Thursday

Check-In

Registration will take place in the Friedman Hall Prefunction in the Rubenstein Forum. It starts at 5:30 PM CST and lasts until 7:00 PM CST.

Opening Keynote

7:00 – 8:15 PM CST

Friedman Hall, The Rubenstein Forum

We are kicking things off with our keynote speaker, Dan Hooper. Hooper is a thought-leader within the field of dark matter and the many mysteries in our Milky Way that captivate us and keep us exploring.

He received his PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin, finishing his postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. Since then, he has become a world-renowned cosmologist, particle physicist, Senior Scientist and Head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UChicago. He specializes in dark matter, neutrino astrophysics, and cosmic rays.

Evening Social

8:30 – 10:00 PM CST

The Study at University of Chicago

Friday

Morning Keynote

9:00 – 9:45 AM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

John M. Grunsfeld started his professional career in after graduating from MIT with a bachelor’s in 1980, followed by a master’s and doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago in 1988. Soon he became a NASA astronaut, accomplishing five space shuttle missions, mostly focused on repairing and maintaining the Hubble telescope from 1995-2005.

He has served as the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, managing the science program for the Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescopes. Before retiring, he served as the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA from 2012 to 2016. Grunsfeld’s background includes research in high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics and in the emerging field of exoplanet studies with specific interest in future astronomical instrumentation.

Bio provided by NASA

Peering into the Universe

10:00 – 10:45 AM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

This panel will discuss the power of different types of telescopes used to study the universe around us. How have these telescopes developed? What information can we gather from these telescopes, and what about the universe can we learn? Come and learn from scientists and engineers how we’re using these telescopes to peer into the deep unknown.

John Grunsfeld

Dr. John Grunsfeld

Astronaut

NASA

Dr. Geza Gyuk

Director of Astronomy

Adler Planetarium

Dr. Richard Kron

Professor

University of Chicago

How to Network

10:00 – 10:45 AM CST

East Lounge

Hosted by the University of Chicago Career Advancement Center

The Human Body in Space

11:00 – 11:45 AM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

Dr. Vanessa Farsadaki

Currently the preeminent thought-leader towards advancing the discipline of Space Medicine, Dr. Farsadaki is on track to become Greece’s first-ever Astronaut in history.

She is a highly sought-out expert in the fields of Radiation Exposure and Protection sciences. As the President and Managing Partner of Space Exploration Strategies LLC, Dr. Farsadaki’s impressive bona fides include advanced degrees in Biology, Genetics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Business Leadership. 

Bio provided by Dr. Farsadaki’s LinkedIn

Research Symposium Judges

11:00 AM – 1:45 PM CST

Library

Dave Fischer

President

Liftoff Strategic Advisors

Jim Plaxco

President

Chicago Society of Space Studies

Ryan McLinko

CTO and Co-Founder

Astranis

Research Through
Instrumentation and Detectors

1:00 – 1:45 PM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

This panel will discuss how critical instrumentation and detectors are to the field of astronomy and astrophysics. As UChicago states, innovation and development of detector technology enable us to push measurements to higher precision and lead to new, innovative experiments, from the detection of gravitational waves in our universe to the detection and characterization of exoplanets. Come learn from scientists and engineers working on some of these experiments.

Jeff McMahon

Associate Professor

UChicago

Kaeli Hughes

Associate Fellow

UChicago


Samantha Usman

PhD Student

UChicago

Amy Bender

Physicist

Argonne National Lab

John Hood

PhD Student

UChicago

Resume Workshop

1:00 – 1:45 PM CST

West Lounge

Hosted by the University of Chicago Career Advancement Center

The New Right Stuff

2:00 – 2:45 PM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is a public speaker, creator of SpaceKind leadership training, co-creator of Yuri’s Night, and an author on space exploration. She accumulated over five hours of weightless time as a Flight Director for Zero-G Corporation, and plans to travel to space as a “Founder Astronaut” on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo with her husband George T. Whitesides.

Whitesides received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford and a master’s from Caltech, with a particular interest in astrobiology.

Life After SEDS

2:00 – 2:45 PM CST

East Lounge

Joalda Morancy

Aerospace Systems Engineer

Blue Origin

Frances Dellutri

Director of Education

National Space Society

Juan De La Garza

Oxygen Generation Test Engineer

Axiom Space

Owen Marr

Aerospace Systems Engineer

Blue Origin

NASA Internships

3:00 – 3:45 PM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

This panel will discuss the ways in which undergraduate students can get experience with NASA through internships and school projects. Hear from past project competitors and interns discuss their experiences and leaders who oversee these competitions, including NASA’s Associate Administrator for STEM Engagement.

Mike Kincaid

Associate Administrator

NASA STEM Engagement

Petar Matejic

RebelSat UNLV

Gavin Morey

RASC-AL UCF

Dr. Barrett Caldwell

Director

Indiana Space Grant Consortium

Space Policy

3:00 – 3:45 PM CST

Library

Mackenzie Hutcheson

Lead Policy Specialist

Stellar Amenities

Charles Mudd

Attorney

Mudd Law

Dave Fischer

President

Liftoff Strategic Advisors

Indiana Space Grant Consortium Presents:
How to Plan an Eclipse Party

4:00 – 4:45 PM CST

East Lounge

Dr. Barrett Caldwell

Barrett S. Caldwell, PhD is Professor of Industrial Engineering at Purdue and the longest-serving Director of the NASA Indiana Space Grant Consortium (since 2002).

He has a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and BS degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics and Humanities from MIT.

Dr. Barrett leads the Group Performance Environment Research (GROUPER) Laboratory, which examines and improves how people get, share, and use information in settings including aviation, critical incident response, and spaceflight operations.

Space and Science Communication

4:00 – 4:45 PM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

This panel will discuss the process and importance of space journalism that covers many topics ranging from difficult to understand NASA policies, private aerospace developments, and important advancements in the astronomy community. What is the most effective way to broadcast complex space topics to generate excitement in and inform the general public?

Owen Marr

Systems Engineer

Blue Origin

Louse Lerner

News Office

UChicago

Dominic Tanzillo
Co-Host & Medical Student

Spherical Cows, Duke

Business Pitch Competition Judges

4:00 – 5:00 PM CST

Library

Brad Cheetam

CEO/President

Advanced Space

John Conafay

Co-Founder and CEO

Integrate Space Corp.

Ryan McLinko

Co-Founder and CTO

Astrania

Financing Space

5:00 – 5:45 PM CST

Library

This panel will discuss the developments in financing the aerospace industry. Learn about the difficulties in building a company interested in producing products for the next generation’s aerospace industry.

John Conafay

Co-Founder and CEO

Integrate Space Corp.

Ryan McLinko

Co-Founder and CTO

Astranis

Jeff Fiege

Chief Revenue Officer

Radian Aerospace

Black Holes

5:00 – 5:45 PM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

Dan Holz

Professor Dan Holz focuses his research on gravitational waves while being faculty in the Enrico Fermi Insitute, the Department of Physics, the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Kavli Insititute for Cosmological Physics. 

He received his A.B. in Physics from Princeton in 1992 and his PhD from UChicago in 1998. Professor Holz is a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), the world’s largest gravitational wave observatory.

Astronaut Fireside Chat

6:00 – 7:00 PM CST

Max Palevsky Theater

This panel will discuss the life of an astronaut related to broad topics including the interpersonal aspect of living in space, the science completed in space, and the outreach astronauts do to help excite the general public about space exploration.

Sara Sabry

Astronaut

Alvin Drew

Astronaut

John Grunsfeld

Astronaut