Mohamed Khalil

Mohamed is an Engineering Science student at the University of Toronto, specializing in Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Engineering Business. He is a member of the rocketry division at the University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT), and he co-founded an aerospace design group called AUREUS. He likes all things that fly (maybe not the Airbus Beluga), and enjoys graphic design, music production and soccer.

Ronan Garrison

Ronan is currently studying Engineering Physics at McMaster University. He has a keen interest in product design for multi-planetary space exploration. In addition, Ronan aspires to assist space missions with optic and photovoltaic systems. Working with the graphics team, he helps to bridge the gap between the public and the space industry through design and communication through social media platforms.

Elise Harrington

Elise is an M.Sc. student in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Western Ontario.  From imaging Mars, studying the mountains and channels on Venus, determining the compositions of meteorites, and using satellite-borne radar in the Canadian Arctic, she is passionate about all aspects of planetary geology. Elise aims to promote student opportunities for planetary mission work in Canada.

Eric Choi

Eric Choi is the senior business development manager for the space business unit of Magellan Aerospace with responsibility for leading efforts to develop new space project opportunities. Over the course of his career, he has held positions of increasing technical and managerial responsibility in both the aviation and space sectors, the latter encompassing work on the Meteorology (MET) payload on the Phoenix Mars Lander, the Mobile Servicing System robotics on the International Space Station, the RADARSAT-1 Earth-observation satellite and the MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution on the Troposphere) instrument on the Terra satellite.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from York University, and he is an alumnus of the International Space University. In addition to his aerospace career, he is also a multiple award-winning writer and editor.

Dr. David Kendall

Dr. Kendall is the current Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space for 2016-2017.  During his career he has held senior positions with the Canadian Space Agency including as the Director General of Space Science and Space Science and Technology. He is also a faculty member of the International Space University based in Strasbourg, France. 

Born near London, England, Dr. Kendall obtained his doctoral degree in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Calgary. After his PhD he worked in private industry as an R&D scientist and then for the Canadian federal government, first with the National Research Council of Canada and later, with the newly created Canadian Space Agency.

Dr. Kendall is an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and, during his career, has acted in various capacities on a number of national and international bodies, including the International Space University, the International Astronautical Federation, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), UN COPUOS, the European Space Agency, IADC, and the Group on Earth Observations.  He is especially pleased to be a member of the Board of Advisors of SEDS-Canada.

In 2002, Dr. Kendall was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his significant contributions and achievement to Canada.

Dr. Gordon "Oz" Osinski

Dr. Gordon “Oz” Osinski is an Associate Professor and the NSERC/MDA /CSA/CEMI Industrial Research Chair in Earth and Space Exploration in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD from the University of New Brunswick (2004) and a BSc (Hons) from the University of St. Andrews (1999), Scotland, both in Geology.

Dr. Osinski’s research interests are diverse and interdisciplinary in nature. His main area of research focuses on understanding impact cratering as a planetary geological process, on the Earth, Moon and Mars. His research interests also include the development of exploration technologies and techniques for application in remote and extreme environments both on Earth and in Space.

Dr. Osinski is the Director of the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration ( at Western, the Principal Investigator of the Canadian Lunar Research Network (, and the founder and Chair of the Planetary Sciences Division of the Geological Association of Canada ( He is also a Co-I on the PanCam instrument on the 2020 ExoMars mission to Mars.

Dr. Chris Damaren

Chris Damaren was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1962. He received the BASc in Engineering Science (Aerospace Option) from
the University of Toronto in 1985. He went on to receive the MASc and PhD degrees in 1987 and 1990, respectively, both in aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS).


From 1990 to 1995 he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. From 1995 to 1999 he was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Since 1999 he has been at UTIAS and is currently a Professor and the Director. From 2008 to 2013, he served as the Vice-Dean Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of dynamics and control of space systems. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Dr. Shawna Pandya

Dr. Shawna Pandya was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in microgravity, and also completed scientist-astronaut training with Project PoSSUM. In 2015, she was chair and curator of the first-ever International Space Development Conference LaunchPad session, and will be reprising this role for ISDC16. She has previously conducted space medical research at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the European Space Agency’s European Astronaut Center, as well as authored a book chapter on space spin-off technologies benefiting terrestrial medicine. In everyday life, she is a physician, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and university lecturer on technology and innovation. Dr. Pandya’s personal interests include Taekwon-do, Muay Thai kickboxing, piano and working towards her private pilot’s license.

Ryan Anderson

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.

Dr. Andrew Dobson

Dr. Andrew Dobson describes himself as a space miner wannabe and STEM advocate. He wants to help Canada make space more accessible through in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), which will expand our economy and help ensure our survival. Andrew holds a master’s degree in aerospace engineering, a PhD in mining robotics, and is currently a Systems Engineer at Clearpath Robotics. Andrew is passionate about STEM outreach and ISRU, and encourages anyone with ideas in these areas to contact him for advice or assistance.

Gary McQueen

Gary McQueen is a Business Consultant in strategic planning 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 and on the Executive Committee as Treasurer, making him the longest-serving CSS executive member.

Dr Geoff Steeves

Dr. Geoff Steeves is a physics professor at the University of Victoria in Canada and a faculty member at the International Space University. He is the co-founder of the science education program, a TEDx speaker and was a top 16 finalist in Canada’s most recent astronaut recruitment campaign. Geoff completed his Ph.D. in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta studying ultrafast microscopy.

He continued his studies through an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California Santa Barbara at the Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computing. He is now a professor at the University of Victoria where he conducts research on Mars analogue environments and tele-robotic exploration. At the International Space University he has chaired the Space Studies Program Space – Science Department from 2012-2014 and now co-chairs the Space Humanities Department 2015-present. Geoff is an experienced SCUBA diver and pilot with a commercial pilots license and multi-engine instrument rating.

Roxy Fournier

Roxy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Victoria and is currently pursuing a PhD in Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. Her research involves designing a better ground-based platform for studying living cells in simulated microgravity. As Project Manager for the CAN-RGX Challenge, she hopes to support student participants to ensure a successful flight and encourage as many students as possible to pursue careers in space exploration.

Aditya Patel

I have always been passionate about Aerospace. I came to to Canada to attend University of Toronto a year ago. I completed my Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from a state university in India. I am currently pursuing my Masters of Engineering in Aerospace at University of Toronto. The passion for aerospace and dream of working in this growing industry has always appealed to me. I feel that I have always been ahead of the crowd with volunteering and managing teams for various events throughout my student life. I hope that my experience as Alumni Ambassador at University of Toronto will help me create connections between potential student innovators and stake holders in the aerospace industry.