About Team

We are on a mission

We strive to support mission controllers, scientists, software developers, students, the national and international space communities, and citizens. Meet the Mission Control team members below.

Ewan Reid

Founder and CEO

Ewan is the Founder & CEO of Mission Control. Prior to founding Mission Control, Ewan was a subsystem design lead for the development of three rover prototypes for the CSA. He was a mission controller for ten of the last twelve Space Shuttle missions at Mission Control at NASA JSC and conducted numerous pre-mission launch pad tests at NASA KSC. He has also supported flight programs for ESA and JAXA. Ewan has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from Queen’s University, a Master’s degree in Technology Innovation Management at Carleton University and is an alumnus and adjunct faculty member at the International Space University. Ewan has published multiple opinion pieces on Canada’s role in space exploration in the Globe and Mail. Ewan is treasurer and serves on the board of directors for Space Canada. Ewan is committed to inspiring the next generation to always keep exploring.

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 Exploration Scientist

As Chief Exploration Scientist, 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 obtained 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.

Dr. Samara Pillay

Vice President, AI & Space Products

Samara is the Vice President of AI & Space Products at Mission Control and has a unique background spanning business strategy, analytics, physics and product innovation. Samara holds a PhD from the University of Oxford, and MSc degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. Outside of work, she enjoys running and hiking.

Yolanda Brown

Director Of People And Programs

Yolanda is the Director of People and 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

Project Manager

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.

Kaizad Raimalwala

Senior Manager, Business Development

Kaizad is the Senior Manager of Business Development at Mission Control. Kaizad leads our product and business development strategies to help solve some of 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, travelling, astro/landscape photography, hiking and climbing.

Adam Deslauriers

Space And Education Manager

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.

Luis Chavier

Principal Software Developer

Luis is a Principal Software Engineer 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.

Emily Harrington

Business Operations Manager

Emily joins Mission Control with 10 years of experience working behind the scenes supporting technology start-ups, helping small and medium-sized enterprises navigate government and industry partnerships, the early days of hiring, and everything in between. As the Manager of Business Operations, Emily will oversee the office management as we navigate the next phase of growth for Mission Control.

Candice Kinney

Communications Manager

Candice is the Communications Manager at Mission Control and brings 10+ years of experience in marketing and communications to the team. Prior to joining Mission Control, Candice has worked with various tech companies; helping them expand their overall message and reach new and existing markets through public relations, social media and other communication strategies. Away from work she enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors.

Dr. Matt Cross

Senior Systems Engineer

Matt is a Senior 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.

Alan Higginson

Senior Systems Engineer

Alan is a Senior Systems Engineer at Mission Control. He has spent the past 15+ years leading software teams for both operational software delivery and R&D efforts across various space-focused domains, but especially in the exploitation of Earth Observation datasets from space-based RADAR imaging missions. His past projects include the Department of National Defence Polar Epsilon and Polar Epsilon 2 projects for space-based Near Real-Time Ship Detection and AIS association, concept development and prototyping activities for the Canadian Space Agency in AI / Deep Learning for Earth Observation, and for deep-space healthcare using Augmented Reality. Alan holds a B.Eng (Computer Systems) from Carleton University and an ARCT in piano performance. He can often be found either building things with his children, fixing old vehicles or generally enjoying the great outdoors.

Dr. Andrew Macdonald

Senior Engineering Manager, AI & Autonomy

Andrew is a Senior Engineering Manager of AI & Autonomy 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.

Apeksha Budkhar

Software Engineer

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.

Hugo Burd

Software Engineer

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.

Mateusz Krainski

Senior Software Engineer

Mateusz is a Senior Software Engineer at Mission Control. Before Mission Control, Mateusz was working at Showmax as a Software Engineer and Data Engineer, specializing in Python as the Analytics Team Lead, focusing on maintaining the internal data architecture, and as a Solutions Architect designing new software solutions for the company. Before Showmax, Mateusz spent 2 years at the European Space Agency (ESA) where he was providing general support to the European Robotic Arm project and designing and developing a robotic test-bed for one of the cameras of ERA. In his spare time at ESA, Mateusz and his team developed GNSS Compare- a research framework for researching GNSS processing algorithms on mobile phones – which won ESA’s internal Galleo App Challenge and was awarded with the Living Lab prise in the 2018 edition of Galileo Masters.

During his B. Sc. and M. Sc. at the Gdanks University of Technology, Mateusz was leading the LEM Mars Rover and ZukBot projects – student robotics projects for designing a Mars rover platform and an agricultural robot platform respectively. LEM won 2nd place at the UKURC 2016 challenge and ZukBot moved on to win a prize in the 2017 edition of Galileo Masters. Outside of work, Mateusz likes to read books, travel and experience life to the fullest. His current hobbies include cooking, fashion and investing.

Becca Bonham-Carter

Embedded Software Engineer

Becca works at Mission Control as an Embedded Software Engineer. They design, implement and deploy machine learning algorithms and autonomous systems for spacecraft. 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. Becca has a degree in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University, specializing in Systems and Robotics, and a Masters degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia.

Matthew Pitropov

Intermediate Software Engineer

Matthew works as an intermediate software engineer at Mission Control. He recently completed his MASc degree in computer engineering at the University of Waterloo. His research focused on using deep learning to implement an efficient uncertainty estimation method for 3D object detection. Previously he was a research engineer working on software development and integration for a University of Waterloo self-driving car project (UW Moose). Outside of work, Matthew enjoys listening to audiobooks and gaming.

Tim Heydrich

Intermediate Software Engineer

Tim is an Intermediate Software Engineer at Mission Control. He recently completed his graduate studies in computer science at Lakehead University. His graduate research focused primarily on lightweight deep learning for monocular depth estimation. Tim previously worked at Radialis Medical providing software development support for medical imaging prototypes. Outside of work, Tim enjoys spending time with his golden retriever Lilly and his friends.

Chantelle Dubois

Software Engineer

Chantelle Dubois is a Software Engineer at Mission Control. Prior to joining Mission Control, Chantelle was a Robotics Engineer at the Canadian Space Agency supporting space exploration robotics projects including Canadarm3 and the LEAP Rover Mission, focusing on the software and computational elements of those missions. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba, and is currently a part-time Masters of Applied Science student at Concordia University in the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory. In 2017, Chantelle had the honour of being on a five person Final Selection Committee for the Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. In her free time, Chantelle reads, plays video games, and spends time with her partner and chihuahua.

Julia Enns

Intermediate Software Engineer

Julia is an Intermediate Software Engineer at Mission Control. She recently completed her degree in Software Engineering from the University of Calgary. During university, she completed a 16-month internship with Canadian UAVs where she worked closely with flight radars to develop an airspace monitoring system. She later helped design an application to detect the location of Mode A/C aircraft using trilateration for her capstone project. Outside of work, Julia likes to paint and play board games.

Thomas Farley

Software Engineer

Thomas is a Software Engineer at Mission Control. He has a history of working as a software developer with a focus on web application development for the cloud. Thomas has built multiple full stack web applications, such as blockchain-based software licensing solutions, and orchestrating software for migrating legacy Windows Server applications at scale. Thomas has two college diplomas, one from Algonquin college for web development, where he graduated with honours; and one for computer science from Heritage College. Throughout his career, he was also responsible for the creation and maintenance of many aspects of cloud infrastructure, requiring a solid understanding of networking and security principles. Outside of work, Thomas enjoys working on his own home network and home server deployments

Cosette Gilmour

Science Operations Specialist

Cosette is a Ph.D. Candidate (Earth and Space Science) at York University and is working part-time at Mission Control as a Science Operations Specialist. She received both her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in geology at the University of Alberta and specializes in the geology of airless bodies in our Solar System (i.e., the Moon, asteroids). Cosette attended the Vatican Observatory Summer School (2016) in Italy to learn in depth about water in the Solar System and was a 2019 Exploration Intern at the Lunar and Planetary Institute where she helped complete a geologic assessment of the Moon’s south pole to prepare for NASA’s Artemis mission. Cosette enjoys traveling, watching horrible natural disaster movies, and going for walks with her dog Molly.

Galen Oshea

Junior AI Specialist

Galen is a Junior AI Specialist at Mission Control. He is finishing his master’s in Computer Science and has also attained a bachelors in Cognitive Science and a bachelors in Computer Science at Carleton University. His graduate research focuses on utilizing SR-GANs for the problem of appearance-based gaze tracking. Past works include a dementia friendly e-reader for monitoring cognitive decline using biometric data, as well as a mobile app designed to gamify learning about intracellular activity. Outside of work, Galen enjoys travelling, golf, and his bengal Loki.

Jenn Schurer

Director Financial Operations

Jenn is the Director Financial Operations at Mission Control where she provides expertise on financial record keeping and government funding to support the success of Mission Controls’ strategic goals. Jenn has provided finance support for the last 17 years for a variety of industries including renewable energy development, SAAS projects, small business M&A advising, energy production and oil and gas exploration. Originally from Calgary, Jenn has called Ottawa home since 2018. Out of the office Jenn keeps busy with her young family. She enjoys spending time playing volleyball, biking, and reading and always has a paint by numbers project in progress at home.

Tony Jajcanin

Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op Student

Tony is a Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op Student at Mission Control. He will be entering his fourth year of Electrical Engineering at Queen’s University where he was a member of various design teams including the Queen’s Space Engineering Team, Queen’s Bio-mechatronics engineering team, and Queen’s Rocket Engineering Team. His interests include martial arts, playing basketball, and watching movies.

Riley Rogers

Software Engineering Student

Riley is a Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op student at Mission Control. He will be entering the last semester of his 4th year of Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University where he has served as the president of the Carleton Planetary Robotics Team (CPRT) and various other roles within the Carleton Student Engineering Society. Riley has previously developed 3-phase motor inverters for Tesla, and autonomous robotic control interfaces for Rheinmetall-Provectus. His interests include hockey, cooking, and hiking. 

Sharanjit Virdi

Robotics/Software Enginnering Co-op

Sharanjit is a Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op Student at Mission Control. She is a sixth-year Computer Engineering student, minoring in Computer Science at Simon Fraser University, with 2 years of work experience at Sierra Wireless, Deloitte, and most recently, at Space Alpha Insights as a Software Engineer where she worked with SAR-XL satellite technology. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing, her favorite genre being historical fiction.

Olivia Deng

Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op Student

Olivia is a Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op Student at Mission Control. She will be entering her fourth year of Electrical Engineering at Queen’s University where she has served as a consulting project manager for Queen’s Business and Engineering (QUBE) and various roles for the Queen’s AutoDrive design team. Olivia has previously built robotic chess arm software at AI Trillium Inc.. Her interests include hiking, visual and auditory arts, and podcasts.

Meghna Ravikumar

Robotics/Software Engineering Co-op

Meghna is a Software/Robotics Engineering Co-op Student at Mission Control. She is a entering her final year of Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her most recent co-op term was with Microsoft’s Windows Commercial team. As a space enthusiast, she contributes as a firmware engineer for a CubeSat mission and researcher for UofT’s Aerospace Team. She has developed courses for UofT’s Engineering Outreach program and serves as the Co-President of the UofT Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. In her free time, Meghna enjoys hiking, building Lego sets, and watching Formula 1.

Anne Wen

Advisor

Anne has been passionate about space and aerospace from a young age. Anne holds an Honors in Business from The Ivey School of Business at Western University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She began her career as management consultant, also has experience managing strategic partnerships and supplier networks. Anne was on the founding team of Mission Control where she led initiatives under strategy and business operations. She currently is the co-founder and COO of a supply chain software built for the aerospace and defense, Stell. She currently resides in San Francisco, California.

Dr. Karl Iagnemma

Advisor

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 Tovee

Advisor

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.

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