Mon 26th – Wed 28th November, Perth WA  

It’s been a huge year for the space sector and we’re looking forward to bringing everyone together to further the strengths of Australian planetary research and our international partnerships. We welcome all members of the planetary science and technology community to partake in this three-day workshop, supported by the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University.

Registration and abstract submission are now closed.

Program highlights include Anntonette Dailey, Executive Director from the Australian Space Agency and our Keynote Kjetil Wormnes from ESA.


Kjetil Wormnes is a Systems Engineer, Mechatronics Engineer, Project manager and Researcher on sabbatical from the European Space Agency. He currently uses his expertise in reliability engineering, systems and space/ground-segment engineering as a consultant. In particular he has been responsible for the development of the UNSW Canberra Space ground segment, which is currently supporting the successful buccaneer satellite and will support the M1 and M2 missions.

 At ESA, Kjetil led research and development in a range of robotics-related technologies. He established a cutting-edge orbital robotics laboratory, and was, during that period, in charge of developments of technologies for capturing and deorbiting space debris.  Activities included the development and testing of nets and harpoons for space debris capture. With a keen interest in Space Exploration, he has also been in charge of streamlining the creation of  ESA’s technology roadmaps for space exploration. 

Previously Kjetil worked with CSIRO as an RF engineer on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. In the process he spent many nights in the Australian outback, a place he has a special love for.

 Kjetil was born in Norway but has spent most of his life in other countries. He is a citizen of planet Earth, and believes humanity’s quest to become multi-planetary is the most important there is.



For previous years SSERVI AU Workshops and outcomes please see below.


Hosted at Curtin @ St Georges Terrace over November 9 – 11th

We thank all who attended and made the journey over to Perth to contribute to the strengths of the Australian planetary science research community.

Our annual research workshop saw a 60-strong community come together for 3 days of scientific presentations, social events, and an outreach engagement “Nerding out with NASA” extending the profile of planetary science in the community.


Thursday kicked off the scientific proceedings with SSERVI AU Director’s Welcome by Professor Phil Bland. The opening talks were The Search for Life with Associate Professor Jonti Horner as invited session speaker. From exoplanets to astrobiology and understanding early life on Earth to guide us in our comprehension of what we might find.

Dr Helen Maynard–Casely from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation was our invited speaker for the Instrumentation session. A cross section of the planetary community shared their application of different techniques in the endeavors of peering deeper into our planetary materials – using synchrotron, neutron tomography, satellite gradiometry, and drones.

After lunch, Associate Professor Fred Jourdan, manager of the Western Australia Argon Isotope Facility, led the first session on Meteorites, as the talks explored eucrites, chrondrites and how we understand the histories of these space rocks.

To finish Day One, the Desert Fireball Network team shared their work with Fireballs. Exploring 3D modelling, orbital determination, hardware design challenges and expansion globally.

Friday begin with Director of the Macquarie University Planetary Research Centre, Associate Professor Craig O’Neill, leading the Planet-Scale Processes session. Some stunning simulations, modelling and micrometeorites revealing more about our planet and beyond.

The invited speaker for Impacts was Professor Steve Reddy, Science Leader of the Geoscience Atom Probe at Curtin University. This session explored techniques and analysis, and many gorgeous images of crystallographic textures.

SSERVI AU Deputy Director Marc Norman from the Australian National University was the invited speaker for The Moon. Research presented in this session revealed more about the lunar origins, dynamics and history.

The final science session, Meteorites 2, took an extra-terrestrial perspective with the geology of Mars, refractory metal nuggets and OSIRIS-Rex– the asteroid return sample mission by NASA.

In conclusion, Phil Bland facilitated a discussion session, outlining SSERVI strategy for Australia, his vision moving forwards and how the community can leverage its collaboration to further influence research opportunities.


Morgan, Phil, Luke, Tasman, Omar and Jonti celebrating the ‘Best Talks” awards for SSERVI AU 2016 Workshop.

Congratulations to the presentation award winners from the Workshop! Tough choices from our Director’s committee… and a close call with audience choice votes!

The Early Career Researcher awarded to ‘los tres amigos’ from Macquarie University – Omar Elkhaligi, Luke Smith and Tasman Gillfeather-Clark – for their group presentation on their upcoming Masters thesis “Low cost and light weight geophysical equipment with drone mounted applications and beyond”.

Our Best Student Presentation was received by Curtin University undergraduate Morgan Cox and her tireless efforts hand picking and analysing 21,00 zircons with “The hunt for shocked zircons in the Jack Hills”.

Audience Choice awarded to Associate Professor Jonti Horner from University of Southern Queensland, with his energetic and engaging presentation “Exoplanets, Habitability and MINERVA-Australis” opening our Day One proceedings!


Amongst the talks and discussions in the room, the online banter and commentary reached out to our social media community – leading to our workshop hashtag #OzPlanet16 trending in Australian Top 5!

You can catch the feed here: https://storify.com/sserviaustralia/sservi-australia-workshop-2016


With a workshop launch, dinners and a sundowner BBQ in closing – the planetary community had ample opportunities to catch up, network and put faces to names. We even had SSERVI themed refreshments!


The wonderful family at Tyler’s Vineyard in the Swan Valley produced SSERVI AU labels to celebrate – and Donelle is more than happy to re-produce some of their scrumptious award-winning 100% Swan Valley Western Australian 100-year old non-irrigated grenache vines ​wine with our labels for you! Just email info@tylersvineyard.com.au.