Kristen Facciol, P. Eng
BASc – University of Toronto, Engineering Science (Major in Aerospace)
Kristen Facciol is an Aerospace Engineer who began her career once graduating from the University of Toronto in 2009. She started with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (now Maxar), where she contributed to projects that developed next-generation satellite servicing techniques as well as to the support of the existing systems on the International Space Station (ISS). Part of this support included training both astronauts and flight controllers on the operation of Canadarm2 and Dextre, the robots on the ISS. Kristen then went on to join the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as a Payload Engineer, working on the operations of various human research experiments on-board the ISS as well as on the development of new projects. Still with the CSA, Kristen now has the rare opportunity to train and work at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and has completed her certification as a Robotics Flight Controller working out of Mission Control. She is part of the the team that designs robotic missions and operates Canadarm2 and Dextre from the ground.
Nicholas Parmar is an Intermediate Software Engineer at MDA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Ryerson University. Nicholas is experienced in designing and testing software for aerospace applications and is passionate about bringing new software technologies and design approaches into aerospace software development. He is a strong proponent for incorporating open-source technologies into projects, and contributing to open-source projects, whenever possible.
Eric Choi is the senior business development manager for the space business unit of Magellan Aerospace. His career has encompassed both the aviation and space sectors, the latter including work on QEYSSat (Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite), the Meteorology payload on the Phoenix Mars Lander, the Canadarm2 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 B.A.Sc in Engineering Science (Aerospace) and an M.A.Sc in Aerospace Engineering, both from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from York University. In 2009, he was one of the Top 40 finalists (out of 5,351 applicants) in the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut recruitment campaign.
A multiple award winning Mission Systems and Project Engineer at MDA (Maxar Technologies), Rohaan Ahmed has worked on some exciting next-generation space projects. The European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2020 Mars Rover, the Deep Space Exploration Lunar Platform for NASA, the International Space Agency’s Canadarm2, and commercial On-orbit Satellite Servicing missions are just a few of the projects he has worked on in the recent past. He also leads Innovation and Business Development efforts within MDA, with specific focus on navigating and growing in the international New Space Economy.
Prior to joining MDA, Rohaan was Vice President of a local tech start-up, while also working full-time at Honeywell Aerospace as a Power Systems and Electromechanical Engineer. In this role, he worked on systems R&D, design, testing, and qualification for several military and commercial aircraft, including the Airbus A380, A350, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and AW-149 helicopter.
Rohaan has always been passionate about Aerospace and Robotics, and has contributed to several papers in the field. He founded the Autonomous Robotics Systems team in his final year of undergraduate studies in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, and later went on to complete his Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. He currently holds Professional Engineering, Project Management Professional, Six Sigma Greenbelt, and UofT’s ELITE certifications.
Rikky Duivenvoorden currently works at the engineering department at Drone Delivery Canada where he creates and validates performance analysis models for new aerial vehicle configurations, and is involved in the design of next generation heavy lift Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS). He holds a BASc in Engineering Science (Aerospace) from the University of Toronto, and completed his MASc in Aerospace at the Dynamic Systems Lab at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). In his graduate studies he implemented L1 Adaptive Control on a multirotor platform and has investigated its combination with Iterative Learning Control and Bayesian Optimization.
Throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies, he was an active member of the University of Toronto Aerospace Team. He worked on designing heavy lift fixed wing remote controlled aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. These successfully competed in the SAE AeroDesign Competition, Unmanned Systems Canada Student Competition, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Student UAS competition.
Prior to joining Drone Delivery Canada, he was working on multiple projects that included the development of a tailsitter UAS at UTIAS, a composites manufacturing startup (Keystone Composites), and several drone outreach and education programs.
Dr. Yaroslav Pustovyi
Dr. Yaroslav “Yarko” Pustovyi is a space industry professional with career experience in the sector since 1988. Formerly an astronaut with the National Space Agency of Ukraine, Dr. Pustovyi was trained by NASA and served as a Backup Payload Specialist for the STS-87 Space Shuttle Columbia mission in 1997.
Following his return to Ukraine, Dr. Pustovyi continued active involvement in the Ukrainian space program, working both in research institutions and at the space agency, where he played active role in the development of the Ukrainian National Space Program for 2003-2007, as well as several programs in space research.
Since 2003, Dr. Pustovyi is actively involved in the commercial spaceflight industry through a variety of entrepreneurial, consulting, educational and other endeavors, including X-Prize entrant Canadian Arrow, Canadian Space Commerce Association and Nova Scotia based spaceport project Maritime Launch Services. In 2018 Dr. Pustovyi has joined a Canadian space transportation company SpaceHorizon as Director of Space Operations.
Having being involved in government space programs of several countries as well as in the commercial spaceflight industry, Dr. Pustovyi brings a unique view on perspectives of international space development.