From aspiring rock star to history-making Ph.D. rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is recognized as one of NASA’s leading – and most unique – innovators. For nearly a decade, Adam led and inspired the breakthrough team that invented the ingenious “sky crane” landing system that so spectacularly landed the Mars rover, Curiosity on the Martian surface in 2012. Next, Adam will lead NASA’s Mars 2020 Project that will gather core samples of Mars for scientific discovery.
Rob Meyerson is the founder and CEO of Delalune Space, a management consulting company focused on the aerospace, mobility and technology sectors. As President of Blue Origin, Rob oversaw the steady growth of the company from startup, evolving a 10-person research team into a more than 1500-person organization. Under Rob’s leadership, Blue Origin developed the New Shepard system for suborbital human and research flights, the BE-3 LOX/LH2 rocket engine, the BE-4 LOX/LNG rocket engine, the New Glenn launch vehicle as well as the manufacturing and test capabilities to enable all the above. During 2018, Rob created Blue’s Advanced Development Programs group, a new P&L business developing the Blue Moon lunar lander, human spacecraft, habitats, in-space tugs and the technology portfolio that will enable a future where millions of people are living and working in space.
Dr. Torah Kachur is the CBC Radio One National Science columnist and a sessional professor at the University of Alberta. She received her PhD from the University of Alberta in the wonderfully irrelevant field of worm gonads and molecular genetics. The reality of studying worm gonads for the rest of her life forced Torah into doing something she loves even more than worms and that’s talking about science. Each week on CBC, Torah explains the latest and greatest science news stories and gets to talk about everything from white blood cells to black holes. In the summer of 2014, Torah produced and hosted “What a Waste” – a nationally broadcasted summer show on CBC radio One as well as dozens of holiday radio specials on all kinds of topics. She’s even guest hosted for Quirks & Quarks!
Dr. Hilding Neilson is Mi’kmaq from Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) whose work focuses on stellar and exoplanet astrophysics and on indigenizing astronomy. He earned is PhD from the University of Toronto in 2009 on Cepheid atmospheres and mass loss. He was then an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Bonn followed by a research professor at East Tennessee State University. Hilding returned to the University of Toronto in 2014 as a CLTA assistant professor.