How can exploration across the Antarctic ready us for going to space? Exploring innovations for the future of life; including NZ's Space Challenge Final
This event has already happened!

New Zealand is an "Incubation Nation" for the global space economy AND already has the ingredients for our own sustainable space industry.

Join this event looking at tech and innovation in the extreme environments of the Antarctic and Space; solving problems for climate change and opportunities for commercialisation. 

Keynote speakers:

* Rafael Kargren who has worked with countries around the world to develop space strategies and is seeing big opportunities in NZ

* Peter Beggs about the challenges of working in Antarctica  

* Alex Roetter about why Zephyr chose Canterbury to trial their autonomous flying taxis

Hear from businesses who are already working on commercial opportunities including big data analytics (Matthew Simmons, Nyriad) and cryocooling to keep astronauts at the right temperature (Chris Boyle, Fabrum)

Breakout sessions:

1.  Commercialising opportunities with entrepreneurs and investors Mark Rocket and Grant Ryan

2. Building a community – run by Space Base founders Eric Dahlstrom and Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom 

3. Human factors to consider when developing solutions – with Dr Rob Lindeman from HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury and Gary Steel from Lincoln University 

Panel session asking what the next steps should be for NZ – featuring entrepreneur Mark Rocket; space strategist Rafael Kargren; the head of the NZ Space Agency Dr Peter Crabtree and Miranda Satterthwaite STEM coordinator for Ara who has just returned from taking Christchurch students to NASA  

The day will culminate in the Grand Final of the NZ Space Challenge with a $40,000 prize up for grabs 

This event will appeal to those from science, research, technology, innovation, the education eco-systems and anybody who has an interest in the Antarctic and space.

Ticket price includes morning & afternoon tea, lunch and networking drinks at the end of the day!

*Photo Credit: Bruce Davies of the GPR tracking equipment used in the traverse. Supplied by Antarctica New Zealand.

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  • Environment
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  • Space
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Alex is a respected name in the US tech world. He launched his career at Google in 2002, the pre-IPO days, making fundamental contributions to large scale data processing infrastructure and computational advertising.

He is best known as the founder of the Twitter Revenue engineering team, and one of the leaders who grew that effort from near zero to over $2B a year in revenue. In 2014 he was promoted to SVP engineering, responsible for all software and hardware engineering and operations, as well as over half of the company’s headcount and operating budget. In that role, he improved efficiency and operating margins, team productivity, and made fundamental investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning which have paid off in renewed user growth.

In his current role as VP of Software and Autonomy for Californian-based Kitty Hawk, and Kitty Hawk’'s New Zealand operation Zephyr Airworks, Alex is integral to the development of an air taxi prototype called Cora - currently being tested in Canterbury. He also leads software and autonomy efforts for other complementary projects at Kitty Hawk.

Alex holds a B.S. with Honors and an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. He holds an FAA Commercial Multi-Engine Pilot Certificate and Instrument Rating.
Chris Boyle, MBA, BE (electrical and electronic), AFNZIM, MIPENZ, MInstD serves as the Managing Director of a high tech superconducting engineering Company based in Christchurch. Chris is also a Business Strategy Advisor to a number of Australisian companies. His background in heavy current electrical and electronic engineering has led from sixteen years in the electricity industry as a Network Manager to an international consulting career in infrastructure asset management and corporate structure. His assignments have taken him to the Maldives, Butan and Nepal. He has worked with one of the United Kingdom’s largest water reticulators, Anglian Water and with various infrastructure companies in Australia. He has over 20 years experience in the New Zealand electricity distribution industry in senior commercial and engineering management positions. He has been a Director of Horizon Energy Distribution Ltd. since November 7, 2007. He serves as a Director of AFCRYO SAS, Third Bearing Limited; Fabrum Solutions Limited; and Chairman of Biolumic Limited. Mr. Boyle holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Massey University.
Dr. Steel’s main area of research is human adaptation to extreme and unusual environments. In connection with this, he has conducted studies on personality, sleep disturbances, emotional patterns across time, social networks, and sociophysical stressors. He has published widely in polar psychology for over a quarter-century. Currently, his research focuses on motivational factors before and during Antarctic deployment, the influence of social network position on research collaboration, and psychological analysis of Antarctic, ‘Heroic Age’ diaries.
Dr Peter Crabtree is the General Manager Science, Innovation and International at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. He currently has responsibility for science and innovation policy, international science and innovation partnerships, trade and regulatory cooperation, international strategy and leadership of the New Zealand Space Agency functions.

Prior to this role, Peter was Deputy Chief Executive, System Strategy and Policy at the Ministry of Science and Innovation. Peter has also held other senior roles across the New Zealand public service with the Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of Justice.

Peter has a PhD in natural resources management.
Dr. Robert W. Lindeman has been doing research in the field of VR since 1993. His work focuses on immersive, multi-sensory feedback systems for VR, AR, and gaming, as well as natural and non-fatiguing interaction. He is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the Human Interface Technology Lab NZ (HIT Lab NZ) at the University of Canterbury. Rob was General Chair of the IEEE 2010 VR Conference, Program Co-Chair of the IEEE 2014 & 2015 ISMAR Conferences, and Co-Chair of the IEEE 2014, 2015 & 2016 3DUI Symposia. He is an avid geocacher, skier and mountain biker.
Emeline is a Co-Founder of SpaceBase, a social enterprise to democratize access to space starting in New Zealand. Emeline is on faculty and the former Chief Impact Officer of Singularity University, a Co-Founder of International Space Consultants, and an Edmund Hillary Fellow.
Emeline has Physics, and Earth and Space Science degrees, and attended the International Space University Space Studies Program. She has worked and consulted for several space startups including Space Adventures, Odyssey Moon, and Moon Express. Emeline is co-author of the book Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Space Flight.

Eric Dahlstrom is a co-founder of SpaceBase and International Space Consultants, and an Edmund Hillary Fellow. Eric is a space engineer, astronomer, and consultant who has worked on spacecraft design, space science, and project management for 35 years, both for NASA and the commercial space industry. Eric worked on the design of the International Space Station and studied the risk of Shuttle accidents for NASA. He studied physics, astronomy, and space systems engineering and is currently the chair of Space Science at International Space University, having taught in ten countries.
Grant is a serial entrepreneur, a director of ChristchurchNZ and former director of the New Zealand Government’s $140 million Venture Investment Fund and $430 million Foundation for Research Science and Technology.

He will talk about why NZ is a great place to test tech and innovation for space and the Antarctic.
Joanna Norris is chief executive of ChristchurchNZ, the agency responsible for the economic development and promotion of the city. ChristchurchNZ helps people understand the historic and ongoing relationship between the Antarctic and Christchurch as a gateway to the continent.

Christchurch city is a place of exploration and has particular strengths in working and researching challenging environments such as the Antarctic and Space. ChristchurchNZ launched the first NZ Space Challenge in 2018 – with the final being held at this event.

Prior to joining ChristchurchNZ in late 2017, Joanna was editor-in-chief of The Press in Christchurch and dispatched many crews of journalists to the ice.
Internet and aerospace entrepreneur. Mark founded two internet companies in 1998 and sold one of those ventures to a telecommunications corporate. Mark was the first New Zealander to book a ticket with Virgin Galactic. He was the seed investor and co-Director of Rocket Lab from 2007 to 2011. In 2018 Mark formed Kea Aerospace, a research partner of the University of Canterbury currently working on a range of projects.

He will talk about his passion and the investment and innovation opportunities he sees.
Nyriad Founder and CEO Matthew Simmons started what would become Arvus Group International Ltd in 1983 when he was 12 years old. Over the following 35 years, Arvus, with over 250 engineers operating across 15 countries, developed dozens of technologies used by Dolby, DTS, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, Pixar, Singtel, Park Road Post, NHK, BBC and Disney. When his business was decimated by the Christchurch earthquake in 2010, he was asked to become CEO of the New Zealand Clean Energy Centre and invented a high-temp solid state heat-transfer system for Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) and nuclear waste. In 2013, Simmons settled his family in Cambridge, New Zealand, to start his next venture.
Miranda Satterthwaite studied Sciences at University of Otago and ICT at the University of Canterbury. She holds both a Masters Degree in International Business Law and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership.

Currently, she works as the STEM Coordinator for Ara Institute of Canterbury. Part of this role involves engaging students in science, technology, engineering and maths-related activities, aiming to get more students enrolling in and completing STEM courses. This portfolio of STEM courses focuses on developing skills in young New Zealanders to cope with the engineering design and scientific challenges of surviving extreme environments.

Currently, Miranda is the academic lead of the SpaceBase project at Ara Institute of Canterbury, an initiative designed to assist the development of a Space ecosystem in Canterbury and across New Zealand. This year she took a team of Canterbury students to Spacecamp and NASA Kennedy Space Centre in the USA, as part of the development of the skills pathway needed for growing the Space Industry in New Zealand.
Peter Beggs is the Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand, a Crown Entity of the New Zealand Government responsible for developing, managing and executing New Zealand Government activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, in particular the Ross Dependency.

He is passionate about supporting scientific research, conserving the intrinsic values and raising public awareness of the international significance of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

As a veteran of four Antarctic seasons, Peter leads New Zealand's Antarctic Programme and represents New Zealand's Antarctic interests in a number of advisory and governance roles. These include: the Advisory Board of the Victoria University Antarctic Research Centre; the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) and also participates in international Antarctic Treaty discussions.
Rafael is a seasoned entrepreneur, telecom and space executive, director of operations for Centre for Space Science Technology and board member of several space startups. Rafael has founded his first successful business when he was only 19 years old and successfully sold it to telecommunications giant. Over thirty years of his career, he has led multibillion telecom corporation, developed new businesses in challenging places around the world, created several successful space startups and shaped space strategies in several countries. He has been co-chairman of International Telecommunication Union and is an active member of NASA's Space Operations Executive Committee and Asia Pacific Regional Satellite Forum, winner of several European Space Agency innovation awards and Scandinavian Leader of the year in 2012.
Zaheer Ali is currently the Science and Mission Operations Laboratory Supervisor for NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) where he has been responsible for science instrumentation, the buildup of laboratory facilities, and science ground support on multiple deployments of SOFIA to Christchurch. He is also the founder of Coast Agile and co-founder of AWG Solutions.

While having been trained as a Physicist to do scientific research which has resulted in patents, an R&D100 award, and over 40 authored or co-authored publications, Zaheer has also worked as an engineer and manager. He has managed teams and programs for the US Department of Energy’s Nevada Test Site where he co-founded the National Center for Nuclear Security, worked as a Principal Investigator and Shot Director at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics of the University of Rochester and consulted as a micro/nano device (MEMS) engineer. In addition to technical matters, he is also keenly interested in STEM education, interdependency of research in the future, and the effects of AI on society.


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Canapes, Drinks & Networking

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