Board of Directors


Damya Souami, PhD

Contact: [email protected]ca

With a PhD in Astronomy and specializing in Celestial Mechanics, Dr. Damya Souami is a well-respected scientist whose research is well cited by the scientific community. She has worked in Belgium, Canada, France and Japan, as well as studied in France and in the U.K.

She also holds a University Lecturer Certificate from the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Damya believes strongly that the sharing of scientific knowledge with the public is an important mandate that scientists must adhere to. As such, she has participated in several public outreach activities as a lead teacher, a university lecturer, and an education supervisor.

Damya has been an active member of the Canadian Space Society since 2014, as co-Chair of the Toronto Chapter, Astronomy Chair and on the Board of Directors in 2016.

Damya is also a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto (Department of Physics). She is also a part-time Professor at George Brown College where she teaches Astronomy

Vice-President, Chapter Relations

Ryan Anderson, B.Sc., M.Sc., CD


Ryan is the founder and Director of Satellite Systems of QShift Inc. a federal corporation providing space and satcom systems consulting services to the Department of National Defence and other clients. QShift is also leading research and development in advanced space and satcom technologies.

A professional engineer with over 10 years’ experience, Ryan has worked on dozens of satellite programs spanning design, development, procurement and operations. Most notably, as lead of Telesat’s innovation program, Ryan was instrumental in the development of the LEO Vantage constellation, a disruptive approach to delivering satellite communications. Other highlights include work on PCW, Anik F2, Anik G1, Nimiq 6, and Urthecast’s cutting edge OptiSAR constellation.

An active member of the local space and engineering communities, in 2010, Ryan founded the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Space Society (CSS) and served as Chair until 2014. In that role, he organized the Canada On Orbit Gala to mark the 50th Anniversary of the launch of Alouette, organized Yuri’s Night Ottawa events from 2010-2014, and co-chaired the very successful Canadian Space Summit in 2013.

Ryan has served on the executive boards for the Canadian Federation for the International Space University, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute Astro 2016 Conference, and as Treasurer for the CSS Ottawa chapter. He volunteered for the National Research Council’s Marsville and Engineering Challenge programs to encourage Canadian students to pursue careers in science and engineering, and served as Crew Engineer on the Mars Desert Research Station.

In 2017, Ryan will assume the role of Vice President of the Canadian Space Society in 2017 and continue his role as Advisor to SEDS-Canada.

Gary McQueen, MBA, P.Eng., CD

Contact: [email protected]

Gary McQueen is a Management Consultant in strategic planning at Vistara Consulting Ltd., and a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Army, serving as the Commanding Officer of a Reserve infantry unit.  He holds a BASc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from McMaster University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.

Gary’s involvement with the space community began in 1986 when he joined the U of T chapter of SEDS Canada. While a member, he helped write a paper on the search for past life on Mars that won the Planetary Society’s “Mars Contest” in 1988.

In 1996, Gary joined the Canadian Space Society (CSS), where he worked on propulsion system design for a microsat project. In 1998 he was elected the Board of the CSS. In 2002, he was a member of an international team that developed and presented a “Mars Medical Emergency Simulation” at the International Space Development Conference in Denver, Colorado, and in 2003 was the conference chair for the Canadian Space Summit, held at the Holiday Inn Yorkdale in Toronto.

Gary served as CSS President from 2001-2003. During his presidency, he established the CSS’s first web presence, revived the Space Summit and enshrined it as a keystone annual activity, and formally established the CSS as a networking and umbrella organisation encompassing other Canadian space interest groups. He continues to serve on the Board as the Finance Director, making him the longest-serving CSS executive member.

Director & Outreach Coordinator

Kate Howells

Contact : [email protected]

As Outreach Coordinator, Kate Howells will guide the Canadian Space Society’s work in communications, education and public outreach.

Since 2013 Kate has worked with The Planetary Society, the world’s leading non-profit space advocacy organization. As Global Community Outreach Manager, Kate works with volunteers, students and organizations around the world on educational outreach and advocacy projects that meet their local needs. Living in Montreal, QC, Kate has a particular focus on developing The Planetary Society’s work in Canada. Kate also volunteers with the Space Generation Advisory Council as National Point of Contact for Canada.

Director & Membership Coordinator

Michael C. F. Bazzocchi, BASc

Contact : [email protected]

Michael Bazzocchi is also the Membership Coordinator on the Executive Board of the Canadian Space Society. Michael completed a degree in Aerospace Engineering (BASc in EngSci) from the University of Toronto, and is currently working towards a PhD in Aerospace Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). Currently, Michael is conducting research in the fields of asteroid redirection, asteroid deflection, active space debris removal, space robotics, asteroid trajectory design, spacecraft formation design, and spacecraft formation control.

Michael recently worked for RHEA System Canada as a spacecraft concurrent design engineer on the CSA satCODE project. He is also the President and Founder of the Destination Imagination (DI) design teams at the University of Toronto. His ongoing work with the DI program has made U of T a leader in the technical and structural design challenges internationally, being praised for their innovation and dedication to creative problem solving. With recent prospects in space mining, Michael hopes to be able to combine his engineering education and technical skills to contribute to this growing sector.

In his spare time, Michael also enjoys volunteer work; being actively involved in both local and international service. He currently is the President of the Trek for Teens Foundation for homeless youth in the Greater Toronto Area and has served the poor in Jamaica and Kenya.

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