President and CEO
Prior to founding Mission Control, Ewan worked at a major Canadian space company as a systems designer and project manager. He has been a subsystem design lead on three rover prototypes for the Canadian Space Agency. Ewan was a systems and electrical designer and operations engineer on the Space Shuttle Program and was a mission controller for 10 of the last 12 Space Shuttle missions at NASA JSC. He also conducted numerous testing and verification activities at NASA KSC. Ewan has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from Queen’s University and a Master’s degree in Technology Innovation Management at Carleton University. In his spare time, he likes to read, write, and escape to the cabin.
Dr. Michele Faragalli
Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer at Mission Control, Michele leads all technology development activities and R&D initiatives. Michele has broad engineering leadership experience, having led interdisciplinary engineering projects from concept to production across military, aeronautical and space applications. Michele’s research expertise is in robotic and planetary mobility. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. When not spending time with his young family, you can find Mic in the Gatineau hills on a pair of skis or pedaling hard on his bicycle.
Dr. Melissa Battler
Chief Science Officer
As Chief Science Officer, Melissa guides technology development to meet the needs of scientists, and conducts mission operations research. As a planetary geologist, she has led more than 10 human and robotic mission simulations with CSA, NASA, Western University, and others in Moon and Mars analogue environments around the world. Melissa is an Adjunct Faculty member at both Western University and the International Space University. She attained her Ph.D. (Planetary Geology) from Western University, and holds a diploma in University Teaching and a M.Sc. (Geology) from the University of New Brunswick. In her spare time, Mel likes to hike, canoe, do yoga, and spend time with her family.
Director of Programs
Yolanda is the Director of Programs at Mission Control where she provides the programmatic execution expertise to support the success of Mission Controls’ strategic goals. She has over 20 years of experiences in the space industry and has been involved with projects through all phases, from pre-phase 0 studies through design and development to commissioning and on-orbit operations. Previous programs include RapidEye, an optical Earth Observation 5-satellite constellation, Sapphire, a space surveillance small satellite and as well as numerous projects using AI / ML to improve performance and reduce operator loading. Yolanda holds a BEng (Aerospace) from Carleton University and has been a certified PMP member since 2015. Away from work she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and baking (particularly cupcakes), and travelling.
Vinita Marwaha Madill
Vinita Marwaha Madill is a Project Manager at Mission Control, and brings her background as a space operations engineer and Founder of Rocket Women, a STEM advocacy platform. Previously, Vinita has worked as a European Space Agency (ESA) contractor focused on human spaceflight operations for future projects, including the European Robotic Arm. At ESA’s European Astronaut Centre, Vinita helped design the SkinSuit and conducted a study on future spacesuit design and operations for lunar exploration. Vinita studied Mathematics and Physics with Astrophysics at King’s College London and went on to gain master’s degrees in Space Management from the International Space University (ISU) and in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University, UK.
Manager – Product and Business Development
Kaizad is Manager of Product and Business Development at Mission Control. Kaizad leads our product and business development strategies to help solve some of the our partners and customers’ challenges in spaceflight mission development and operations. He brings a background in robotics and space industry knowledge to help shape how our computing technologies and web-based user interfaces can improve the user experience of developers, planetary scientists, and operators of missions in space and on Earth. Kaizad has a B.Sc. and M.A.Sc. in aerospace engineering at Purdue University and the University of Toronto respectively. Kaizad’s past experience includes leadership positions at Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, an international student-run space advocacy movement. Outside Mission Control HQ, Kaizad enjoys cooking, traveling, astro/landscape photography, hiking and climbing.
Manager – Space and Education
Adam is Mission Control’s Manager of Space and Education, developing project management structures and programmatic review of space projects and overseeing operations for our Mission Control Academy program. In the past, Adam has managed several CSA and ESA concept studies, and worked on the STS-114 mission, leading a team of analysts at NASA Johnson Space Center for maiden flight of LCS for on-orbit damage detection. Adam graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics from the University of Waterloo.
Lead Software Engineer
Evan is the Lead Software Engineer at Mission Control, working to design and implement reliable real-time distributed software systems, and high-performance algorithms in deep learning and image processing. Evan leads all software infrastructure for Mission Control’s projects and deployments. Prior to working at Mission Control, Evan lead a team on Carleton’s Satellite Design Project, designing and implementing the guidance and navigation solution for the CuSAT-1 3U cubesat. Evan graduated with a Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering (Space Systems Design) at Carleton University.
Senior Software Developer
Luis is a Senior Software Developer at Mission Control. He brings many years of broad industry experience, ranging from embedded real-time software to distributed server-side software. Luis led the development of a pioneering agricultural UAV, co-founded a company focused on modular embedded systems and helped build and scale a product at a software startup all the way to acquisition. His academic background is in Computer Science, with a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. from the University of São Paulo. In his spare time, Luis likes to spend time with his loved ones and learn about life, the universe and everything.
Dr. Matt Cross
Matt is a Systems Engineer at Mission Control. He attained his Ph.D. from Western University, along with bachelors and masters degrees in aerospace engineering at Carleton University. His past academic projects and collaborations include the Barefoot Rover project with JPL, the Kapvik rover protype at Carleton, analogue mission campaigns, and managing the Ukpik-1 CubeSat project at Western. Matt has worked at ESA as a systems engineer and project coordinator. Matt enjoys spending time in the kitchen.
Dr. Andrew Macdonald
Andrew is an AI Specialist at Mission Control where he advances artificial intelligence technologies and products. With a background in aerospace and nanotechnology his expertise spans anomaly detection, imaging spectroscopy, and remote sensing data analysis. Andrew holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia (Physics) and a BSc from the University of Waterloo (Mathematical Physics). On weekends you can find him hiking, canoeing, or in a tent with a paperback and his husky-shepherd Max.
Apeksha is a Software Engineer at Mission Control. She studied Aerospace Electronics and Systems at Carleton University. In the past, Apeksha was involved in Carleton’s Rocket Design and UAV Design Teams, and team lead for Carleton’s UGV Team. She was previously a co-op student at Provectus Robotics, getting a lot of hands-on experience with robotics. Outside of work, she likes to read and draw.
Michael works as a software developer at Mission Control. Previously he had completed five co-op terms at Mission Control since the Summer of 2017. He studied Aerospace Electronics and Systems at Carleton University and has been instrumental in developing our flight and ground software technologies. Michael has served as Systems Team Lead for the Carleton Off-Planet Specialized Mining Team, and also led the Payload Systems team on Carleton’s Blackbird UAV project. Outside of work, Michael enjoys reading and knitting.
Hugo is a Software Engineer at Mission Control. He recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Computer Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. For his capstone project, he helped design an infrared horizon detection system for attitude determination on LEO satellites. Previously, Hugo worked in game development at Blackbird Interactive and on machine vision cameras at FLIR Systems. Outside of work, Hugo enjoys making music with his collection of synthesizers.
Veronica is a MASc Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies, and is currently working part-time at Mission Control on science communications and public engagement. She received her BSc in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. She was also a Fall 2018 co-op student at Mission Control, contributing to the development of machine learning algorithms for planetary exploration applications, and has previous work experience at the Canadian Space Agency and MDA. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in code, Veronica enjoys spending time outdoors while hiking, camping and gazing at the stars.
Manager – Business Operations
As Manager of Business Operations and Communications, and founding team member of Mission Control, Anne works part time to drive strategic communications and assist with business ops for the company. Anne has a management consultant background with experience in managing partnerships, performing market analysis, operations and change management in organizations. Before this, she graduated with an HBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University and is currently a full-time MBA student at the Harvard Business School. Outside of work, Anne likes to make pottery, hike, stargaze, and travel.
Robotics and Machine Learning Specialist
Becca works part-time at Mission Control as a Robotics Engineering Intern. She contributes to design and implement machine learning algorithms for planetary exploration applications. Prior to joining Mission Control, Becca worked doing research on control theory at Queen’s University, and on modeling networks in the human brain at Inria in France. Her past experiences include being involved with organizing the Queen’s Space Conference and taking part in the Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-RGX). Becca has a degree in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University, specializing in Systems and Robotics.
Dr. Jen Newman
Science Operations Intern
Jen is a Postdoctoral Mitacs Intern at Mission Control and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Winnipeg who is working on mission operation concepts. Jen has a Ph.D. (Geology & Planetary Science) from Western University and a M.Sc. (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) and B.Sc. (Environmental Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences) from the University of Alberta. While at Western, Jen was part of three analogue rover missions with the CSA. In her spare time, Jen likes to watch hockey, stargaze, and cook.
Science Operations Intern
Cosette is a Ph.D. Candidate in Earth and Space Sciences at York University and is a Mitacs intern at Mission Control assisting with the I-SPI mission. She is a planetary geologist who studies the chemical and physical properties of airless bodies. She received both her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in geology at the University of Alberta. Cosette has interned at the Lunar and Planetary Institute where she helped complete a geologic assessment of the Moon’s south pole to identify potential extra-vehicular activity targets for NASA’s Artemis mission. Cosette enjoys going for walks with her dog, Molly, and playing board games with friends.
Robotics Engineering Co-op
Andrew is a Robotics Software Engineering Co-op Student at Mission Control. He is in his 4th year of Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta and has 4 years of experience developing open source software for small satellites and satellite ground segments through his role as software-lead of the AlbertaSat cubesat project. Andrew also has work experience at Intuit and Nokia. As a former competitive rock climber, Andrew frequents the climbing gym, or preferably the Rocky Mountains.
Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op
Swapneeth is a Software and Robotics Engineering co-op at Mission Control and is a third year Computer Science student at Carleton University. He has previously worked at Tehama, Ottawa-based start-up enabling remote workforces, and also has experience building software for school clubs and non-profits. In his spare time, he likes to build personal software projects, take up analogue photography, and spin sprockets while biking around Ottawa.
Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op
Avinash is a Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op Student at Mission Control. He is a fourth-year computer engineering student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland with previous co-op experiences at Nokia Ottawa and other software companies in Newfoundland. He is also part of Memorial University’s CubeSat project Killick-1, designing and developing the mission control subsystem. He likes to contribute to open-source projects, watch motorsports, and play guitar in his free time.
Robotics Engineering Co-op
Ryan is a third-year Software Engineering student at the University of Waterloo, working as a Robotics Engineering Co-op at Mission Control. He has previous software development experience at Uber and Wish. Ryan has also been involved with the Midnight Sun Solar Car Team at the University of Waterloo as firmware lead, designing and implementing the software and firmware systems for a custom solar vehicle. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys reading and competitive programming
Jean Paul Carnicer
Senior Systems Engineer
Jean Paul Carnicer is an experienced spacecraft systems engineer and project manager with a solid international track record of delivering outstanding consulting services in the space industry around the world.
Mr. Carnicer has received his MBA with the Norwich class of 2010 and his MSc. in Aerospace Engineering in 2001 from the National University of Cordoba, Argentina.
In his 20 years of experience in the space industry, Mr. Carnicer has significantly contributed to the success of more than 34 satellite programs and launches. His experience spans from satellite programs using small LEO spacecrafts for earth observation, to telecommunication programs using massive six-ton GEO spacecrafts. By conducting systems engineering for numerous satellites and launch services, he has gained experience working with most manufacturers, suppliers and launch vehicle companies around the world.
Mr. Carnicer has also worked as a lead spacecraft thermal engineer, providing thermal design, analysis and testing for over 10 space projects.
Mr. Carnicer has also supported investors, by performing commercial due-diligence in several deals involving satellites.
Mission & Systems Specialist
Ryan is Mission Control’s Mission & Systems Specialist. A professional engineer with over 10 years of experience, Ryan has worked on design, development, procurement and operations for projects including PCW, Anik F2, Anik G1, Nimiq 6, Urthecast’s OptiSAR constellation, and Telesat’s LEO Vantage constellation, to name a few. Ryan is an active member of local space and engineering communities, founding the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Space Society (CSS) and becoming Vice President of CSS in 2017. He also founded QShift Inc. a federal corporation providing space and satcom systems consulting services. Ryan has an M.A.Sc in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University, and undergraduate degrees in Computing Technology and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Michaela Musilova
Senior Research Advisor
As Mission Control’s Senior Research Advisor, Michaela focuses on developing international research collaborations and supporting education and outreach activities. She has worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of London Observatory and was an analogue astronaut at the Mars Desert Research Station (USA) in 2014 & 2017. Michaela holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK) and is currently the Chair of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA).
Communications & Components Specialist
In his role at Mission Control, Simon supports programs to deliver space ready components from chip to product, commercializing and developing technology related to space applications. Simon has worked as a Business Unit director for Versawave Technologies, directing R&D activities into commercialization while managing engineering, sales, operations and marketing. Simon worked as an independent consultant in the same capacity after his time as Director of Operations, Manufacturing, IT & Facilities at OneChip Photonics Inc., and at Bookham Inc. (formerly Nortel). Simon holds a M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering from Clifton College and previously served on the British Army Air Corps and as a UN Peacekeeper.
Dr. Karl Iagnemma
Karl is an authority on robotics and autonomous vehicles whose opinion and commentary has been published and broadcast worldwide on Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC, and many other media outlets. As former director of the Robotic Mobility Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his research resulted in more than 150 technical publications, 50 issued or filed patents, and numerous edited volumes, including books on the DARPA Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge autonomous vehicle competitions. Karl was named one of 2017’s “Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs and designated a member of the 2017 “Recode 100” list of technology influencers.
Karl holds MS and PhD degrees from MIT, where he was a National Science Foundation fellow, and a BS from the University of Michigan, where he graduated first in his class. Karl is also an award-winning author of fiction whose novels and short stories have been translated into seven languages. Karl is CEO of Motional, the autonomous driving joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv PLC. He has collaborated with Mission Control on multiple projects including the development of our Autonomous Soil Assessment System.
Christine completed a BASc in Engineering Science-Aerospace from the University of Toronto and Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the MIT.
Christine has noteably worked with BAE, EADS Astrium Services, and was appointed Vice President for Research and Technology and Chief Technology Officer for the US arm of Airbus Group, Inc. At Airbus, Christine helped determine the technology needs of all business lines in the US and for delivered US-based research for the entire company.
Christine now focuses on organisational topics related to innovation and engineering. Through her company, CATx Technology, she also as a consultant to Toronto area technology start-ups on technology road mapping, strategy and organisational design. Christine is a member of Canada’s Space Advisory Board, which provides advice on Canada’s space strategy to the Minister for Industry, Science and Economic Development. She also sits on the Department of National Defence (DND) Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition and is a mentor for the Space stream at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School Creative Destruction Lab.