2018 Summit Speakers

Day 1, November 27th

Platinum Sponsor Keynote

Holly Johnson, President’s Business Manager at MDA

Holly Johnson is the President’s Business Manager at MDA. In this role she is responsible for supporting the President’s business activities both inside and outside the company, as well as leading cross functional senior project teams to resolve operational issues and new business opportunities.

Holly has been with MDA for over 10 years, starting as a university co-op student on the Canadarm program, and graduating into a full-time role as a systems engineer with project experience in space robotics, medical robotics, and advanced manufacturing.

Prior to her current appointment, Holly also completed a multi-year term as a Business Development Manager in the robotics division. Holly has a Bachelor’s of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario. Holly was recognized in 2016 by the receipt of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation Rising Star Award, which honours Canadian women who have made significant contributions to their field.

Space Situational Awareness

Chair – Larry Reeves, Space Industry Consultant at Geocentrix Technologies Ltd. And President, Canadian Satellite Design Challenge Management Society

Larry has a BSc and MSc in Computer Science, and a Master of Space Studies degree from the International Space University. Since ISU, Larry has worked in Canadian space industry in Vancouver for more years than he cares to mention, on programmes like RADARSAT-2, RapidEye, and NEOSSat. He is now a Senior Non-Engineer in an Engineering Role at UrtheCast.

Larry is an avid golfer, and is a full-fledged cycling MAMIL (Middle-Aged Man In Lycra). He was also a Director of the Artificial Reef Society of B.C. for 13 years, helping to sink two ships and one 737 in the waters around B.C.’s coast.

Jake Connor, Canadian International Rover Challenge

Jake is a member of the organizing committee for the Canadian International Rover Challenge. Previously he was a founding member of the Carleton Planetary Robotics Team, and has attended four rover challenges in three countries, with two top three finishes. He has competed in several non-space engineering competitions, and worked on antennas for multiple satellite programs.

Lunch Keynote

Dr. Dave Williams is an astronaut, aquanaut, jet pilot, ER doctor, scientist, and CEO. The former Director of Space & Life Sciences at NASA, he has flown to space twice, once on the space shuttle Columbia and once on Endeavor, logging over thirteen million kilometres in space and over seventeen hours of spacewalks. He has lived and worked on the world’s only undersea research habitat and is the recipient of five honourary degrees, the Order of Canada, and the Order of Ontario. Williams lives in Oakville with his wife, Cathy, two kids, Evan and Olivia, and nephew, Theo. Connect with him on Twitter @AstroDaveMD.

Day 2, November 28th

Mr. Prateep Basu, Founder and Global Head – Strategy & Partnerships at SatSure

SatSure is a spatial data intelligence startup, working on creating sustainable solutions for enabling financial inclusion of farmers in developing countries. He is a seasoned space industry professional with work experience in both the business and technology front. An aerospace engineer from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Trivandrum with post-graduation in Space Studies from the International Space University, Strasbourg, Mr. Basu has worked as a scientist in ISRO, and as a geospatial industry analyst at Boston based Northern Sky Research (NSR), a global market research and consulting firm focused on commercial space industry, prior to starting SatSure.

Next Generation Panel

Session Chair – Zaid Rana

Zaid is an undergraduate student at Concordia University and currently working at the Canadian Space Agency as an intern. He is also leading the Space Concordia student team in the Canadian CubeSat Project, taking part as one of 15 teams selected across Canada to build and launch their own small satellite. Moreover, he is actively engaged with the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and serves as Canada’s National Point of Contact.


Chair – Adam Trumpour, Concept Designer and Integrator, Pratt and Whitney

By day, Adam is a Toronto-based concept designer and integrator at Pratt & Whitney Canada, and in his spare time he designs, builds and tests liquid-propellant rocket propulsion systems, mentors student rocketry teams, and where possible engages in consulting and contract work related to rocketry and rocket propulsion.  He helped with the design of the most ambitious student rocket competition yet, the Base 11 Space Challenge, serves on the Safety Council for that competition, and is in the process of setting up Canada’s first-ever student and amateur rocket competition.

Presentation Title: Grassroots Aerospace Innovation and the Canadian Rocket Innovation Challenge

  • Many people think of innovation as coming from either industry or academia, but from Robert Goddard to Wernher von Braun to many of today’s leading rocket entrepreneurs, the history of aerospace has in fact been shaped by people who began as amateurs. Countries that recognize and support this grassroots talent and create an ecosystem in which it can thrive can harness an unmatched drive and passion to learn and innovate, at very little cost, and this has been proven time and time again.
  • Here in Canada, there is an unprecedented surge of grassroots interest in rocketry, particularly among students. The space launch industry is changing rapidly, driven by game-changing companies like SpaceX and RocketLab, and Canadians want to be a part of it.  There are now almost 20 student rocket teams across the country, many of them undertaking cutting-edge sounding rocket work, and regularly winning a disproportionate number of the top honours at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC), a major rocket competition in the United States.
  • Yet many of them face a relative lack of support in Canada. They currently have few options to pursue their rocketry work at home, and few avenues available for support.  Moreover, Canadian teams that develop their own propulsion systems typically don’t even have the ability to launch their rockets here due to the unsupportive regulatory environment and a lack of places from which to fly.  All too often, these exceptionally bright, motivated Canadians have no choice but to either abandon their passion, or leave the country.  In an increasingly competitive high-tech economy, Canada cannot afford to keep losing this talent.
  • With the seed funding of several private donors, a new effort is underway to help change this. To help Canada’s rocket innovators to pursue their activities, collaborate, learn and thrive, we are creating Canada’s first-ever rocketry competition. Using an incentive prize model, this competition will for the first time bring together Canada’s rocketry community from coast to coast with cash prizes to incentivize the development of significant rocket propulsion and launch vehicle technologies with a bold, entrepreneurial mindset.  It will help develop a pipeline of highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced aerospace professionals through challenging hands-on rocket engineering projects and will use the excitement of rocketry to promote STEM education. The competition aims to become a recurring event that will elevate the profile of rocketry in Canada, and amateur rocketry in particular, provide a highly visible showcase of Canadian exceptionalism, and help to create an environment where talented and motivated individuals and teams are supported in their efforts to dare great things.

Col (Ret) Andre Dupuis

Col (Ret) Andre Dupuis has over 35 years of experience in the Canadian Armed Forces in Air Defence and Space operations, mission execution and strategic planning.  Throughout his career he has been selected to lead a number of highly-visible command and transformational initiatives.  He led the Canadian Space Cadre during his last 8 years in the service and had a key role in the recognition of the importance of space operations to the Canadian Forces.  His last Job in the Department of National Defence was as the Acting /Director General Space and the Director of Space Requirements, where he was responsible for all aspects of the delivery of space capabilities to the Forces.  Upon his retirement he founded Space Strategies Consulting Limited, a company dedicated to providing trusted third-party advice to the commercial, civil and national security space enterprise.

Roland Renner, Hunter Communications Canada. Satellite Solutions Provider

Roland Renner, based in Ottawa, has been working for Hunter Communications Canada since 2013 in both regulatory and business development roles, as the Hunter Ku-band beam, serving Canada, Alaska and surrounding seas was brought into service in October 2015.

Mr. Renner started his career at Bell Canada and then moved to the satellite industry with Telesat Canada. As a consultant, he worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Nordicity Group. Consulting clients included Iristel, Ice Wireless, City of Dawson, Bell ExpressVu, CBC, CRTC, Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Telesat Canada.

Day 3, November 29th

Education and Outreach Panel

Session Chair – Kate Howells

Kate Howells is Global Community Outreach Manager for The Planetary Society, and a member of the Space Advisory Board. Her work focuses on space outreach and education, with a focus on planetary science and exploration. Kate lives in Montreal and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Theory at Concordia University.

Dr. Melissa Battler is Manager of Space Science and Education and Outreach at Mission Control Space Services Inc.

She is also an Adjunct Research Professor at Western University, and a visiting lecturer at the International Space University. Melissa attained her Ph.D. (Planetary Geology) from Western University, and both a diploma in University Teaching and a M.Sc. (Geology) from the University of New Brunswick. She conducts research in the areas of planetary mission simulations, rover operations, team psychology, and planetary mineralogy, and has played a leadership role in numerous university and space agency-led human and rover analogue missions since 2003. Melissa leads development and instruction of the Mission Control Academy experiential learning/rover mission program, and is passionate about pushing the limits of human and robotic space exploration, and inspiring the next generation to join in the adventure!

Dr. Marianne Mader, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Science Centres

Marianne is the new Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Science Centres, a member-based organization representing over 60 organizations that support the informal learning of science, technology, and nature across Canada. She is responsible for government advocacy, partnership development and creating programs for association members with a goal to build a strong science culture in Canada.  A Planetary Scientist with over 13 years of research and field experience, Marianne is also a Visiting Lecturer at the International Space University and Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Bhairavi Shankar from BeSpatial Consulting is a Planetary Scientist and educational entrepreneur

Through Dr. Shankar’s small business within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), she works with local not-for-profit organizations, educators and learners alike to bring forward space science in a more engaging manner. She promotes the role of space science to the general public at various science communication focused events within the GTA. Together with several professionals, she is a co-founder of the Women of Colour in STEAMM Canada (WoCScan) a not-for-profit organization that advocates for minorities in Canada in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Medicine.

Dr. Parshati Patel, Public Education and Outreach Program Coordinator, Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, Western University

Parshati earned her Ph.D. in Astronomy and Planetary Science from Western University (2016) and has over half a decade of experience in public education and science outreach. She has held a variety of positions at Western University over the past six years ranging from an instructor to the coordinator of two outreach programs, as well as the producer and co-host of a planetary science themed podcast called Western Worlds. She has facilitated numerous classroom workshops and events geared towards school-age children, as well as general public engagements. She has recently begun investigating the impact of the outreach programs led by the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration. Dr. Patel is the co-founder of the Women of Color in STEAMM – Canada, a Science Consultant for children’s books, and serves in an Advisor to the Science Rendezvous – Western executive team, amongst other initiatives.

René Doyon, Ph.D., Professor, Université de Montréal, Director, Institute for Research on Exoplanets, Director, Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic

Prof. René Doyon’s research activities are focussed on the development of state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation for various ground- and space-based observatories. He is also actively involved in various observational programs for detecting and characterizing brown dwarfs, exoplanets and young low-mass stars. On the instrumentation front, he leads several infrared instrumentation projects (camera and spectrograph) for the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic. He is the principal investigator of NIRISS, one of the four scientific instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope. He is also involved in a number of other instruments searching for exoplanets: the Gemini Planet Imager, SPIRou, and NIRPS.

Jesse Rogerson, Ph.D., Science Advisor, Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Dr. Jesse Rogerson obtained his Ph.D. from York University in 2016 for his work on quasar accretion disks and active galactic nuclei. All throughout his graduate career and beyond, he has been heavily involved in education and science outreach endeavours in both volunteer and professional capacities at a number of institutions including the Ontario Science Centre, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and TELUS Spark. He has also been a frequent media contributor across Canada for many years.

He now marries his love of astronomy and education in his role of Science Advisor at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, where he helps develop educational and public programs that help Canadians better connect with space science.

Amanda Green – Educator

Amanda teaches Junior High Science, Math, Coding, and STEAM classes in both English and French near Edmonton, Alberta.  She believes in creating authentic cross-curricular learning opportunities for her students to apply to real world problems, fostering a generation of young people armed to build a better future.  She has a talent for weaving space into just about any topic including her “Mars Seven Project”, a yearlong unifying theme where students grow Tomatosphere seedlings in simulated Mars and Lunar regolith as well as build habitats and code automated sensory and response plant care systems.  She recently received the 2018 Alberta Teacher’s Association Science Council Outstanding Teacher Award for her dedication and passion for science education.

Natasha Goumeniouk, Medical Student & CSA Junior Physical Scientist

Natasha is a final-year medical student at Queen’s University. After attending the International Astronautical Congress in 2016 as an ISEB-sponsored student she joined the Canadian Space Agency’s Space Exploration directorate. She conducts research on interdisciplinary communication and collaboration in the aerospace community with a focus on barriers to evidence-based health care. As a student she has undertaken courses relevant to aerospace medicine and hopes to combine her passions of science and medicine in an ever-expanding civilian space industry.

Nicole Buckley, Chief Scientist, International Space Station and Life Sciences

Nicole Buckley was born in Ottawa and grew up on military bases across Canada.  She received her Bachelors of Science (honours) and Master’s in Science (Microbiology) from the University of Saskatchewan.  Dr. Buckley was awarded her doctorate in Oral Biology from the University of Manitoba.   She pursued postdoctoral studies in molecular biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and the Université Laval in Quebec City.  Dr. Buckley’s past research interests include the development of probiotics for use on Earth and in space.

Dr. Buckley joined the Canadian Space Agency in January 2002 as Program Scientist for Space Life Sciences. Dr. Buckley was named Director of Life and Physical Sciences in July 2004.  In 2009, Dr. Buckley was named Chief Scientist, International Space Station and Life Sciences.  In this capacity, she is responsible for programming activities for the Canadian allocation of ISS and for developing and leading a robust life sciences program.  Communicating the benefits of science in general and the benefits of space science for all Canadians is one of Dr. Buckley’s favourite responsibilities.  Dr. Buckley has participated in over a dozen space missions on various space platforms including the International Space Station, and is working with her team to plan a full complement of activities for the future.

Socio-Economic Panel

Dr. Marie Lucy StojakChair, Space Advisory Board

Director of the School on Management of Creativity and Innovation at HEC Montréal, Canada’s oldest business school. She is a space law expert and has over 25 years of international experience in the aerospace sector, including interests in space commercialization, space and security, and Earth observation data policy issues.

Yoan St. Onge, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Yoan St-Onge is an experienced communicator with a drive to develop sustainable partnerships while promoting a strategic vision and engaging future for space innovation. After several years in marketing within the academic sector at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, he’ll be joining the team at the Canadian Space Agency in the role of policy advisor. All while exploring the possibilities of using blockchain technology and smart contracts to accelerate innovation within the space sector for his Master’s thesis with the Royal Military College.

Other confirmed speakers of the 2018 Canadian Space Summit include:

  • John Yates, Managing Director, Helix Technologies and Founder, Space Applications Catapult  Andre Dupuis, President, Space Strategies Consulting Ltd.
  • David Fell, CEO, Eastern Ontario Regional Network
  • Sunil Chavda, Telesat
  • Andy Lincoln, CTO, Viasat
  • Micah Walter-Range, President, Caelus Partners
  • Cornelius Zund, CEO, Satellite Squared
  • Drew Klein, Director of International Business Development, C-COM Satellite Systems
  • David Ormondroyd, Account Executive, Planet
  • Wayne Ellis, Solutions Consultant, AppSpaceSol
  • Jason Palidwar, Account Manager, Iridian Spectral Technologies
  • Bill Jeffries, Consultant, Elliam Inc.

© Canadian Space Society 2018     TermsPrivacyContact

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?