• Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell speaks with Daniel...

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    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell speaks with Daniel Alvarez, Space Mission Program Manager at Millennium Space Systems (A Boeing Company) and a 2019 Promise Award recipient. Daniel shares insights about his career path, the lessons he has learned and the mentors who have helped him along the way.

    At the age of 31, Dan has served and excelled in many roles since joining the Boeing Company. As a Mechanical Design Engineer, he was a key designer of Boeing’s Modular Reflector, which significantly reduced the cost of a reflector and is now baselined on all of Boeing’s largest commercial satellites. Dan is an accomplished Responsible Engineering Authority, a role in which he championed part count reduction and numerous design improvements that led to reducing the antenna drawing release plan period-of-performance for satellites from twelve months down to just three. As an Integrated Product Team Lead, he was responsible for more than $250 million in value for critical national program efforts, and, on a different project, executed the fastest-ever Non-Recurring Engineering cycle time to antenna design completed. Dan has also proven himself a valuable creative force during his time at Boeing, as he was the primary inventor of the patent-pending High Density Routing Assembly, for which he received one of only six Special Invention Awards in the entire Boeing Company in 2018. Dan’s current role at Millennium Space Systems is as a Space Mission Program Manager, where he is leading one of Millennium’s flagship programs. He was a member of SSPI's 20 Under 35 in 2019 and a Promise Award winner in that same year. Learn more about Dan.

     

       

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell and Director of Development and Innovation Louis Zacharilla speak with Julian Horvath,...

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    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell and Director of Development and Innovation Louis Zacharilla speak with Julian Horvath, Principal Engineer for Satellite & Ground Operations at Iridium and a 2019 Promise Award recipient. Julian shares insights about his career path, the lessons he has learned and the mentors who have helped him along the way, plus a bit about his summer this year.

    Julian began his career as a Systems Engineer at General Dynamics after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Space Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In his next position at Orbital Sciences Corporation, he led the systems engineering effort to design and implement an on-orbit data storage solution for all on-orbit vehicles, for which he received an award from the company.

    Julian joined Iridium in 2012 and was the youngest employee ever at the company to be promoted to Principal Engineer. In this position, Julian was tasked with leading the launch preparation, on-orbit testing, operational checkout and mission activation for Iridium NEXT, one of the largest constellations of commercial satellites ever launched. He led the successful execution of eight launches over two years by working very closely with the French-based Thales Alenia Space team as well as Iridium’s launch, space and operations teams to ensure all new satellites were built and launched as quickly and safely as possible. Once deployed, all seventy-five satellites were contacted successfully on the very first attempt. He was chosen as one of SSPI's 20 Under 35 in 2019 and received a Promise Award in the same year. Learn more about Julian.

     

       

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell...

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    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell and Director of Development and Innovation Louis Zacharilla speak with Natalia Larrea Brito, Principal Advisor at Euroconsult and a 2019 Promise Award recipient. Natalia shares insights about her career path, the lessons she has learned and the mentors who have helped her along the way, plus a bit about her summer this year.

    Natalia completed a Master's in Aerospace Engineering from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and a Bachelor's and Master's in Telecommunications Engineering from Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Madrid, Spain). She also holds a Diploma in Astronomy and Planetary Science from the Open University UK and is a graduate of the International Space University (ISU) SSP14 program, for which she received SSPI’s International Scholarship that year.

    In her current role at  Euroconsult, she manages research activities and consulting missions for government and private organizations in the space sector. She focuses on the assessment of government programs, new technologies and the strategic analysis of industrial and commercial space markets with special focus on space exploration. She supports and advises established and developing space players, assessing new satellite programs, defining new space policies and conducting socio-economic studies. She has contributed to developing Euroconsult’s business practice on space exploration. During the past years, Natalia has also been a speaker and moderator at different international conferences, and she has contributed to multiple publications on space-related topics. She was chosen as one of SSPI's 20 Under 35 in 2019 and received a Promise Award in the same year. Learn more about Natalia.

     

       

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell and Director of Development and...

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    In this Making Leaders podcast, SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell and Director of Development and Innovation Louis Zacharilla speak with Rob Lyon, Chief Engineer and Executive Director of Flight Assurance at Maxar Technologies and the 2019 SSPI Mentor of the Year. Rob shares insights about mentorship, managing a team and the leadership lessons he has learned throughout his career, plus a little something about his summer plans this year.

    In his role as Executive Director of Flight Assurance, one he has held for six years, Rob determines whether a spacecraft is ready to launch, making him responsible for discovering any technical anomalies pre-launch and seeing them quickly and properly fixed. He monitors all missions from Maxar’s Mission Control Center to ensure that good decisions are made by the flight operations team. Rob was chosen for this critical role based on his deep technical expertise and his proven ability to make sound decisions under pressure and lead every team he has headed at Maxar to success.

    Since joining Maxar, Rob has been a highly sought-after mentor in the company’s formal mentoring program for high potential employees. His mentees consistently develop improved business acumen and technical and leadership skills, leading to quicker promotions and greater employee retention. Rob is seen by many at the company as a “go to” mentor for employees, particularly those facing professional challenges that might otherwise lead them to leave the company. For example, he once formed a cohort of four Maxar employees working under him to pursue an RF Engineering Certificate from UC San Diego based on one employee’s interest in the program. He was chosen as SSPI's 2019 Mentor of the Year. Learn more about Rob.

     

       

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making Leaders interview conducted at the Hall of Fame Celebration, we hear from Paul Gaske, Executive VP and General Manager for North...

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    In this Making Leaders interview conducted at the Hall of Fame Celebration, we hear from Paul Gaske, Executive VP and General Manager for North America at Hughes Network Systems and one of the three inductees to the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2020.

    For much of its early history, the communications satellite business was all about video. TV distribution and contribution provided growing revenues and high margins, while giving broadcasters a uniquely cost-effective way to get programming to billions of viewers. But as early as the 1980s, Paul Gaske was pursuing a different destiny– a future in data networking. Joining Digital Communications Corp. – a classic garage startup founded by Hall of Famers John Puente and Burton Edelson, and other industry notables Gene Gabbard and Andy Werth – he designed satellite TDMA systems for Intelsat signatories in the engineering department headed by Pradman Kaul, also a Hall of Famer. The company was acquired by MA-Com, where Paul became part of the team that created the first interactive data VSATs and launched the satellite data networking business. Among its first customers were the retail networks of such major corporations as Wal-Mart, Chrysler and General Motors.

    Then in 1987, Hughes acquired the company and launched a revolution in satellite data services. With Paul spearheading development of products and services, Hughes Network Systems grew into the world’s leading supplier of VSAT technology for, retail, enterprise networking and other markets. Nine years later, Paul led the launch of the satellite internet service now known as HughesNet®. In the decades since then, he drove the growth of HughesNet and was part of the executive team that led the company through a series of business changes and technical and operational advances: most notably the roll out of High-Throughput Satellite services on the JUPITER™ System. Read more about Paul.

     

     

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    In this conversation, the final of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks...

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    In this conversation, the final of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks with four of the youngest and brightest stars of the future in the commercial space & satellite industry. Clémentine DecoopmanSajit JumaniJomya Lei and Jeremy Turpin are all members of the 2019 “20 Under 35” cohort, chosen for their initiative, creativity and problem-solving skills that has led to outstanding achievements in the industry before the age of 35.

    Clémentine Decoopman is Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). Since joining SGAC, Clémentine has proposed many creative strategies for seeking agreements with sponsors and developing the future space workforce and has implemented them successfully by negotiating with key stakeholders and reaching out to non-traditional space actors as well. She was instrumental in establishing the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA) and SGAC, an agreement under which SGAC and the UN OOSA committed to work jointly in supporting young people in line with the Secretary General’s ‘Youth 2030 strategy,’ launched in September 2018. UNOOSA and SGAC delivered a global ‘Space for Youth’ Competition aimed at engaging youth in the discussion of how space science and technology can be used to power the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

    Sajit Jumani is Vice President of Business Development and Finance at GEOshare. He began his career in the Lockheed Martin Operations Leadership Development Program, where he completed rotations in manufacturing, sustainment, quality, sourcing and international business development, honing a wide variety of skills. After graduating from the program, Sajit completed his MBA at UNC Chapel Hill and led the development of international strategy for Lockheed Martin Space before joining GEOshare as a Manager. He rose to a position of Director and then Vice President of Business Development and Finance in only three years of working at GEOshare, taking on responsibility for eighteen major customers. Sajit’s professional responsibilities include managing customer relationships, collaborating directly with customers on the development of their requirements, and providing financial options that suit the customers’ individual business needs.

    Jomya Lei is Lead Payload Systems Engineer at The Boeing Company. Her responsibilities include interfacing with customers, suppliers, cross-functional team members and senior leadership to execute on the project spanning the entire lifecycle: negotiating low-level designs, managing system risks/opportunities, product manufacturing and specification validation/verification.  Jomya was an instrumental member of the team that negotiated Boeing’s Kacific partnership and joined the program team once it was secured. She currently serves as Lead Payload Systems Engineer on the Kacific-1 and JCSAT-18 programs, which aim to provide affordable broadband communications to Japan and countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

    Jeremy Turpin is CTO and Co-Founder of Isotropic Systems and a new member of SSPI’s Board of Directors, pending election by the membership in June. He began his career as the president and founder of E x H, Inc., where he was responsible for software development and commercialization of the ray-tracing software package for modelling, design and optimization of inhomogenous optical devices. Jeremy became a co-founder of Isotropic Systems after recruiting a CEO for E x H and took on the role of Chief Technology Officer, a position in which he leads the company’s Lens Array Antenna product development activities. He is responsible for all of Isotropic’s engineering activities, recruiting, IP protection and patent filings and development of new applications of the Isotropic Lens Array technology.

     

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making Leaders interview conducted at the Hall of Fame Celebration, we hear from Steve Collar, CEO of SES and one of the three inductees to...

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    In this Making Leaders interview conducted at the Hall of Fame Celebration, we hear from Steve Collar, CEO of SES and one of the three inductees to the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2020.

    In 2011, Steve Collar became CEO of O3b Networks, the company founded four years earlier by Hall of Famer Greg Wyler.  The impact of his leadership soon made itself felt.  Within two years, the company launched the first four satellites of its pioneering MEO constellation and added another eight the following year, and later bringing the number of O3b satellites launched to 20 in 2019.  By 2016, O3b had built a firm backlog of $350 million with more than $100 million in current-year revenue, making it the fastest-growing satellite operator in history. 

    SES was one of the company’s early investors and, in 2016, it exercised its option to acquire O3b Networks. The deal created the first communications satellite operator with spacecraft in both GEO and MEO orbits.  Steve was appointed CEO of SES Networks, the newly-formed data-centric business unit of SES, in May 2017.  Less than a year later, he became CEO of SES.  Behind his fast rise was a major transformation in the marketplace, which demanded aggressive response from the company.  Video distribution and contribution had long provided most of SES’s revenue, but the explosive growth of online streaming triggered what soon became an accelerating decline in that business, with impacts across all the major satellite operators.  With its significant exposure to that decline, SES needed a fast-growing source of replacement revenue, and SES Networks looked set to deliver it.  Read more about Steve.

     

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this Making...

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    In this Making Leaders interview conducted at the Hall of Fame Celebration, we hear from Tory Bruno, President & CEO of United Launch Alliance and one of the three inductees to the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2020.

    Tory Bruno came to United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2014 after a long career managing programs for some of the most advanced and powerful weapons systems in the American arsenal. As general manager of Lockheed Martin Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, he led a team of men and women responsible for the Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, the Air Force’s ICBM Reentry Systems and the Terminal High Area Altitude Defense System (THAAD). He managed a joint venture responsible for producing and safely maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons and has engineered control systems for rockets and hypersonic weapons, for which he holds numerous patents. No words describe him better than Tom Wolfe’s famous phrase, “a steely-eyed missile man.”

    When he was tapped to lead ULA, the company was at a crossroads. What had been an effective monopoly on national security and NASA missions had turned competitive as new commercial competitors entered the business. The company needed to adapt to survive. This veteran of military space and missile programs might not have seemed the obvious choice of leader, but he was soon to prove doubters wrong. Read more about Tory.

     

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this conversation, the third of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks with two...

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    In this conversation, the third of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks with two men whose careers have taken them to the top of their respective professions at some of the industry’s largest corporations. They share with us the unique advantages and challenges of mentorship “inside a giant.”

    Airbus is an international company and a leader in designing, manufacturing and delivering aerospace products. And with 133,671 employees, it certainly qualifies as a giant.

    Its US Space & Defence Group is led by Chris Emerson. Chris has served as president of the group since 2019, where he oversees the operations and strategy of all its companies in the USA. He also serves as Chairman of the Board.

     Founded in 1948 by David Ogilvy, this ad agency can be found in 132 offices in 83 countries around the world. Adweeks’ Agency of the Year in 2016, Ogilvy’s client list is long and ranges from American Express to Ikea to Samsung.

    Ben Levine serves as Executive Partner and Head of Global Partnerships from Ogilvy’s main office in New York. He is responsible for developing and growing strategic relations across the Ogilvy Group, its parent company WPP and external networks to find greater value for its clients. Ben also serves as Global Client Leader for the agency.

     

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this conversation, the second of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks with...

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    In this conversation, the second of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks with three women mentors and leaders of the industry.

    Dr. Jennifer Dawson is the Staff Functional Safety Engineer with the Toyota Research Institute.  Before that, she worked at Space Systems Loral as the Technical Director for Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites, as Head of Safety and Technical Program Manager at Nuro and as a researcher at Stanford University, where she developed a cryogenic test facility, conducted experiments on a superconducting position sensor, defined requirements, and fabricated and tested customized electrical connectors. Dr. Dawson received a Promise Award from SSPI in 2016 and was also responsible for nominating the 2019 Mentor of the Year, Rob Lyon, whom you heard from in Episode 1.

    Penelope Longbottom is a member of the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame who has devoted her career to explaining satellites as one of the industry’s premiere public relations executives. She served in a variety of jobs, from Director of Communications and later Vice President at Hughes to Senior Marketing Communications Executive with Lockheed Martin Intersputnik, Lockheed Martin Space & Strategic Missiles and XM Satellite Radio. While at Hughes, Penelope was key to the promotion of DirectTV and America’s first Mobile Satellite System. She founded Longbottom Communications and merged the company with Sage Communications one decade later. Penelope has been a relentless advocate for more space for women in the industry and has been a mentor to dozens.

    Nicole Stott was seen recently in super bowl commercial with Busy Philipps and Lilly Singh riding the first Olay rocket! It was her third mission to space. Nicole is a retired NASA astronaut who performed two important missions on the International Space Station, where she served as flight engineer for Expeditions 20 and 21. She was a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Missions 128 and 133. Nicole began her career as a Structural Design Engineer with Pratt & Whitney.  She was the first astronaut to have a picture taken with the SSPI logo from space.

     

     

    This is the second podcast of a four-part series on mentorship sponsored by

    SSPI’s podcast is made possible with the support of our corporate partners

  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In this conversation, the first of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and...

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    In this conversation, the first of a four-part series on mentorship, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla speaks with three people who are considered world-class mentors and have been responsible for nurturing diverse talents to success.

    Dr. Peter Plumley is the Chief Program Officer for the Museum of Science & Technology and a research professor of civil & environmental engineering at Syracuse University. Peter has an extremely broad portfolio of research and interests related to the environment of the Earth and space. His current research is focused on the man-made world and the impact of technology on our drive to invent and explore the impact of technology on society and civilization - as well as its overall impact on the environment.

    Tim Deaver is the Director of US Space Systems at Airbus Defence & Space. Tim manages all US government space-related program management and customer liaison. Tim is a satellite industry veteran, having worked for SES, where he led business and product development and was responsible for securing many high-end contracts. He served in the US Air Force for over 20 years and holds degrees from the Universities of Nebraska and Colorado.

    Rob Lyon is the Executive Director of Flight Assurance at Maxar. Rob decides when each of the spacecraft built is ready for launch. He began his career at the USA’s naval academy where – among other tasks – he qualified people to run nuclear reactors to eventually become the top operations officer in the pacific submarine fleet. Rob is a highly sought-after mentor in his company’s program. He earned his advanced degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Physics at the naval academy. Rob has had a distinguished career of nearly 15 years at Maxar, and in June of last year, he was named the space & satellite industry’s Mentor of the Year at SSPI’s annual Future Leaders Dinner in Silicon Valley, where he was introduced by Tim Deaver.

     

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

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    In a conversation with SSPI's Robert Bell, Steve Collar, President & CEO of SES, talks about his early years,  the leadership lessons he learned, how he hires and what he has learned about leading a team bringing major innovations to market.

    Steve Collar was appointed CEO of SES in April 2018. He had been the CEO of SES Networks since May 2017. Prior to SES Networks, Mr. Collar was CEO of O3b Networks and guided the company through the successful build and launch of its constellation of state-of-the-art satellites. In 2015, O3b Networks became the fastest growing satellite operator in history, and in 2016, O3b was fully acquired by SES and now forms an integral part of SES Networks.

     


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    In a conversation with SSPI's Robert Bell, Viasat’s Mark Dankberg talks about his early years, his first role in managing people and the...

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    In a conversation with SSPI's Robert Bell, Viasat’s Mark Dankberg talks about his early years, his first role in managing people and the leadership lessons he learned, how he hires and what he has learned about leading a team bringing major innovations to market.

    Mark co-founded Viasat Inc. in 1986 and has led the company's rapid growth. He has held the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception.

    Under his leadership, Viasat has consistently been one of America’s fastest growing technology companies. As a start-up, Viasat was selected to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies three times. After listing on the NASDAQ exchange in 1996 Viasat has been recognized multiple times by leading business and industry publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Red Herring, DefenseNews, Space News, and Washington Technology for its exceptional performance and growth.

    Mark is an acknowledged industry expert in aerospace, defense, and satellite communications, and is the leading visionary for a new generation of high-capacity satellite systems. He has co-authored several military standards on satellite networking, and holds a number of patents in communications and satellite networking technologies. He has participated on Department of Defense advisory panels and was invited to testify before a Congressional committee on high technology growth companies and IPOs. For his achievements, Mark was inducted into the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2015.

    Watch the interview above or listen to the podcast version below:

       

     

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  • Victoria Krisman posted an article

    In a conversation with SSPI’s Robert Bell, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, talked about her early years, her first...

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    In a conversation with SSPI’s Robert Bell, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, talked about her early years, her first role in managing people and the leadership lessons she learned, how she hires and what she has learned about leading a team bringing major innovations to market.

    As VP of business development, Gwynne led the effort to build the Falcon vehicle manifest to over 50 launches representing $5 billion in revenue including commercial resupply services for delivery of cargo and supplies to the International Space Station.  She became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2008, and assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations and for managing the customer and strategic relationships that support company growth.  Under her leadership, SpaceX's backlog has grown to more than $7 billion worth of launches while achieving a set of remarkable milestones. Gwynne was inducted into the SSPI Hall of Fame on March 13, 2018.

     


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    In a conversation with SSPI's Rocky...

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    In a conversation with SSPI's Rocky Mountain Chapter Director Michelle LaMar, Lockheed Martin’s Kay Sears talks about her early years, her first role in managing people and the leadership lessons she learned, how she hires and what she has learned about leading a team bringing major innovations to market.

    Kay Sears was planning to be an advertising executive with a nice corner office in Manhattan and influence over the purchasing choices of millions. Today, she is vice president and general manager for military space for Lockheed Martin, the global security and aerospace company with a major role in both commercial and government space and satellite.

    What happened? She had a job interview with an official of the US Department of Commerce and “in that one interview, I just completely changed my whole idea of what I wanted to do,” says Kay. “He was talking about some of the satellite weather programs that the Commerce Department runs through the National Weather Service, and I started becoming so intrigued with space and sensors, and that became my first job.”

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