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Professor Steve Roberts, Oxford

Professor Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts is the Royal Academy of Engineering / Man Group Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Oxford. He is Director of the Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance, founding-Director of the Oxford Centre for Doctoral Training in Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems (AIMS) and co-founder of the Oxford Machine Learning spin-out company, Mind Foundry. Steve is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Statistical Society, the IET, the European Lab for Learning & Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), and the Turing Institute. He has published extensively, having some 400 publications which have accrued 29,000 citations and 20 awards, including two medals from the IET. Steve’s focus lies in the theory and methodology of machine learning for large-scale real-world problems, especially those in which noise and uncertainty abound. He has successfully applied these approaches to a wide range of problem domains including astronomy, biology, finance, engineering, control, sensor networks and system monitoring. His current interests include the application of machine learning in finance and the engineering industry as well as a range of theoretical and methodological problems. He has a first degree in Physics and a DPhil (PhD) in machine learning. He was faculty at Imperial College, London prior to his appointment in Oxford in 1999. 

Professor Marc Ventresca, Oxford

Professor Marc Ventresca

Marc Ventresca is Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Saïd Business School and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He is also a Faculty Fellow at the Technology for Management and Development Centre at QEH/ Development Studies and he has diverse intellectual connections with the Oxford Internet Institute, Geography/ECI, the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, Education Dept, and the Oxford Space Research Network. 

Marc sits on the Management Committee of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, where they focus on social sciences of emerging technologies (blockchain, AI, ML, cybersecurity) in global perspective. He is the academic director of the Oxford FinTech Lab and the faculty lead for Ideas to Impact (I2I), which connect postdoctoral researchers in the sciences with our management executive students. He also serves as the programme director for the SBS Diploma on Strategy and Innovation in collaboration with IBM European Business Consultancy Services. Marc teaches on innovation strategy, strategy implementation, rethinking business, and entrepreneurial organization for MBA/EMBA classes at SBS. 

Originally from the U.S., Marc earned his BA in political science/political philosophy and two MAs in education policy and sociology, then earned his PhD in political and organizational sociology, all from Stanford University. 

Mike Gold, NASA

Mike Gold

Mike Gold currently serves as the associate administrator for Space Policy and Partnerships at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. At NASA, Mike is responsible for formulating and leading a comprehensive strategy to integrate domestic, international, intergovernmental, and industry policy across the space domain, including priorities that enhance the resiliency and capabilities of the Artemis Program.

Mike initially joined NASA as senior advisor to the administrator for international and legal affairs and was subsequently appointed acting associate administrator for NASA’s Office of International and Interagency Relations. Prior to joining NASA, Mike was the vice president of civil space at MAXAR Technologies and was general counsel for the company’s Radiant Solutions Business Unit. Additionally, Mike spent 13 years at Bigelow Aerospace where he established the company’s Washington office, oversaw the launches of its Genesis 1 and 2 spacecraft, and received a team award from NASA for his contributions to the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

Mike has been appointed to and held leadership positions on several boards and federal advisory committees, including the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, where he established the committee’s Export Control Working Group and became its first chair. In 2012, he was appointed chair of the committee as a whole and served in this position until he joined NASA in 2019. Mike was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) in 2018 and served as the first chair of the NAC’s Regulatory and Policy Committee until joining NASA in the following year.

Mike also served on the Executive Board of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and was the chair of its Export Control Committee. Additionally, he has been a member of the U.S. delegation to numerous meetings of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

From 2014 to 2017, Mike supported the work of the National Academies as a member of the Space Technology Industry-Government-University Roundtable and was selected by the National Academies Committee on International Security and Arms Control to support space policy as part of the delegation to the India – U.S. Cooperation on Global Security Dialogue on Strategic Security Threats of the 21st Century.

Mike is admitted to practice law in New York and Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Alessandro Donati, ESA

Alessandro Donati

Artificial Intelligence and Operations Innovation Manager at the European Space Operations Centre of ESA, in Darmstadt and Lead of the ESA Digital Engineering Competence Domain.

 Alessandro Donati has 30 years of experience in satellite operations at the European Space Operations Centre of ESA in Darmstadt, Germany. He was involved with the ESA Manned Space Program as Ground Segment manager for the phase A and B of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). He joined the Cluster 2 mission flight control team and contributed to the Cluster 2 LEOP and Commissioning phase. 

In 2001, Alessandro founded and since then is leading a skunk-work style managed team of AI experts devoted to introducing and exploiting Artificial Intelligence technology in support of innovative space mission operations concepts. The operational tasks covered include planning, scheduling, diagnostic, resources management, behaviour modelling and forecasting.

He co-hold two ESA patents related to AI applications for space. As of 2019 Alessandro is Lead of ESA’s Digital Engineering community, which includes Artificial Intelligence. He is a member of the ESA/CLAIRE AI Special Interest Group on Space and member of the Z-Inspection Advisory Board. 

Alessandro holds a master’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Rome La Sapienza. 

Arfan Chaudhry, UK Space Agency Head of International Policy

Arfan ChaudhryIn May 2018 he joined the UK Space Agency as the Head of International Policy.  Key responsibilities included developing the Agency’s policy for international interventions (including as co-signatory to the Artemis Accords) and establishing effective relationships across Whitehall whilst strategically prioritising the international engagements both in Europe and globally according to the benefits to the UK.

Arfan also leads a team that delivers HMG’s export strategy for space whilst ensuring space interests are adequately captured in wider Government bilateral relationships and trade agreements in a post EU exit context. 

Arfan held a number of operational and policy roles, for example he joined UK Trade & Investment as Assistant Director Support to Business and was responsible for delivering the strategy of industry engagement to ensure focused UK Government support for exports.  In July 2013 he joined the Regional Directorate with specific responsibility for building and developing export opportunities in the Americas. He is a qualified Management Accountant who undertook a range of finance appointments in Civil Service. 

Hideyuki Watanabe, JAXA

Hideyuki Watanabe

Hideyuki Watanabe is Associate Senior Engineer, JEM (Japan Experiment Module: Kibo) Mission Operations and Integration Center, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate. He is the integrator of the experiment for JEM External Facility, Robot Manipulator System, Airlock and relating the space experiment. And he is also the integrator of JEM free flyer camera robot, INT BALL2. He received his master’s degree in mechano-informatics from the University of Tokyo, Japan. 

Hideyuki has worked for the JEM and its experiment hardware development since 1995. His group awarded “Certificate of Merit for Achievement In Space Frontier Engineering” from the Japan society of Mechanical Engineering for his contributes to create JEM new type experiment equipment, ExHAM (Exposed experiment Handhold Attachment Mechanism) in 2018. ExHAM provides a way to expose sample to the space long duration and bring it back to earth more easily utilizing JEM robotics system. 


Dr Greg Autry, Thunderbird / Arizona State University 

Dr Greg Autry

Greg Autry is Clinical Professor Space Leadership, Policy and Business in the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. Greg currently serves as Chair of the Safety Working Group on the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. He is the Vice President for Space Development at the National Space Society. Greg served on the Agency Review Team for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2016 and was appointed as NASA’s White House Liaison in 2017. In 2020, Greg was nominated to serve as the Chief Financial Officer of NASA. 

Greg serves on the editorial boards of the New Space Journal and the Space Force Journal. He publishes prolifically on space related matters in mainstream outlets including Forbes, Foreign Policy and Space News. He is frequently cited or interviewed by leading new organizations including the BBC, CNN, NPR, the Wall Street Journal and LA Times. 

Greg has taught entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, the University of California at Irvine, and at International Space University’s Center of Space Entrepreneurship at the Florida Institute of Technology. Greg holds a BA in history from the California Polytechnic University at Pomona as well as an MBA and a PhD from the University of California at Irvine.