Arnaud de Jong – Chair of the Day
Arnaud de Jong has been Managing Director TNO Unit Industry since 1 October 2019. Prior to taking up his position as Managing Director TNO Unit Industry, Arnaud was Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands B.V., the largest space company in the Netherlands and a supplier of high-tech products and services for the international space market.
Arnaud has held several positions worldwide and has worked and lived in four countries since 1996. He started his career at Coopers and Lybrand. In 1999, he became a Senior Manager in the Mergers & Acquisitions department of Daimler Chrysler Aerospace HQ in Munich. After the merging of Daimler Chrysler, Matra and Construcciones Aeronáuticas into the global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation EADS (now Airbus), he held several positions within the Airbus organisation in Paris and Munich. In 2002, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the CEO of Airbus Defence and Security in Munich, Germany. In 2005, Arnaud joined the Military Air Systems business unit as Head of Strategy and Technology Management, which later included operational responsibility for all pilot training and flight operations.
Angelo Vermeulen is a space systems researcher, biologist, and artist. He works on bio-inspired concepts for interstellar exploration at Delft University of Technology, bringing together a diversity of disciplines. Since 2009 he has been collaborating with the European Space Agency’s MELiSSA program on biological life support. In 2013 he became the first crew commander of the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars simulation program in Hawai’i.
He co-founded SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Design), an international transdisciplinary collective of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists. Their goal is to reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. In 2019 SEADS launched its first art work to the International Space Station.
John Connolly is currently a member of NASA’s Artemis program, planning the return of astronaut explorers to the moon. His 33 year of NASA expertise includes lunar lander design, lunar surface systems, and human Mars mission planning. Connolly has held positions as NASA’s Lunar Surface Systems lead, Human Mars Study Team lead, and Chief Exploration Scientist.
Mr. Connolly’s NASA career has been devoted to defining future systems that will send human crews beyond Low Earth Orbit, return them to the moon, and lead them to Mars and beyond.
Didier Schmitt is coordinator for human and robotic exploration at ESA. From 2009 to 2018, Didier Schmitt was in the European Commission Space Policy Unit and before that, he was head of Life Sciences for human spaceflight at ESA-ESTEC, Associate Professor at the Toulouse medical school and the International Space University.
His academic work brought him to Cape Canaveral and Star City in Moscow for experiments on Shuttle-Spacelab and Mir station. Extreme environments are his passion, like a recent Antarctic inland logistics expedition or a space-habitat simulator.
Joost van Tooren
Joost joined ArianeGroup in 2015 and is currently responsible for business development of new Space Logistics Services within the Future Programmes directorate. He is setting up new services and capabilities for space transportation.
Before joining ArianeGroup, he worked at Airbus Defence and Space – Military Aircraft in Munich, Germany, where he was responsible for Flight Guidance for fighter aircraft and drones and later on for all Flight Critical Systems and Structures for drone programmes including the European MALE RPAS program preparation with Airbus, Dassault and Finmeccanica/Alenia.
Joost has an Aerospace Engineering Master of Science degree from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and is currently based in Paris.