Telecommunications and Navigation business unit, encompassing the Galileo payload programme. Prior to Surrey, Dr. Martin was a Project Manager and Scientist at QinetiQ.

Dr. Martin earned a Master of Science in astrophysics and a Doctorate in mathematics and computational sciences from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She loves to explore and adventure the mountains in Colorado.

Congressional Speaker

Mariah Baker
AAAS Congressional Fellow, Office of Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

Dr. Mariah Baker is a AAAS Congressional Fellow working in the office of Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO). In this role, she supports Senator Hickenlooper’s portfolios for the Energy and Natural Resources and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees, including the Space and Science Subcommittee. Prior to this fellowship, Mariah worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies. She was a member of NASA’s Curiosity and InSight missions for seven and four years, respectively, and in 2020 she was selected as a Participating Scientist for NASA’s Perseverance rover mission.

Mariah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Science from Johns Hopkins University. While pursuing her doctorate, she interned at NASA Headquarters where she supported strategic planning for a crewed Mars mission and helped address challenges associated with deep space travel. Through the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, she earned a Graduate Certificate in International Science and Technology Policy. Mariah has broad interest in the space sciences, including the scientific, economic, and geopolitical aspects of planetary exploration, and she hopes to help support human exploration of the moon and Mars.

Deep Space Exploration

“Deep Space Exploration” includes actions in space beyond our most local orbits – from cislunar space, to Lunar surface activities, to exploration of other worlds in our solar system. Beyond sovereign space missions, including NASA’s Artemis program and China’s expansion to the moon, many commercial capabilities have come online to both support these efforts and carry out activities of their own. This thematic lightning talk session and panel will focus on the challenges involving what it means to access deep space, how to conduct exploration in an ethical and sustainable manner, and a look toward the future of exploration far beyond Earth.

A.C. Charania

Chief Technologist

As agency chief technologist, A.C. Charania serves as principal advisor to NASA’s administrator on technology policy and programs. He leads technology innovation at the agency and aligns NASA’s agencywide technology investments with mission needs across its six mission directorates. Charania also oversees technology collaboration with other federal agencies and the private sector while coordinating with external stakeholders.

Charania works within NASA’s Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy (OTPS). He succeeds OTPS Associate Administrator Bhavya Lal, who had been serving as acting agency chief technologist.

Charania is an experienced leader in entrepreneurial space and aviation ventures. His private sector work includes projects under contract for NASA, the Air Force, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). His experience spans multiple areas including launch vehicles, hypersonics, human/robotic exploration, lunar landers, planetary defense, small satellites, and aviation autonomy.

Before joining NASA, he served as vice president of product strategy at Reliable Robotics, a firm working to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation. Charania led overall corporate strategy for the company, including working to mature product fit, leading/conducting market and competitive assessments, and engaging with global customers and partners. He also led program management for their Department of Defense autonomy projects.

Prior to Reliable Robotics, Charania worked on advanced development programs at Blue Origin. He helped define their lunar permanence strategy, created and advanced the Blue Moon lunar lander strategy, and engaged with customers and technical partners. He also moved multiple technology projects forward, including many with NASA.  

Charania previously worked as a strategy and business development leader for the Virgin Galactic (now Virgin Orbit) LauncherOne small satellite launch vehicle program. While there, he advocated for using a 747-400 aircraft to air-launch a rocket carrying payloads to space and then captured a contract for several dozen launches.

Before Virgin Orbit, he held multiple roles at SpaceWorks Enterprises, including strategic thinker and technical analyst in the areas of space transportation and infrastructure design, aerospace economic/financial modeling, and general far-term technology impact assessment and prioritization. While at SpaceWorks, he was also heavily involved in incubating the two startups of Generation Orbit and Terminal Velocity Aerospace.

Charania led the formation of the FastForward industry group focused on high-speed, point-to-point transportation. He was also a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) fellow and was on the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group Commercial Advisory Board. He received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s in economics from Emory University.

Alex Gilbert
Director of Space & Planetary Regulation
Zeno Power

Alex Gilbert is a complex systems expert focusing on nuclear innovation, space mining, energy markets, and environmental law. He is Director of Space & Planetary Regulation at Zeno Power, advancing safety and regulatory approvals for space launch, maritime, and terrestrial applications of radioisotope power systems. Previously, he was Project Manager at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, providing thought leadership to commercialize advanced fission reactors to mitigate climate change.

Alex is also a Fellow with the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines and Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins University. He is pursuing a PhD in Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines, combining engineering and public policy to research space resources, space environmental law, and space nuclear power.

Gary Li
Business Development Manager
Impulse Space

Dr. Gary Li is the Business Development Manager at Impulse Space, Inc. and is passionate about creating the first commercial highway to Mars and enabling sustainable in-space transportation in the Earth-Moon sphere. In his previous position as a technical advisor at The Aerospace Corporation, he supported the US Space Force on science & technology strategy and mission architectures. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2020 working on electric propulsion and nuclear fusion research, and his B.A. in Astrophysics and Physics from UC Berkeley in 2014. He is a Matthew Isakowitz Fellow, TEDxUCLA Fellow, and science communicator with articles featured in and BusinessInsider.

Marshall Smith
Vice President of Exploration
Voyager Space

Marshall Smith has decades of experience designing and building complex, human-rated space systems for NASA. At Voyager, Mr. Smith oversees the development of Starlab, the company’s commercial space station, and other space infrastructure and exploration initiatives. Previously at Nanoracks, a Voyager Space company, Mr. Smith managed the space systems division, which included commercial space station development, autonomous outpost platforms, and support systems including airlocks. Marshall comes to Voyager having served for 37 years at NASA, most recently as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Systems Engineering, Director for Human Exploration and Director for Cross-Program Systems Engineering. Mr. Smith led large, integrated teams to develop and implement some of NASA’s most critical programs including systems engineering for SLS, Orion, and Exploration Ground Systems. He led the formulation of the Artemis and Moon to Mars plans, including NASA’s Gateway, the Human Landing System, and other future systems required for deep space missions. He is the recipient of the NASA Systems Engineering Excellence of the Year Award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Day 2 Introductory & Expert Keynotes

Introductory Keynote
Brandi Burnett

Sustainability Director
Northrop Grumman Space Systems

Brandi Burnett is the director, Sustainability, for Northrop Grumman Space Systems. In this role, she partners with sector and division leadership teams to provide an informed and executable strategy enabling the sector’s operations and business processes to effectively support the sustainability goals of the company, customers and broader communities. Burnett works as a member of the sector’s leadership team defining the business’ approach to terrestrial and space sustainability, as well as partners with the larger space community on future space.

Burnett has been with Northrop Grumman for 16 years and worked across the diverse portfolio of the company’s business. Her work has included leadership in sustainment for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well as cross-sector collaboration between the logistical and sustainment portions of the business, strategy and business development related to cyber security, intelligence, national and civil space, security offering development, and as the Chief Information Officer for Civilian Agencies Group.  While working in cyber, Burnett spent time in Australia, Singapore and Japan working to develop new relationships with both government and industry partner members. 

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Burnett led of global strategy and continuity, service management, financial information technology, and software and hardware development for a variety of commercial businesses. Burnett also had a prior career in healthcare with experience in areas of mental health, occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation and athletic training.

Burnett is the Northrop Grumman Enterprise Executive Sponsor for the GreeNG Employee Resource Group, previously served as an Executive Sponsor for the Northern Virginia Connect1NG Employee Resource Group and is an active sponsor and participant in many of the corporate citizen activities.

Burnett earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Webster University and holds additional degrees in occupational therapy and sports medicine and fitness. She completed her master’s degree in business administration and management of information systems from Florida State University. She has completed executive business training at Stanford University, London School of Economics, University of Chicago, University of Virginia and Harvard University.  

Tom Colvin
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy

Tom serves as a Senior Policy Advisor in NASA’s Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy, where he focuses on orbital debris and emerging technologies. Prior to joining NASA, Tom worked at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), where he provided analytic and policy support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other councils within the Executive Office of the President. Before STPI, Tom served as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.

Mike French
Vice President, Space Systems
Aerospace Industries Association

Mike French is Vice President for Space Systems at the Aerospace Industries Association. As the lead of the Space Systems policy division, Mike works with AIA’s membership to advocate for policies, regulations, and investments that ensure American leadership and strong industry partnership across the civil, commercial, and national security sectors.

Mike’s experience in the space industry ranges from advising senior government leaders on space policy, to developing market forecasts and assessments for industry executives, to analyzing major space investments for companies and banks. He previously served as the Senior Vice President for Commercial Space at Bryce Space and Technology, a market analysis and management consulting firm. At Bryce, he advised major aerospace industry clients on management, policy, and investment decisions.

Mike has also held several federal government positions, most recently serving as NASA’s Chief of Staff, advising the NASA Administrator, White House, and other government leadership on national space policy issues. He received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal for his service. Prior to serving in government, he practiced law in the defense and aerospace sector in Los Angeles where he advised clients on matters regarding aircraft and aerospace weapons systems.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

SGx2023 Young Professional & Student Speakers

SGx Day 2 Young Professional/Student Speakers

For the first time in SGx history, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from other students and young professionals as part of our new Day 2 (March 14) “Young Professional / Student Speaker” sessions – generously sponsored by Northrop Grumman!

Stephanie DelPozzo
Associate – NextFed
Talk Title: “The Green Side of the Moon: Intro to Space Mergers and Acquisitions”

Stephanie DelPozzo is an Associate with Nextfed and is primarily focused on M&A due diligence research and provides support on strategic/growth in the aerospace and defense markets.

Prior to joining Nextfed, Stephanie was an Economic Analyst in the commercial and civil space industries at SpaceWorks Enterprises where she published the Nano/Microsatellite Market Forecast, created independent cost estimates for NASA’s Artemis Program, and assessed the future LEO economy under NASA’s Commercialization of LEO program. She holds a Master’s Degree in Science and Technology Policy with a focus on Space Policy from the George Washington University Space Policy Institute. During her graduate studies she also completed internships at In-Q-Tel, NASA Johnson Space Center, and NASA Ames Research Center.

Elias Hailu Daniel
Aerospace Engineering Student – University of Maryland, College Park
Title Talk: “Space Fellowship Programs You Need to be Aware of”

Hailu Daniel is an aerospace engineering student at the University of Maryland, College Park, who will graduate in the Spring of 2024. He is actively involved with the Terrapin Rocket Team, a high-power rocketry group that competes in the annual Spaceport America Cup Competition. He now serves as the President. He previously supported the SEDS Chapter at UMD, where he led the Ground Support Equipment Subteam in developing UMD’s first liquid bipropellant rocket engine. 

In 2021, Hailu was selected to join the inaugural class of the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship program. He interned with ABL Space Systems as a Launch and Test intern. In 2022 Hailu interned with Boeing as a test engineering intern. During the summer of 2023, Hailu Daniel will have the opportunity to intern with Blue Origin in Kent, Washington, as a test engineering intern. He will be located in Kent, Washington. He wishes to inspire the next generation to follow their passion and become the first Ethiopian Astronaut. His passions include Track and Field, hiking, weight lifting, reading, and 3D printing.

Sapna Rao
Systems Engineer – Lockheed Martin Commercial Civil Space
Talk Title: “Padawans”

Sapna Rao is a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin Commercial Civil Space located in Denver, CO. She has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech and started working at Lockheed Martin on the Artemis Program to send the first woman and person of color to the Moon. Currently she is working on the Cryogenic Demonstration Mission to develop in space refueling technology as well as the LM Lunar Mobility Vehicle team. She has been involved in several organizations such as the Space Generation Advisory Council and sits on the young professionals board for SEDS USA. She is also avidly involved in outreach and regularly promotes STEM in her community.

Carson Coursey
Associate Member of the Technical Staff – Aerospace Corporation
Title Talk: “Dark and Quiet Skies”

Carson Coursey is an Associate Member of the Technical Staff at The Aerospace Corporation, where he addresses space sustainability through a combination of astrodynamics modeling, statistical analysis, systems engineering, and space policy. Carson has a BS degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and is a 2022 Matthew Isakowitz Fellow. For fun he enjoys backpacking and reading. 

Rachita Puri
Aerospace Engineer – Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation
Talk Title: “Regulatory Preparation for U.S. Commercial Human Spaceflight”

Rachita Puri is an Aerospace Engineer at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST) in Washington D.C. In her role at AST, she leads the safety authorization for U.S. commercial space operations, specifically as the licensing lead for SpaceX-Dragon and Blue Origin-New Shepard missions. Rachita also engages with other government stakeholders as AST’s licensing liaison to NASA, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. State Department. As a member of the Human Spaceflight team working on regulatory preparation initiatives, she represented AST at the 2022 International Astronautical Congress in Paris. Rachita is passionate about advancing space exploration through sustained international collaboration, and she is actively involved with the Space Generation Advisory Council as the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group Co-Lead and as a Programs Coordinator for the 2023 Space Generation Fusion Forum. Rachita holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering with Honors from The Ohio State University, and she specialized in the Global Option in Engineering Program to complete aerospace internships in India and Poland.

Alex Merker
Senior Consultant – Guidehouse
Title Talk: “Container Ships to Starships”

Alex Merker is a Senior Consultant at Guidehouse with an M.A. in Transportation Policy, Operations, & Logistics and a lifelong passion for aerospace. Prior to his current role, he was the primary industry researcher for the Aerospace Industries Association, writing its annual Facts & Figures reports in 2021 and 2022. Alex is currently exploring PhD opportunities in the field of space & aviation economics, with his SGx presentation being an example of one possible topic of future research.

Emma Louden
Astrophysics Ph.D Student – Yale University
Talk Title: “When the Stars Align: Our Question to Learn How, Why, and Where Planets Form”

Emma M. Louden is a founder, astrophysicist, and space entrepreneur who is committed to helping everyone find their place in space. As a coping mechanism throughout her childhood, Emma found her place in space at a young age. She fell in love with the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity and the journey they were on to learn about other planets. As she got older, her love for space exploration manifested itself as a passion for astrophysics. As an astrophysics Ph.D. student at Yale University, Emma studies the geometry of exoplanetary systems. Emma uses the kind of thinking spurred by this inquiry to help humanity develop a consciousness that puts the Solar System in context—Earth’s precarious position in the universe becomes clearer.

As a side project in 2018, Emma started exploring the NewSpace industry and the opportunities within it for high-achieving students who are committed to creating a better world. As Emma delved deeper into the industry, she found an unexpected opportunities to engage with the new companies starting exploration in Low-Earth-Orbit.

This impact led Emma to build Space To Sparkle, a consultancy that connects ambitious undergraduate girls who are committed to creating a better world to new career paths in the space industry through empowerment workshops, an online community curated for women in STEM, and in-person experiences.

She was recently named one of the STEM Reinventors of the Year for 2021. As a sought-after speaker, Emma travels around the world as a steward of the story of the next phase of space exploration and empowering the next generation of women in STEM.

SGx2023 Sponsors
Thank you to SGx2023’s generous sponsors!

SGx2023 Title, Reception, & Job Fair Sponsor

SGx2023 Lunch, Day 2 Young Professional Lightning Talk, Coffee Break, & Job Fair Sponsor

Coffee Break Sponsor

SGx2023 Speaker & Job Fair Sponsor

SGx2023 Speaker Sponsors

SGx/SATELLITE Job Fair Sponsors

SGx2023 NASA SCaN Scholarship & General Sponsors

SGx2023 Partner

Sponsor SGx2023

SGx presents a compelling, high-impact and low-cost opportunity for companies and organizations to support SGAC, its mission, and engage with the young space professional community.

As an open-registration event, SGx attracts a wide range of students, young professionals, and industry attendees throughout the space sector, from across the country, and from leading schools, non-profits, and institutions. SGAC reports all conference outcomes, including sponsor supporters, to the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS).

SGx sponsorship offers:

  • Direct networking with talented space students and young professionals from around the world.
  • Brand exposure to delegates, global viewers, and fellow sponsors.
  • Growing and diversifying your talent pipeline and workforce through job fair opportunities…
  • Insights into the next generation of space exploration and science.

Interested in sponsoring? Check out the SGx 2023 sponsorship prospectus (below) and reach out to the SGx 2023 managers, Cody Knipfer ([email protected]) and Ashley Peter ([email protected]), or the SGAC Executive Director, Davide Petrillo ([email protected])

SGx2023 Sponsorship prospectus

SGx2023 Organizing Team
Manager & Deputy Manager


Cody Knipfer

In his “day job,” Cody Knipfer works as the Director of Government Engagement for GXO, Inc, where he supports clients in the commercial aerospace sector. Prior to joining the GXO team, Cody worked for several years with Virgin Orbit, a small satellite launch company, in their Government Affairs office. In this role, he was an advocate for the company’s national security-related legislative and programmatic priorities with the United States Congress.

Cody has also spent time on Capitol Hill, has worked in space and defense policy and communications roles for two leading aerospace trade associations and has past experience in policy advising and consulting roles.

He holds a Master’s Degree in International Science and Technology Policy, with a specialization in space policy, from the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Affairs from McDaniel College.


Ashley Peter
Deputy Manager

Ashley Peter leads the Common Exploration Systems Development Programmatic & Strategic Integration’s Schedule Analysis Team at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

As part of the Artemis missions, her office is responsible for the overall programmatic integration of the Space Launch System, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and Exploration Ground Systems programs for deep space human exploration.

Prior to this role, she was a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting data analytics projects with NASA and the U.S. Navy. Ashley holds an M.A. from the George Washington University Space Policy Institute, where she conducted research on emerging space nations’ motivations for establishing space agencies, and a B.S. from MIT in Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and Management Science. She also was previously a member of the SGx2022 Organizing Team, Programming Team.

After retiring from soccer, Ashley now enjoys playing golf, traveling, and trying new restaurants in D.C. (when she can get a reservation).

Programs Team


Alex Coultrop

Alex works in business and government policy at Starfish Space, a commercial space startup working toward sustainability of the orbital environment through satellite servicing with autonomous robotics. She holds an M.S. from Florida Institute of Technology, a graduate certificate from the International Space University, and focuses on orbital sustainability, space policy, and human experience in space.

With a multidisciplinary background, she’s had the opportunity to plan long-term orbital infrastructure projects at Nanoracks, work alongside leading minds in space policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, collaborate with long-term space industry thinkers at the Aldrin Space Institute, conduct research with experts in Human-Centered Design at Florida Tech’s Human Spaceflight Lab, and put her practical skills to the test on simulated space missions to the Mars Desert Research Station and the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog Simulation. She was selected as a 2020 Fellow by the a Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, and completed her MIFP internship at the XPRIZE foundation, working to cooperatively establish a future of abundance.


Rebecca van Burken

Rebecca van Burken is the Manager of Government Relations for Voyager Space. As part of the government relations team, Ms. van Burken helps represent the interests of Voyager to key government institutions including Congress, the White House, and the many federal and international agencies that impact the success of Voyager and its portfolio companies. Ms. van Burken additionally works on regulatory issues on behalf of portfolio companies and supports Voyager’s international team.

Prior to joining Voyager, Ms. van Burken was a Policy Associate with Boundary Stone Partners where she worked to support commercial space and carbon accounting clients on a range of government affairs and regulatory issues and led business development for the firm’s space practice. Prior to Boundary Stone, Rebecca was a technology policy analyst and Senior Fellow at the Reason Foundation where she wrote on technology policy issues and commercial space policy with a focus on orbital debris and space traffic management issues. Ms. van Burken began her work in space working with two of the largest U.S. space industry associations, the Satellite Industry Association and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation promoting industry member’s policy positions on a federal level. Ms. van Burken additionally was a part of the conception of the Space Initiative at the American Foreign Policy Council.

While working at Voyager, Rebecca is also a part-time JD candidate at the American University Washington College of Law where she is focusing on technology and space-related law. Rebecca received her undergraduate degree- in international affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she earned a double concentration in national security and conflict resolution affairs as well as a minor in political science.

Communications Team


Vatasta Koul

Vatasta is an Aerospace Engineering with splz in Avionics graduate. Her experience includes participation in academic and extra co-curricular activities of both national and international recognition. She has been a part of Infinity Space Club: The Astronautical Society of UPES, India, and served as one of the senior executives. Previously, she has also served as the co-leader of Team Agastya: Aero- Design Team of UPES for the AIAA DBF. She has been an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council’s (SGAC) Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group (SSS-PG), working on projects related to On-Orbit Servicing and Active Debris Removal. She has authored several research papers about space exploration and space sustainability and presented them at International conferences. Further, she wants to pursue a career in space sustainability and awareness.


Leonard de Guzman

Leonard works in strategic planning at a Fortune 50 company in the technology and telecommunications sectors. His current role focuses on bringing technology and products to the global market. Prior to joining the private sector, Leonard enjoyed a public service career where he worked at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC, led technology development projects for the Australian Department of Defence, and served in the military as an army officer. Leonard holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering (aerospace and mechanical) from the University of Queensland, a master’s degree in systems engineering (electronic) from the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, and he is currently studying a master in law at the University of Pennsylvania. Leonard’s aerospace engineering thesis focused on hypersonics and scramjet propulsion. He also completed the International Space University’s Space Studies Program in 2022 in Oeiras, Portugal.

As part of his commitment to the Space Generation Advisory Council, Leonard is part of the executive council as a human resources co-coordinator. His other roles include the SGx2023 and SGx2022 Organizing Teams. Leonard was born and raised in Australia, his family is from the Philippines, and he currently lives in the United States of America. He has a big smile and an even bigger laugh. He enjoys bringing happiness to others and helping others be their best selves. When not in work mode, Leonard enjoys playing computer games, crafting cocktails, and finding ways to express artistic creativity.

Future Space Leaders Foundation Volunteer Team

Aaron Zucherman

Aaron Zucherman is a 2022 Future Space Leaders Fellow, 2020 Matthew Isakowitz Commercial Space Fellow and Systems Engineering Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University. His experiences in the space industry include roles as an engineer, researcher, business developer, project manager and policy analyst at 2 Research labs and 5 private businesses. He is also active in seveal research projects including NASA’s SSRI, INCOSE’s Space Systems Working Group and the SPRSA’s Multi-Manifest Design Specification project. As a graduate of the 2021 NASA’s Planetary Science Summer School and a Project Manager for two flight Cubesat missions his experiences spans from concept development to delivery of Earth-orbiting and Interplanetary spacecraft. He has supported research on a variety of topics such as responsive space enterprises, spacecraft regulatory compliance, leveraging commercial terrestrial capabilities in space, enabling modular and interoperable space platform solutions, and the insertion of new and game-changing technologies and innovations into heritage organizations.

Aaron has authored 22 published papers and has given over a dozen technical presentations at various space conferences. He is also a mentor as part of several educational and professional development programs through the SGAC, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Scouts BSA. Aaron attended Morehead State University’s Space Systems Engineering MS program and graduated with honors from New Mexico Tech with an BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Sorina Lupu

Sorina Lupu is a 4th year PhD student at Caltech, studying aerospace engineering. She has two master degrees, one from Caltech in space engineering and another one from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Sorina is also an affiliate of the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS), a ‘think and do tank’ that develops revolutionary new science approaches, technology, and mission concepts. Sorina’s current research focuses on autonomy, control, and machine learning applied to robotics and spacecraft. Her research was published in prestigious journals such as Science Robotics. Before coming to Caltech, she led numerous teams during her master’s and bachelor’s studies. For example, she led the first Swiss team to participate in the Spaceport America Cup, the biggest rocket competition for students, and the first Romanian team to participate in the REXUS/BEXUS rocket project. In addition, she won numerous awards like the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, given by Zonta International and the Anita Borg Women Techmakers given by Google.

Logistics Team

Josh Ingersoll

Josh works as a Satellite Regulatory Engineer for Amazon’s Project Kuiper where he helps develop solutions to radiofrequency (RF) interference problems as well as Space Traffic Management (STM) and space debris mitigation concerns. Project Kuiper will culminate in a satellite constellation able to provide broadband internet globally; connecting unserved and underserved communities for the first time. Josh is also quite active in the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship program in which he took part in 2019; currently serving as the fellowship’s Special Projects Lead. The program matches upperclassmen undergraduate and graduate students with executive mentors and internships in the Commercial Space Industry.

Josh’s prior SGAC work includes leading logistics and communications for SGC2022 in Paris, France as well as SGx 2022 last year in Washington DC. Josh holds three Master’s Degrees in Business Administration, Space Policy, and Aerospace Engineering (MBA, MA, MS) from The George Washington University and Georgia Institute of Technology. In his free time Josh is an avid Buffalo Bills fan and amatuer chef.


Alex Merker