Teachers in Space is proud to have a great group of judges for this Spacesuit contest.

Jim Adams
Deputy Director of Technology at NASA
jim_adamsW. James (Jim) Adams is the Deputy Chief Technologist at NASA in the Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). The OCT is responsible for coordinating and tracking of all technology investments across the agency and advising the NASA Administrator on agency technology progress and priorities. Additionally, OCT fosters Technology Transfer, Prizes and Challenges as well as advocates for commercial space enterprise.

Prior to his current position, Adams served as the Deputy Director of the Planetary Science Division within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, overseeing the Discovery, New Frontiers, Lunar Science, and Mars programs. He was responsible for the development of several key technologies including Ion Propulsion, Radioisotope Power Systems and Pu-238 production strategies. Prior to this post, Adams served as the Project Manager for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, as well as a Space Station Freedom Systems Integration Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

Ed Vessel
Neuroscientist at New York University
ed_vesselDr. Edward Vessel is an internationally recognized expert on neuroaesthetics. His research combines brain imaging with behavioral and computational approaches to study how individuals are moved by, and get pleasure from, visual experiences. He has been invited to speak on his work to professional and lay audiences at numerous conferences and art museums across the U.S. and Europe, including the 2013 World Science Festival, and has been interviewed about his work and expertise for numerous radio, web, and print media stories. Recently Dr. Vessel completed a project for NASA exploring potential links between sensory stimulation and well-being during long-duration spaceflight. He is currently Co-Director of the ArtLab at New York University and a Research Scientist at the NYU Center for Brain Imaging. Dr. Vessel received his BA in cognitive science from The Johns Hopkins University and his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Southern California in 2004.

Gaia Brown
External Relations, Washington University
gaia_brownGaia Borgias Brown handles External Relations for the University of Washington William E. Boeing department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Ms. Brown helps companies access student talent and identify potential research partners in aerodynamics, propulsion, fusion, plasma, fluids, structures and controls. Her industry network includes commercial aircraft manufacturers, UAS companies, space entrepreneurs, government agencies, and international aerospace clusters. In addition to her work with UW, Ms. Brown also holds a business development position with the aerospace management and operations consultancy, Singularity Prime. She has a Bachelors of Science from the Art Institute of Portland.

Ari Maller
Professor, Columbia University New York CityTech
photo_soonProf. Maller’s is an astrophysicist at CUNY’s College of Technology in Brooklyn. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of galaxies. He pursues this through a variety of methods, running hydrodynamical simulations, working with analytic and semi-analytic models, and by analyzing observations in ways more suited for comparison with theoretical modeling . One of his primary interests is in understanding the gaseous halos of galaxies, which provide the fuel for future star formation. He is also active in studying dust in spiral galaxies, quasar absorption systems and their local analogs, how galaxies gain angular momentum and gravitational lensing by spiral galaxies.

Sidney Nakao Nakahodo
Lecturer, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University
Sidney Nakao Nakahodo is co-founder of NewSpace NYC, an organizasidney_nakahodotion devoted to promoting business opportunities in commercial spaceflight in the New York City area. He is a member of the Columbia University faculty, where he teaches economic and political development at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

Previously he was based in Washington DC and worked at the World Bank. He also served as senior researcher in major think tanks and consulted for the United Nations Development Programme. He started his career providing technical assistance for manufacturing companies in South America.

Lanette Oliver
Teachers in Space Pathfinder
lanetteLanette is currently the Executive Director and lead instructor for SPACE: Science, Physical, Academic, and Cultural Enrichment, a non-profit specializing in personalized and small group instruction. Just a few of Ms. Oliver’s recognitions include: Golden Apple Award winner, Texas Space Grant Scholarship winner, and one of four teachers selected by the Texas Space Grant Consortium to fly aboard a NASA microgravity flight in January, 2009. She has 25+ years’ experience in education and non-profits, including winning and implementing more than 3 million dollars in grants for innovative educational programming.

Jason Kring
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Professor of psychology and human factors
Dept of commercial space operations
Dr. Kring

Bobby Russell
Director at Quest for Stars

Amir Blachman
Principal at Space Angels Network
Amir BlachmanAmir Blachman has over 15 years experience in start-up management, operations, and finance, focusing on sourcing aerospace investment opportunities and growing early state companies.  He holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara.  Amir is an instrument-rated private pilot, a Representative of the FAA’s Safety Team and a volunteer with the Experimental Aircraft Association. He supports Space Angels Network by building and evaluating the start-up pipeline, cultivating relationships with angel investors, and building strategic partnerships.

Frank Todaro
Invisible World Radio Host
Frank TodaroFrank Todaro is host of the award winning science and paranormal based radio program “The Invisible World” regularly interviewing guests from various disciplines associated with space flight and theoretical physics. Frank has given lectures on various space related topics such as the New Horizons Probe at the 2014 Worlds Science Fair as well as appearing as a guest on The Science Channel’s Sci-Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible with Michio Kaku. Frank also acts as master of ceremonies to events such as “Yuri’s Night”, the annual party/symposium celebrating the first man in space and Space Frontier Foundation’s New Space gala. Through the show, he has covered a wide array of events that run the gamut from annual Maker Faire coverage to space launches. Frank Todaro is also a voice actor for animation and video games, giving a voice to characters such as Buzz Lightyear, The Invizimals. Frank is honored to assist with the selection process in this years TIS Space-walk challenge.