Sustainability and Space Focus of Virtual Workshop Oct. 28

Florida Tech, ITB, Inc. Collaborate on Event, the First of Four ‘Technical Interchange Meetings’

MELBOURNE, FLA. — A virtual workshop on sustainability and space will be held Oct. 28, the first of a four-part series of meetings over the next year that will bring together students and faculty from the U.S. and abroad and members of the business and government sectors to discuss topics touching on the intersection of those two critical areas.

Formally called the Partnership for Global Sustainability (PGS) Technical Interchange Meeting, the inaugural event – it is free, with registration requested – will feature presentations and discussions via Zoom at The meeting runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Registration is available until Oct. 23 by visiting

PGS is “a global network of public and private organizations and individuals that works at the nexus between the space and aerospace sectors and terrestrial sustainability challenges,” according to the network.

Florida Tech and ITB, Inc., an Ohio-based engineering firm with operations in Merritt Island, have collaborated to present the workshops.

The event will begin with opening remarks from Carlos Caldas, president and CEO of ITB, Inc., and a welcome from Dan Kirk, dean of Florida Tech’s College of Engineering and Science. Wayne Monteith, the Federal Aviation Administration’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation, will then offer the keynote address starting at 10:20 a.m.

That will be followed at 10:45 a.m. by a panel discussion and a question-and-answer segment. The panel topic is “Sustainability Approaches in the Space Sector.” The panel will be moderated by Nathalie Meusy, head of communication projects and sustainability expert at the European Space Agency (ESA).

Participants include Kim Luu, sustainability administrator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab; Laurent Jauniaux, head of ESA headquarters and facility management; Denise Thaller, director, Environmental Management Division, NASA headquarters; and Florida Tech faculty members Andrew Palmer and Markus Wilde.

Tom Beaver, engagement manager at NetLander Inc., will present “Sustainability Approaches for Space Checkout and Launch Control Systems,” from 12:15-12:45 p.m. NetLander provides “subscription based consulting for​ IT and brain trust services to government and commercial clients,” according to the company.

The student poster section will follow, with Florida Tech students Samantha Pryor and Cynthia Montanez presenting. Pryor will discuss “Continuation of Plant Growth Studies in Martian Regolith Simulants,” and Montanez will discuss “Bioremediation of Mars Regolith Simulant.”

Three other PGS Technical Interchange Meetings are scheduled:

  • Jan. 27, 2021, on cybersecurity;
  • April 28, 2021, on safe space operations (range safety, flight safety, on-orbit safety);
  • July 28, 2021, on exploration and extraterrestrial impacts.

A concluding meeting, potentially in-person, has been tentatively set for late October 2021 at Florida Tech’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design. Additional details are being finalized.

For more information, visit

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