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Key Note Speakers


June 10


Clayton P. Turner

NASA Langley Director

Opening Session


    Clayton Turner is the Director of NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. He leads a diverse group of civil servant and contractor scientists, researchers, engineers and support staff, who work to make revolutionary improvements to aviation, expand understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, develop new technologies for space exploration, and contribute to NASA’s broader exploration mission.
    Mr. Turner has served the agency for more than 30 years. He has held several roles at NASA Langley, including systems engineer, Chief Engineer, Engineering Director, Associate Center Director, and Deputy Center Director.
    After graduation from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1990, Turner began his career with NASA serving as a design engineer with the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment project, where he spearheaded development of the laser aligning, bore-sight limit system.
    Mr. Turner has received many prestigious awards such as the Presidential Rank Award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, the Paul F. Holloway Non-Aerospace Technology Transfer Award, and RIT’s College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni award. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and he is also a member of the RIT Board of Trustees.


June 10

Dr. Kurt Vogel

Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate

Opening Session

    Dr. Kurt “Spuds” Vogel is the associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, a position he has served since Jan. 16, 2024. In this role, he oversees executive leadership, strategic planning, and management of all technology maturation and demonstration programs executed under the directorate’s $1.2 billion budget.

    Before leading STMD, Vogel served as director of space architectures within the Office of the Administrator. Arriving at NASA in July 2021, he led multiple space architecture efforts, including the development of the Moon to Mars Strategy and Objectives, forming the agency’s ⁠blueprint for long-term, human-led scientific discovery in deep space. He also served as chair of NASA’s Agency Cross-Directorate Federated Board, whose purpose is to ensure NASA’s focus is integrated with common strategic goals and direction across the agency’s mission directorates.   

    Vogel has more than 34 years of U.S. government service, primarily in the Defense Department, as a technical leader, senior program manager, and chief technologist.

    Prior to joining NASA, Vogel served six years at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), leading innovative research across a portfolio of classified, state-of-the-art, high-risk programs spanning multiple DARPA offices.

From 2008 until 2015, Vogel led research and development at the Air Force Research Lab’s Systems Technology Office, where he directed a Defense Department science and technology portfolio. He also served as the acting chief technologist for the National Reconnaissance Office’s Survivability Assurance Office.

    Vogel retired from active duty in 2010 after serving in the air and space domains during a 21-year career as an officer in the United States Air Force. During his service, he led the USAF Red Team and served as chief technology officer for the Next Generation Bomber program. Vogel also is an Air Force Test Pilot School graduate, having flown over 40 different aircraft as a flight test engineer and civilian pilot.

    He holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy. He is a member of the national engineering and aerospace engineering honor societies.


June 10


Dr. Lori S. Glaze

Director, NASA’s Planetary Science Division - NASA Headquarters

Opening Session

    Dr. Lori Glaze is the Director of NASA's Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division. Planetary Science is focused on space flight missions and scientific research that address fundamental questions of solar system formation and evolution, including understanding planetary environments that can (or could have in the past) support life.

    Before coming to NASA Headquarters, Dr. Glaze served as the chief of the Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and as the Deputy Director of Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division.

    Her research interests include physical processes in terrestrial and planetary volcanology, atmospheric transport and diffusion processes, and geologic mass movements. Her work focuses on data analysis and theoretical modeling of surface processes on all the terrestrial solar system bodies, particularly the Earth, Venus, Mars, the Moon, and Io. She develops statistical, analytical, and data management methods in support of physical process modeling and develops applications of diverse sets of terrestrial and planetary remote sensing data.

    Dr. Glaze was a member of the Inner Planets Panel for the 2013–2022 Decadal Survey (Visions and Voyages) and had a role on the Executive Committee of NASA's Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) for several years, serving as the group's Chair from 2013–2017. Dr. Glaze was a member of the Planetary Science Subcommittee from 2011 to 2013.

    She has been involved with many NASA-sponsored Venus mission concept formulation studies, including as a member of the Venus Flagship Science and Technology Definition Team (2009), as Science Champion for the Venus Mobile Explorer (2010), and Co-Science Champion for the Venus Intrepid Tessera Lander (2010). Until her move to Headquarters, she also was the Principal Investigator of the Deep Atmosphere Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI).

    Dr. Glaze was born in Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas, Arlington with a B.A. and M.S. in Physics. She received a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. She has also previously worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at Proxemy Research, as Vice President and Senior Research Scientist.

Dr. James B. Garvin

GSFC Chief Scientist, PI for DAVINCI, NASA GSFC

Venus Session

    The DAVINCI PI Jim Garvin (with two DPI’s: Stephanie Getty and Giada Arney) is a planetary geoscientist who has worked at NASA for 40 years, dreaming of a return to Venus’ atmosphere and surface since the late 1980s. His expertise includes the interface between quantitative geomorphology, sedimentology, and rock chemistry, as it relates to surface processes on rocky planets. He is thrilled to be PI of the DAVINCI “probe” mission to Venus, scheduled to launch in 2029, arriving for its in situ measurement campaign in the atmosphere in late June 2031. 

    Previously he has served on Sally Ride’s post CHallenger Committee, Chaired the NASA Administrator’s Decadal Planning Team, helped development of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program as its chief scientist, observed the Earth via a Shuttle based laser altimeter, used HST to observe the Moon in the UV, and was the first American to visit the Zhamanshin NEO impact site in Kazakhstan (a 300,000 megaton impact about 870,000 yrs ago). 

    He is passionate about returning to Venus with the entire DAVINCI team, awaiting discoveries that will serve the planetary sciences community and extend to understanding of Exo-planets like Venus. Garvin is excited about discovering Venus on Earth as the DAVINCI team work with colleagues at Lockheed Martin, NASA Langley, NASA JPL, Malin Space Science Systems, JHU APL, NASA ARC, University of MIchigan, Kinetx, and many others to reopen the Venus frontier.

Masaki Fujimoto

Deputy Director General of ISAS/JAXA

MMX is the first step of JAXA’s Mars Exploration

    Dr. Masaki Fujimoto is Deputy Director General of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA). He joined JAXA in 2006 as a Professor of the Department of Solar System Sciences. He joined Hayabusa2 sample return capsule recovery operation in Australia (December 2020) to support the activity under COVID-19. He is also one of the founders of the Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission, a mission under construction to return samples from Phobos, one of the Martian moons.

Caroline Mercer


AEDL Session


Erica Montbach


Science, Instruments, Experiments, and In-Situ Measurements Session

   Dr. Erica Montbach is the Manager of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s  Planetary Exploration Science Technology Office (PESTO) where she leads the team that develops the technology investment strategy for future planetary science missions, manages all pre-mission planetary science technology development, coordinates with other technology development programs, and infuses technology into planetary science.

   Prior to headquarters, Dr. Montbach developed solutions for a sustained presence on the Moon including enabling materials, equipment, and supplies that can withstand the harsh lunar dust along with generating fuel and other consumables from local resources, as part of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies. In addition, she worked in industry for 18 years.

Kathleen Mandt

Planetary Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

How Uranus and Neptune are Critical for Answering the Biggest Questions in Planetary Science

   KATHLEEN E. MANDT is a planetary scientist working in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Planetary Systems Laboratory. She previously served as the Chief Scientist for Exoplanets and as the Astrobiology Section Manager at the Johns Hopkins Applied Research Laboratory (APL). Kathy's research covers a broad range of topics including the origin and evolution of volatiles throughout the solar system and the role of dynamics, chemistry and atmospheric evolution in understanding this. Previously, Mandt was an adjoint professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a senior research scientist at Southwest Research Institute. She has served in several community and NASA mission leadership roles, including as the volatiles theme lead for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission and the project scientist for the LRO Lyman Alpha Mapping Project instrument. She previously served as a member of the steering committee of the Outer Planets Assessment Group as well as the Division for Planetary Science Professional Culture and Climate Subcommittee. She was project scientist for the Io Volcano Observer phase A study, the deputy project scientist for the Heliophysics Division-funded Interstellar Probe pre-decadal mission study, and is a science team member on the Europa Clipper Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding teams. She earned her Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering from the University of Texas, San Antonio. She previously served on the National Academies Astro2020 Decadal Survey Panel on Exoplanets, Astrobiology, and the Solar System and the Planetary Science Decadal Survey, Origins Worlds and Life, panel on Giant Planet Systems.

Takayuki Ishida

Research and Development Directorate


Titan & Airless Bodies Session

   Takayuki Ishida is in research and development division of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He joined JAXA in 2015 and has been part of SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) project in Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), developing navigation cameras and vision-based navigation algorithms. These played a key role in SLIM's landing on the moon in 2024, making it the world's first spacecraft to achieve a pinpoint landing on the lunar surface. He also contributes to the standardization of SpaceWire-R, a reliable data communication protocol for spacecraft. His research interest includes terrain relative navigation for planetary precision landing, onboard image processing, spacecraft autonomy, onboard data handling architecture.

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