In the morning of the PhD defense of Niels Vertegaal (Wednesday May 1st), a mini symposium will be organized in the Auditorium (TU/e campus) on aerospace. The symposium will be held between 10:00 and 12:30 in the Senaatzaal, Auditorium.

All the external members of the committee have agreed to give a talk on their work, company and/or research.

In random order, these are:


Title: the telecom of Europa Clipper.

Speaker: Melissa Soriano (NASA/JPL)


Melissa has a B.S. from Caltech, double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Business Economics and Management. She also has an M.S. in Computer Science from George Mason University. She was part of the Direct to Earth EDL tones team for Mars 2020 and Mars Science Laboratory. She is now a payload systems engineer in the Communications, Tracking, and Radar Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Melissa is the Telecom X-band systems engineer for Mars Sample Return Lander and the Telecom lead for the Europa Clipper flight system team.


 Title: About Blue Origin

Speaker: Hamid Pourshagaghi (Blue Origin)


Dr. Hamid received the MSc degree in control engineering (with honors) from Iran University of Science and Technology, in September 2007. In October 2013 he received his PhD in the Electronic Systems group at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research was focused on synthesis and implementation of adaptive energy-aware circuits and systems. From 2016 to 2020 he was the technical lead at the Radboud Radio Lab (RRL) of Radboud University Nijmegen, working on astronomical instrumentation programs. He was the project manager for the development of digital receiver system for Netherlands-Chinese Low Frequency Radio Explorer (NCLE) mission, which was successfully launched with the Chang’e 4 relay satellite to the Moon-Earth L2 point in May 2018.  He is currently Blue Moon MK-1 Lunar Lander Vehicle Integration Lead.


Title: About the rovers they are planning to put on the Moon, Lunar Zebro.

Speaker: Chris Verhoeven (TU Delft)

Bio: Ir. Dr. Chris Verhoeven is an associate professor in the Department of Microelectronics at the Delft University of Technology since 1999. His research interests are systematic analog design, RF circuits, adaptive radio systems, sensor electronics and avionics for drones, sounding rockets and nano-satellites. From 2007-2018 he was part-time working at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Space Systems Engineering lab. He was responsible for the design and implementation of electronics for the Delfi-C3 nano-satellite which was launched in 2008 was operational for over 15 years. He is one of the initiators of the national project OLFAR (Orbiting Low Frequency Array); a radio telescope based on a swarm of nano-satellites in moon orbit. Since 2013 Chris Verhoeven, together with Guido de Croon, leads the Swarm theme of the TU Delft Robotics Institute.


Title: the status to realizing an astrophysical lunar observatory for research towards the Dark Ages on the far side of the Moon.

Speaker: Marc Klein-Wolt (Radboud Radio Lab)

Bio: Dr. Marc Klein Wolt is the Managing Director and co-founder of the Radboud Radio Lab (RRL) of the Radboud University Nijmegen, and assistant professor at the department of Astrophysics. In addition, Dr. Klein Wolt is the Dept. PI of the radio astronomy payload (NCLE) for the Chinese Lunar Chang’e 4 mission, which is the Dutch contribution to the first ever landing on the Lunar farside and the only space-based radio observatory for low-frequency radio astronomical research, and coordinator of the ESA Topical Team for an Astronomical Lunar Observatory on the far side of the moon. Finally, together with Prof. Bentum, Dr. Klein Wolt is the director for the virtual Center for Astronomical Instrumentation (CAI), a collaboration between the Radboud University and TU/e.


You can register via:

If you have any questions, please contact Niels Vertegaal (!