SEDS-Canada and the Space Society of London present

Ascension 2016

Canada's National Space Conference for Students

March 5 - 6

University of Western Ontario, London, ON


Scroll down to see our speakers and agenda




Geoff Steeves


Professor, University of Victoria

Co-Chair, Space Humanities Dept.,

International Space University


Talk title: 

Calling All Astronauts: A Guide to Astronaut Recruitment in Canada


Peter Visscher


Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering,

Argo Vehicle, Space, and Robotics


Talk title: 

Canadian Lunar and Planetary Rover Development



Leif Bloomquist


Senior Software Systems Engineer,

MDA (Macdonald Dettwiler & Associates)


Talk title:

Canadian Technology and Innovation in Space and on Earth



James Slifierz


Co-Founder & CEO,

SkyWatch Space Applications

Talk title:

The Business of Space




Marianne Mader 

Managing Director, Centres for Earth & Space/Fossils & Evolution at the Royal Ontario Museum

Visiting Lecturer, International Space University


Talk title:

Millennial Engagement: 21st Century Science Outreach



Tyler Reyno


Founder & CEO,

Open Space Orbital Inc.


Talk title:

Developing a Canadian Smallsat Launcher


Tanya Harrison


Ph.D. Candidate in Geology,

University of Western Ontario

 Talk title:

Finding Your Path in Planetary Science



Adam Trumpour


DIY Rocketry Enthusiast

Talk title:

Do-It-Yourself Rocket Science: The Challenges of Rocket Propulsion R&D, And Why I Do It Anyway


Justin Trottier


Host and Executive Producer,

The Star Spot Radio Show and Podcast


 Talk title:

Why Space? Why Now? Why Us?




 Lawrence (Larry) Reeves *


President,Canadian Satellite Design Challenge Management Society


Talk title:

The Canadian Satellite Design Challenge: A Great University Space Experience




Josh Newman


Systems Engineer,

Canadensys Aerospace Corporation


Talk title:

Small Missions and Big Challenges for New Canadian Exploration



Marc Boucher 

Co-Founder & Executive Director, 

Canadian Space Commerce Association


Talk title:

An Introduction to the Canadian Space Commerce Association and the Canadian Space Economy 






Aaron Persad


Chief Science Officer, Astronauts for Hire


Ph.D. Fellow, Thermodynamics and Kinetics Laboratory, University of Toronto


Talk title:

Becoming a Commercial Scientist-Astronaut: Opportunities, Experiences, Unknowns


Brodie Houlette


Founder, Project Aurora


 Talk title:

Project Aurora - Space Accelerator Canada







Paul Graham 


CEO, Kepler Shipyards


CEO, Project Director, OpenLuna Foundation


Talk title:

The New Reality of Space Exploration, and How to Get Ready



Kayle Hansen


Outreach Coordinator,

The Planetary Society - London, ON









Chantelle Dubois *


Former Intern, Space Generation Advisory Council

Director of Business and Outreach,

University of Manitoba Space Applications and Technology Society



Marlene Conway Diels,

Director, Women in Aerospace,

 President & CEO, Envision Technologies


 Talk title:

Knowledge & Skills = Opportunities (Women in Aerospace)




Ross Lockwood *


Technology Working Group Lead, Astronauts4Hire


PhD, Condensed Matter Physics


Talk title:

Everyday Astronaut




* These speakers will not be present at the conference and will give their talks virtually.


Our two-day conference is packed with talks and opportunities for students to interact with peers and speakers. Competition finals will take place on Saturday so that the winners can be announced at our SEDS Saturday Social at the Fox and Fiddle.

Right after the close of Saturday's events and before the social event, Earth Sciences Adjunct Research Professor Dr. Livio Tornabene (a veteran HiRISE Science team member) will lead a tour of the new CPSX mission control facility for HiRISE. 

Sunday will include the Young Space Leaders Roundtable and elections for the 2016-2017 Board of Directors as students look to the future and get energized to flourish in the year ahead.

Visit our Venue page for more information on the CPSX tour and the SEDS Saturday Social.






8:00 Registration and Breakfast
9:00 Introduction and Welcome
9:15 Opening Keynote Geoff Steeves
10:00 Session - Training for Space + Panel Aaron Persad, Paul Graham, Ross Lockwood
11:00 Morning Break
11:15 Pre-lunch Keynote Tanya Harrison
12:00 Lunch
13:00  Post-lunch Keynote Leif Bloomquist
13:30 Sponsor Keynote Peter Visscher
14:00 Session - Space Technology Adam Trumpour, Josh Newman
14:45 Afternoon Break
15:00 Young Space Entrepreneurs Competition
16:15 Closing Keynote Marianne Mader
17:30 Tour of CPSX Mission Control for HiRISE
20:00 SEDS Saturday Social at the Fox and Fiddle


8:00 Registration
9:00 Opening Keynote James Slifierz
9:45 Session - Space Competitions and Entrepreneurship + Panel Brodie Houlette, Marc Boucher
10:45 Morning Break
11:00 Young Space Leaders Roundtable
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Post-lunch Keynote Tyler Reyno
13:45 Session - Opportunities for Students + Panel Kayle Hansen (TPS), Geoff Steeves (ISU), Larry Reeves (CSDC), Chantelle Dubois (SGAC), Marlene Conway Diels (WIA)
15:00 Afternoon Break
15:15 Closing Keynote
16:00 Closing Remarks
Elections for the 2016-2017 Board of Directors