Board of Advisors
Dr. Shawna Pandya
Dr. Shawna Pandya
BSc (Hons), MSc, MD,
CFPC, ESS (candidate),
Image Credits: Cooper and O'Hara Photography
Dr. Shawna Pandya is a citizen-scientist astronaut candidate with Projects PoSSUM & PHEnOM, physician, speaker, martial artist, and prime crew aquanaut with Project Poseidon. She holds degrees in in neuroscience (BSc Hons. Neuroscience, University of Alberta), space (MSc Space Studies, International Space University), entrepreneurship (Graduate Studies Program, Singularity University) and medicine (MD, University of Alberta), and is currently completing concurrent fellowships in Wilderness Medicine and Enhanced Surgical Skills. Astronauts4Hire, which ran its first iteration in Colorado in September 2017. Prior to this, in 2015, Dr. Pandya successfully completed Scientist-Astronaut Candidate training with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) and was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in zero-gravity. As part of Project PoSSUM, she also completed slow onset hypobaric hypoxia training, centrifuge studies, aerobatic flight, and emergency spacecraft egress and sea survival training. In 2016, Dr. Pandya was named to the prime crew for Project Poseidon, which aims to further ocean and space exploration, while simultaneously setting a world record for “most days spent under the sea” at 100 days. Most recently, Dr. Pandya was named to the Project PHEnOM (Physiology, Health and Environmental Observations in Microgravity) Citizen-Scientist Astronaut Corps. Also in 2016, Dr. Pandya was appointed as the Life Sciences Team Lead for Association of Spaceflight professionals (formerly Project PoSSUM’s EVA 101: Space and Wilderness MedicineMost recently, Dr. Pandya was appointed course instructor for payloads related to space medicine and life sciences. Dr. Pandya’s research interests center on resilience and performance in extreme environments, as well as reproduction in long-duration spaceflight. In her spare time, Dr. Pandya practices Taekwondo, Muay Thai and has undertaken to further her team’s experience and skills in developing research, technology), and kickboxing. She is currently working towards her private pilot’s license and holds her accelerated free fall solo skydiving and numerous SCUBA diving certifications.
You can follow Shawna online on Facebook at Dr. Shawna Pandya, on Twitter & Instagram @shawnapandya, and at shawnapandya.com.
exponential technologies advisor, global strategist & entrepreneur
Anitha Vadavatha is an exponential technologies advisor, global strategist, and an entrepreneur. She is the founder of d. Cent Labs, a global ecosystem to drive application of decentralized & Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, and to help frame rapidly evolving new architecture. She’s also an ExO Works consultant and had previously founded Misu Labs, a boutique idea and strategy lab. Her professional background includes over 15 years of Fortune 100 corporate, startup and management consulting experience in Financial Services, Technology & Non-Profit sectors in the US, India and other emerging markets. An alumna of Singularity University (SU), she frequently speaks on AI, blockchain & decentralization, smart cities, and exponential technologies. As an advisor and mentor at several incubators - including Singularity University Smart city accelerator, SU Ventures, California Life Sciences Institute, GSV labs, and Lifeboat Foundation - Anitha focuses on AI, Blockchain, Biotech & Healthcare companies. She is often invited to contribute at high-level gatherings at the UN General Assembly, MIT Media Labs Emerging Worlds, Geeks Without Frontiers, and HOPE Global. Besides, she is a Board of advisor at Dr. Kalpana Chawla-ISU Scholarship, founding team of STEM on Stage, a core member of REDX, and was the founding chairwoman of Young Leaders of WACA. Anitha has been named 'Top Ten Frontier Women', also in Blockchain & Digital Assets, in connection with ‘Decade of Women’ launched at the UN in partnership with Fifth Element Group, Thomson Reuters, Morningstar, and others; was nominated for Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 under 40; and was a recipient of 'Outstanding Leadership' award from the Young Leaders of World Affairs Council of Atlanta.
MEng in Aerospace Engineering, SHSSP, MSc (ISU)
Pilot & Entrepreneur
Vatsala Khetawat has garnered an extensive academic preparation and applied experience in Aerospace/Space/Aviation from United States, United Kingdom, France, Australia, and India in government, academia, and the private sector. She completed her first integrated Master of Engineering (MEng) in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom from 2008 to 2012. Concurrent to this program, she trained and successfully obtained her European JAA SEP Private Pilot Licence (PPL). Subsequently, she participated in a professional development program called the Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program (SHSSP) in Adelaide, Australia in 2013, followed by an internship at the Avionics Department at the Indian Space Research Organization. This internship helped her gain an understanding of various subsystems used in launch vehicles. Thereafter, she pursued her second Master of Science (MSc) in Space Studies from International Space University (ISU) in France from 2013 to 2015. As a part of this degree, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center in California for one year. At NASA, she was involved in technical partnerships/collaboration with various departments and also worked on mission design for small satellites. Moreover, she has a research-intensive background with 5 publications so far. Subsequent to her father’s untimely death, she decided to temporarily relocate to India in December 2015 to assist her mother in organizing her family business. She will now pursue the Technology Management Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara from September 2018.
Sonal Baberwal completed her Masters in Space Studies'18 at International Space University France. As a part of the curriculum during her Masters, she worked as a Research Scholar at Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory of NASA Ames Research Centre, California. She received the first prestigious Dr. Kalpana Chawla Scholarship for Space Studies Program'17 (SSP17, Ireland). She completed her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from India. Her area of interest is in Brain-Computer Interfacing, wearable devices, Electroencephalography (EEG), sleep research and deprivation.
Rushanka Pramod Amrutkar is a doctoral candidate at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (India) working on exploitation of satellite remote sensing for planetary applications. She completed her Master in Technology from the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (affiliated to the United Nations). She is a recipient of the Dr Kalpana Chawla Scholarship and Secure World Foundation Scholarship for the Space Studies Progam 2019 at the International Space University (ISU), France. She received two best paper awards from ICMARS 2012, ISG and ISRS 2013 symposium for outstanding research paper presentations. She has solo-authored three books and has more than 15 national and international research paper publications. Rushanka was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS) and is affiliated to numerous international scientific bodies like the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), European Astronomical Society (EAS), the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) and The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) that are engaged in space research and exploration. She also maintains an enthusiasm to bring about a change in the scenario for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The Sparrho Early Career Researcher Prize was awarded to her for her research contribution at the Women in Space 2019 conference and it was announced on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019. She has also been selected as one of the WomEng UK team members partnered with the Royal Aeronautical Society for planning and taking part in the Global Grand Challenges Student Collaboration Lab 2019 in London. Her journey from laboratory-based microscopic examinations (undergraduate studies) to space-borne satellite data interpretation and image processing (Master’s and PhD research) challenged her to discover a link between two different realms trying to complement each other and amalgamate with each other. Space technology is seeing exponential growth in satellite remote sensing applications and Rushanka would like to contribute her research expertise to gain sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits of space technology to the world.
First Dr. KC Scholar
Social Enterprise Advisor & Investor, & Documentary Filmmaker
Michael Potter is the founder of the Non-Profit Organization - Geeks Without Frontiers. Michael was Co-Chair of Entrepreneurship faculty of the inaugural class of the Singularity University. Potter is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute of Space Commerce and a member of the Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation. Formerly Michael was an international telecommunications analyst at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. Potter was also founding Vice Chairman of the founding Board of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA). He is a Director of Global Connect. His articles on high technology business and policy have been widely published. Michael received his MS degree from the London School of Economics and his BA from California State University at Sacramento, alumni of the Sacramento Semester Program, and a certificate in Space Studies from the International Space University. My passion is building value. Specialties: Michael Potter runs a small family, specialty advisory investment firm, Paradigm Ventures, focused on green, sustainable and high technology projects. Paradigm Ventures was a founding investor of Mary's Gone Crackers. Paradigm Ventures has served as a founding investor of encryption company ZyberSafe. Paradigm Ventures was a founding investor in the Danish communications provider Global Connect which was Ernst & Young, 2014: Entrepreneur of the Year & 2009: Entrepreneur of the Year - Denmark, The Best Telecommunications and Internet Company - Exchange 2007 and 2006. He is also a founder of the Ilan Ramon Scholarship and the Dr. Kalpana Chawla scholarship at the International Space University
Rushanka Pramod Amrutkar
Rushanka Pramod Amrutkar
PhD Research Scholar
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Chris Stott is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ManSat, the world’s largest commercial
provider of satellite spectrum.
Chris serves on several industries for profit, and not for profit boards, and as the
Chair Emeritus of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), the
largest professional association in the global space and satellite industry.
A graduate of the International Space University’s Master program, Chris also serves
on the University’s Board of Advisors and Faculty.
Nicole Stott has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans. In awe of what she has experienced from these very special vantage points, she has dedicated her life to sharing the beauty of Earth from space with others. She believes that sharing these orbital and inner space perspectives have the power to increase everyone’s appreciation of an obligation to care for our home planet and each other. A veteran NASA Astronaut, her experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days spent living and working in space on both the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle. She performed one spacewalk, was the first person to fly the robotic arm to capture the free-flying HTV cargo vehicle, was the last crew member to fly to and from their ISS mission on a Space Shuttle, and she was a member of the crew of the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133. A personal highlight of Nicole’s spaceflight was painting the first watercolor in space. Nicole is also a NASA Aquanaut, who in preparation for spaceflight and along with her NEEMO9 crew, lived and worked during an 18-day and longest saturation mission to date on the Aquarius undersea habitat. As an Artist, and now retired from NASA, Nicole combines her spaceflight experience and artwork to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges, to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art, and to promote the amazing work being done every day in space to improve lives right here on Earth.
"The Artistic Astronaut"
Artist ~ Astronaut ~ Earthling