Excellence in Space Seminar On Demand

Our Excellence in Space Seminar took place on April 20th, 2022 in Bristol (UK) and was an exclusive hybrid experience, as a part of our International Additive World series of events. The Seminar brought together (physically & virtually) individuals with different experience levels in Space Additive Manufacturing in order to share knowledge, insights, and also to explain the latest international trends. Due to huge success we decided to add this Seminar, Panel & Workshop “Connecting parts without screws & joints” here in On Demand version.

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Become inspired by the speakers from renown Space companies, while they discuss the complete additive manufacturing value chain such as design for additive manufacturing, materials, equipment, post processing all explained with real business cases. It is an excellent opportunity to learn from the AM experts from the Space industries sharing their real commercial business cases.

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Virtual Programme 

  • Workshop “Connecting parts without screws & joints”

  • Excellence in Space Seminar:

  • Dan Etenberg, CEO at LIA Aerospace “Additive manufacturing as leveraging technology for space propulsion systems”
  • Mike Curtis-Rouse, Head of Access to Space at Satellite Applications Catapult: “Commercial Space; The New Manufacturing Frontier”
  • Aaron Knoll, Head of the Imperial Plasma Propulsion Laboratory, Aeronautics Department at the Imperial College: "Innovative approaches to spacecraft micropropulsion"
  • Nigel Robinson, COO at the Digital Manufacturing Centre: “From the race track into space” 
  • Prof Andy Bushby, CTO of Ultima Forma: “Thin, continuous, metal structures by electroform manufacturing”
  • Thomas Rohr, ESA “The ESA Advanced Manufacturing Initiative as Innovation Driver for the European Space Community”
  • Key Note: R. G. Clinton, Jr., PhD, Associate Director Science and Technology Office, NASA MSFC, and Principal Investigator MMPACT Project: “Don’t Take It – Make It on the Moon: Manufacturing, Construction, and Outfitting on the Lunar Surface”


  • Panel “Out of this world real Space cases”

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Connecting parts without screws & joints

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Presenters Information

Dan Etenberg, CEO at LIA Aerospace 

  • Title: “Additive manufacturing as leveraging technology for space propulsion systems”
  • Abstract:LIA Aerospace is developing propulsion systems for spacecraft, launch vehicles, and landers for future interplanetary missions. The need for storable, green, and non-toxic propulsion systems is growing fast in the New Space ecosystem, and cost-effective technologies will soon become necessary for building future space infrastructure. LIA has already hot-fired 7 different rocket engines and qualified an entire vertically designed and integrated propulsion system that flew in a sounding rocket in 2021: Zonda 1.0. Currently developing 500N and 5KN propulsion systems for direct GEO insertion from GTO for companies aiming for IOSM and space comms. Cost-effective and short lead time products will reduce mission costs of reaching GEO by 50%.
  • Biography:

    Dan Etenberg, mechanical engineer, 36 years old. Passionate for space since youth, has built rocket engines since the age of 15, designed and built a model gas turbine at 18. Dan Etenberg worked on:
    - Space propulsion(ITBA-Satellogic, 2011)
    - Advanced thermodynamics(J.M. Pedroni SA, 2012) 
    - Industrial automation(Teclastar SA, 2013)
    In 2019 started full-time as CEO of LIA Aerospace and achieved important milestones in the aerospace industry.

Mike Curtis-Rouse, Head of Access to Space at Satellite Applications Catapult

  • Title: “Commercial Space; The New Manufacturing Frontier”
  • Abstract: The space race is over, the new frontier is commercial not science, and the focus isn’t Mars. The talk will explore the commericalisation of space, how the UK is in the vanguard of nations looking to exploit the resources for commercial gain, from new materials made in space to harvesting the power of sun to replace all energy sources on Earth.
  • Biography: Mike is Head of Access for Space for the Satellite Application Catapult. Mike leads a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, technologists, and analysts with mission heritage in spacecraft, launch and operations combined with expertise from automotive, manufacturing and the maritime sectors. The ambition is to ensure that the UK sits in the vanguard of this new era, being competitive in technologies including propulsion development and testing, In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing (IOSM), devolved operation centres, space situational awareness, and solar energy from space, He works with many launch vehicle companies across the world and is heavily involved in the UK’s launch and spaceport programme. In addition to his Catapult role, he is an advisor several space companies, an NED for Spacestore Ltd, and a CTO for two disruptive technology companies. Prior to Catapult, Mike worked for Reaction Engines Ltd, the European Space Agency, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and CERN.


Aaron Knoll, Head of the Imperial Plasma Propulsion Laboratory, Aeronautics Department at the Imperial College

  • Title: "Innovative approaches to spacecraft micropropulsion"
  • Abstract: This presentation will review current experimental activities within the Imperial Plasma Propulsion Laboratory (IPPL). One of the major themes within the research group is the use of water as a next generation propellant for spacecraft propulsion. Water has many appealing characteristics for both chemical and electric propulsion. For chemical propulsion, the combination of hydrogen + oxygen leads to a very high specific impulse greater than 300 s. Two specific chemical propulsion technologies will be discussed - the Iridium Catalysed Electrolysis (ICE) thruster, and a small CubeSat variant of the same technology called the ICE-Cube thruster. In each case, the manufacturing methods will be reviewed, including MEMS reactive ion etching, magnetron sputtering, EDM cutting, and diffusion bonding processes.
  • Biography: Aaron Knoll is head of the Imperial Plasma Propulsion Laboratory (IPPL) within the Aeronautics Department at Imperial College London. His research looks at alternative propellants for spacecraft electric propulsion, innovative MEMS based electrolysis micro-propulsion for CubeSats and SmallSats and hybrid electric + chemical propulsion architectures for future space exploration.

Nigel Robinson, COO at the Digital Manufacturing Centre 

  • Title: “From the race track into space” 
  • Abstract:
  • Biography: Nigel is Chief Operating Officer of the Digital Manufacturing Centre, a high-quality additive manufacturing production facility based on engineering enablement.
    Nigel has gone on to work in a variety of engineering companies across the world supplying to various sectors including Marine, Rail, Defence, Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Medical and Motorsport. Nigel has been involved in additive manufacturing since 2014. In 2020, Nigel joined Kieron Salter’s KWSP team to become the COO of the Digital Manufacturing Centre. The Digital Manufacturing Centre at Silverstone, the state of the art Additive and Digital Technologies facility end to end production centre.

Prof Andy Bushby, CTO - Ultima Forma

  • Title: Thin, continuous, metal structures by electroform manufacturing
  • Abstract: Electroforming is an additive manufacturing process, depositing metal from an electrolytic solution to create a free-standing structure (typically onto tools or removeable mandrels). Thin, continuous, complex shaped metal parts can be manufactured with high surface finish and without size constrains or internal flaws. Metal parts can be joined to other metal components, (including aluminium and titanium) and to other materials (e.g. composites) to form hybrid structures. Applications are in gas permeability barriers, wave guides, heat management, mirrors, light-weight and hybrid structures. Ultima Forma is an ESA BIC company with existing relations with Airbus Space and Defense, Oxford Space Systems, Rolls Royce and a range of space-relate supply chain companies.
  • Biography: Andy Bushby is CTO at Ultima Forma and a professor of materials science at Queen Mary University of London. His expertise is in the micro-mechanical properties of materials which led to the formation of Ultima Forma. Andy’s research has led to greater understanding of how to make high strength, light-weight metallic structures. As CTO he supports Ultima Forma's R&D strategy, customer relationships and provides technical project oversight.


Thomas Rohr, ESA
  • Title: “The ESA Advanced Manufacturing Initiative as Innovation Driver for the European Space Community”
  • Abstract: 
  • Biography: Thomas Rohr joined the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2003, at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. During the initial years his responsibilities covered expert support for the selection of materials and processes for space applications as well as testing and assessment of durability of materials for in-orbit performance. After the European REACH regulation entered into force in 2007, his focus shifted gradually to obsolescence management of materials and processes until the occupation of the position as REACH officer in 2013. The main goal was the establishment of an early warning system as well as management of corrective actions together with European space industry and national space agencies to prevent future supply chain disruptions through obsolescence of materials and processes. In 2018 he became Head of the Materials and Processes Section, with has the primary objective to ensure that materials and manufacturing processes used to assemble a spacecrafts or launchers are fit for purpose over the life of the mission. In this function he is also responsible for implementation of technology development activities such as advanced materials and manufacturing technologies enabling future space missions.

Key Note: R. G. Clinton, Jr., PhD, Associate Director Science and Technology Office, NASA MSFC, and Principal Investigator MMPACT Project

  • Title: “Don’t Take It – Make It on the Moon: Manufacturing, Construction, and Outfitting on the Lunar Surface”
  • Abstract: NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is supporting the development of technologies that drive exploration in four thrust areas: GO, LAND, LIVE, and EXPLORE. Within this construct, for the LIVE thrust area, STMD has formed the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII). The LSII aims to spur the creation of novel technologies needed for lunar surface exploration and to accelerate the technology readiness of key systems and components. The primary focal areas of LSII are: sustainable power; dust mitigation; in-situ resource utilization (ISRU); surface excavation, construction, and outfitting; and extreme access/extreme environments. A key focal area for the EXPLORE thrust area is Advanced Manufacturing.
    To enable a sustainable presence for exploration of the Moon, it is envisioned that significant infrastructure will be constructed on the lunar surface. This infrastructure will include landing pads, roads, blast shields, habitats, and shelters for protection of astronauts and equipment from the lunar environment. In addition, facilities for processing regolith to produce consumables such as water, oxygen, and rocket propellant will be required, as well as capabilities for beneficiation of regolith to extract multiple materials that can be used for construction and manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing technologies will also be needed for the fabrication of spare parts and tools, recycling of materials and components for manufacturing feedstock, sterilization processes for food and medical grade feedstock, and printed electronics. Outfitting is another area that will require advanced manufacturing and utilization of the materials found on the lunar surface. All of these technologies are heavily materials, processing and manufacturing driven.
    The presentation will provide a brief overview of the STMD initiatives in lunar construction materials and processes, advanced additive manufacturing technologies for in-space and extraterrestrial surface applications and outfitting for lunar surface structures.
  • Biography: Dr. Raymond G. "Corky" Clinton Jr. is Associate Director of the Science & Technology Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. He joined MSFC in 1984 as an aerospace materials engineer in the Materials and Processes Laboratory. He has served in a broad variety of leadership positions in the Engineering Directorate, Science Directorate, and the Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate. Dr. Clinton was selected to lead NASA's investigation into foam loss during liftoff of the Return To Flight mission of space shuttle Discovery on STS-114 in July 2005. The findings and recommendations of the investigation led to several significant design and safety improvements to the space shuttle's External Tank. He has long championed the development of in space manufacturing and additive construction for extraterrestrial infrastructure, starting with MSFC’s first 3D printing reduced gravity flight experiment in 1999. He is the Principal Investigator for NASA’s Moon-to-Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction technology (MMPACT) project. Dr. Clinton earned his bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the recipient of numerous NASA and industry awards, including AIAA Fellow, Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives, and NASA's Distinguished Service Medal.

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