top of page


Those who made it happen!

Dominique Tilmans

The Chair of YouSpace  

After a career of 27 years in politics marked by an active involvement in the Space sector through chairing the ‘Space group Senate’ and leading the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC),  I launched Youspace in 2014 in order to link Students to Belgian Space experts. I am currently the Chair of EURISY, Board Member of Vitrociset Belgium and Member of the Advisory Board of ESPI.

Sabri Mekaoui

Project officer at European Commission Research Executive Agency. He is in charge of the evaluation and the technical implementation of Space projects funded by the European Commission. His project portfolio includes Earth observation technologies (satellites and instrumentation), marine and air quality observation EO systems as well as scientific instrumentation for Lunar exploration.
Sabri holds a PhD of Engineering from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a master of space science and techniques from the University of Liège.

Linda Kimeisa

Linda  is a digital communication manager at WIT Berry (Latvia) Linda has more than 10 years of experience. Author of the book "Web content that sells".

For last few years Linda has participated in different international space projects. 


Olivier Chazot

Olivier Chazot, PhD in Applied Science at Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG 1997), ESA Post-doctoral fellow (1998-2000), started in 2000 as assistant professor at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI). He is presently professor and Head of the Aeronautics and Aerospace department at VKI. His research activities are carried out in high enthalpy facilities and plasma wind tunnels for aerospace ground testing. He specifically studies laminar to turbulent transition in hypersonic regime and Gas-Surface interactions on TPS for re-entry flows. He also participates in ESA missions for the development of flight-testing experiments on EXPERT probe, IXV program and QARMAN re-entry CubeSat.

Geraldine Mariën

Geraldine has been in the Space Sector for +15 years with studies in Astronomy and Aerospace Engineering, research in astronomical instrumentation and now working as an Operations Engineer for the International Space Station. In parallel, she has intensely been active in educational and outreach activities all over the world, developing expertise in communication, education and coordination. She loves sharing her passion to the greater public and younger ones, spark that curiosity in them to explore, discover and grow their knowledge and make them realise how big a part Space plays in our everyday life.


Natacha Callens

Natacha Callens graduated with a PhD in Physics awarded by the Université Pierre et Marie Curie and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She works for the ESA Education Office since 2009. After developing and coordinating for several years some ESA hands-on programmes, including the Fly, Drop and Spin Your Thesis! programmes, she is now in charge of the ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Programme. 

Sven Geuns

Sven holds a Bachelor in marine engineering. After sailing the world for 6 years, he changed course. Obtaining a Master of science in Electronics-ICT, he is now working for 2 years as a software engineer. Now working on embedded appliances. He is a science and space enthusiast.


Frank Preud'homme

Frank hold a Master in engineering and is active in space since 27 years. Experienced in space project management and holding several management functions at QinetiQ Space before, currently he is a member of the board and Sales and Business Development Director at Qinetiq Space with additional responsibilities for external communications and relations and strategy.

10 years ago was in charge of the set-up and creation of a new space company in Belgium, in Redu where he was temporarily Managing Director until a new management team was put in place. 

Frank is very active and member of the board in the Belgian space professional associations VRI, Belgospace and FLAG. In his career he has been part of different Advisory groups  for exploration and space technical infrastructure and he has supported numerous outreach, educational and inspirational events in space field.

Jérémy Rabineau

Aerospace Engineer from ISAE-Supaéro (France) now enrolled in a PhD in Space Physiology at Université Libre de Bruxelles. Jérémy already had the opportunity to work on several experiments for the ISS and is passionate about human aspects of space exploration. Beside this, he is also vice-president of the student chapter of the European Low-Gravity Research Association (ELGRA).


Veronique Dehant

Véronique Dehant works at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, where she is Responsible for the Operational Directorate “Reference Systems and Planetary Science”. She is also Extraordinary Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain. She is Academician (Royal Academy of Belgium; Science class) since 2010 and was awarded with several prizes, including the Descartes Prize of the European Union in 2003. In 2015, she has obtained a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant, with the project RotaNut: Rotation and Nutation of a wobbly Earth. She is Principal Investigator of the experience LaRa (Lander Radioscience) selected for the ExoMars 2020 mission. 


Bjorn Baselet

Bjorn Baselet obtained his master degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Hasselt in 2013. Afterwards he joined the team of Prof. Pierre Sonveaux (UCL, Brussels) and Prof. Sarah Baatout (SCK•CEN, Mol) as a Ph.D. student studying the effect of ionizing radiation on endothelial cells in the context of radiation-induced atherosclerosis. After his Ph.D. he started as a post-doctoral scientist in 2017 at the radiobiology unit (SCK•CEN, Mol). At the moment he is working on the effects of space stressors on the human body, with a particular focus on the immune system.

Marjan Moreels

Marjan Moreels obtained her MSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Antwerp in 2001. Afterwards she performed a PhD in the field of Multiple Sclerosis at Hasselt University. From 2010 onwards, Marjan Moreels joined the Radiobiology Unit of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK•CEN). She is coordinating different ESA funded space biology projects thereby investigating the impact of (simulated) space conditions on human health.

Dries Agten

Dries holds two international (Erasmus Mundus) Masters of Science, one in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and one in Space Science and Technology, for which he studied all over Europe. He has been working as an Electronic Design Engineer at Thales Alenia Space in Belgium since 2014, focusing on power electronics. Dries is also president of beSPACE, the community for space enthusiasts in Belgium, which organises, among other events, the yearly Space Dinner during which the beSPACE Awards are handed out. 

Sarah Baatout

Sarah Baatout is head of the radiobiology unit at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) Mol, Belgium. The unit evaluates the potential risks of ionizing radiation on health and provides the scientific background for occupational, accidental, medical or space radiation exposure allowing a more accurate radiation risk assessment. The work is performed in close collaboration with the European Commission, European Space Agency, Belgian & European Universities, hospitals & research institutes. Besides, S. Baatout is guest-professor at Ghent University and maître de conférence at the University of Namur. She is also member of the Belgian delegation at UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) and of the High Council for Health. In 2018, she has received the “BeSpace personality of the year” award and was recognized by Femmes d’Aujourdhui as one of the “85 women that make Belgium move”.

Vladimir Plester.jpg

Vladimir Pletser

PhD, MSc, MEng. Director of Space Training Operations at Blue Abyss, a company in UK proposing a new approach for astronaut training. From 2016 - 2018 Visiting Professor and Scientific Adviser to the Technology and Engineering Centre for Space Utilization of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, supporting Chinese Space Station and aircraft parabolic flight microgravity experiments. From 1985 until 2016, he was senior Physicist-Engineer at the European Space Research and Technology Centre of the European Space Agency, managing ISS microgravity payload development and ESA parabolic flight programme. He logged 7350 parabolas at 0g, Mars and Moon gravities on 12 airplanes (Guinness world record) during 90 campaigns on European, US and Russian aircraft, supervising 1000 experiments. Astronaut candidate for Belgium, he spent two months in training in 1995 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and was Astronaut Training Instructor for parabolic flights and Spacelab missions. He participated in three Mars mission simulation campaigns in the Arctic and the Utah Desert.

Thierry du Pré-Werson

Mr. Thierry du Pré-Werson is an electronic civil engineer (Master of Engineering Sciences) graduated from ULiège. After a career of 9 years in software development for SAIT Electronics, a telecommunication company, he joined SPACEBEL in October 1989 to be in charge of the ESA Columbus related projects. After 15 years of involvement in the development of various European satellites, he was appointed General Manager and later on Managing Director of SPACEBEL.

He is also Vice-Chairman of Belgospace and Wallonie Espace.

Photo_Thierry Dewandre.JPG

Thierry Dewandre

Thierry Dewandre worked at the European Space Agency (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands) from 1985 to 2012, and is now retired. He was active as engineer and scientist, and later as manager, in the project management of scientific experiments (Physics, Chemistry, Human Physiology) developed for and performed in Spacelab, and afterwards in the International Space Station. In this frame, he spent years at NASA centres (Cap Canaveral & NASA Mission Control Centre).

He holds an "Ingénieur Civil Physicien" degree (UCL), he obtained an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. (Laser-Plasmas Interaction, in a 200-persons Laser Laboratory) at the University of Rochester (USA). After a PostDoc at the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), he led the "Vacuum thin films" R&D section at VEGLA GmbH (Germany) before joining ESA.

Lionel Poncelet

A member of YouSpace, Lionel Poncelet has worked since 2013 for a large European space company that is involved in most EU and ESA space programs. His responsibilities include monitoring political developments in EU space policy and representing the company's interests in Brussels. Prior to that, he was for six years an advisor to the Belgian High Representative for space policy. He holds degrees in law and political science.


Mohamed Sallam

Since 2013, PhD Researcher at Vlaams Interuniversitair instituut voor Biotechnologie VIB, for drug discovery. Prevously, from 2010 to 2013, he was a Teacher and Researcher Assistant at American University in Cairo AUC, responsible for Developing new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for various diseases. From 2005 to 2010, he was Technical Development Manager at Egyptian Mud Engineering & Chemicals Company EMEC, responsible for developing the most recently simulation technologies in the field of drilling fluids engineering. From 2002 to 2005, he was Drilling Fluids Operations Specialist MENA, GCC and East Europe regions at EMEC, Performing and troubleshooting all technical issues in field operations. From 1999 to 2002, he was Research Assistant - Immunology & Genetic Engineering at Research & Training Center on Vector of Disease RTC and he was also Genetic Engineering Technical Representative "Egypt, England, Germany" at Advanced Diagnostic Systems ADS - UK.

Philippe Bouchez

Philippe holds a Masters in Aerospace Engineering and has been active in the space sector for over 25 years. 

He is currently Space Instrumentation Program Manager at Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL). As a student, 

Philippe really "Switched to Space" when joining EUROAVIA (The European Association of Aerospace Students). He set up a local group at the University of Liège and was selected for the first Euroavia Design Contest, which offered him the opportunity to participate in a 2-weeks Space Mission Design workshop organised for students with the support of ESA and Industry. This experience definitly paved the way for an exciting career in Earth Observation Instrumentation, Satellite and Mission Control, Navigation and downstream applications

bottom of page