SOE’23 | Space, Ocean and Earth Insights

SOE'23 | Space, Ocean and Earth Insights banner

On June 15, the Azores Islands, as they host the GLEX Summit, will be immersed in Space Science thanks to the workshopSOE’23 | Space, Ocean and Earth Insights – The quest to inspire a universe of extreme explorers – a organised by INESC TEC – and co-organised by the UT Austin Portugal Program, the TEC4SEA Infrastructure, the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), Space For All Nations and SpaceWatch.Global (as Media Partner). This year’s edition, SOE’23 will be held at GLEX’s stage, adding key insights and a ground for discussion into the future of exploration.

An event spanning several fields of knowledge

On June 15, a handful of experts from around the world – including renowned scientists from industry, technology, policymakers and other key stakeholders – will come together under the same roof to talk you through state-of-art research across several fields of knowledge feeding into space, ocean and earth exploration.

What can you expect from SOE’23?

While last year’s event offered a bird’s eye view of the synergies and connections between space, earth and ocean research and innovation, SOE’23 will take a deep dive into them with an agenda on “The Quest to Inspire a Universe of Extreme Explorers”. In other words, this time, we’ll look into the analogous nature of space and ocean exploration missions.

Without losing sight of past and present, SOE’23 will use strategic foresight to foster discussion between invited panelists and the audience about the future directions of space and ocean research to highlight points of intersection that demonstrate that when we learn more about one (extreme) environment we are on our way to gain more insights about the other.

Can we count on you?

Get your tickets and become a part of this insightful celebration of Space Exploration and how it inspires an universe of extreme explorers!

Tickets for the SOE’23, a GLEX Summit’s Special Session, are free of charge. 

Choose your preferred package to attend the whole GLEX Summit. Get your early bird ticket and save 33% until April 30! There are special prices available for university students, researchers and professors.

Check out the agenda below and download the booklet which contains all the information on SOE’23 program and invited experts.

Agenda (in Azores Summer Time – GMT)

14:0014:10 | Opening Session: Álamo Meneses (Angra do Heroísmo Council)

14:10-14:20 | CHAIRS: Yvette Gonzalez (IIAS, National Fellow of the Explorers Club) & Ricardo Conde (Portuguese Space Agency)

14:2014:55 | ANCHOR 1: Connected2Earth 

  • Speakers: João Carlos Nunes (Azores University | Geosciences Department) & Christyl Johnson (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

14:5515:30 | ANCHOR 2: Immersed2Deep 

  • Speakers: Alfredo Martins (CRAS | INESC TEC) & Amy L. Kukulya (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)


15:5016:55 | ANCHOR 3: Edging2Space 

  • Speakers: Moriba K. Jah (UT Austin), Luis Sentis (UT Austin), Carlos Espejel (ispace) & Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio (IIAS)


17:0518:10 | Round Table: THE JIGSAW EXPLORER PUZZLE: “Anchoring” Humanity on Deep Waters or setting free the Interplanetary Species to Space? 

  • Moderator: Christyl Johnson
  • Speakers: Eduardo Silva (INESC TEC | TEC4SEA), Telmo Carvalho (IPMA) & Richard Garriot (The Explorers Club)

18:10-18:15 | FLAD Science Award Atlantic 2023 – Initiative: Elsa Henriques (The Luso-American Development Foundation | FLAD)

18:1518:30 | Wrap-Up and Closing Session: Director (INESC TEC) (tbc) & Richard Garriott (The Explorers Club)

Program Associated Speakers

Photo of Moriba Jah, one of the "SOE'23 | Space, Ocean and Earth Insights" speakers

Moriba Jah 

Professor at the Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin


The Case for Space Environmentalism

Nowadays it seems that just about anywhere you look, you find evidence of humanity collectively behaving as though we were purposefully choosing extinction for ourselves; the aggregate of our decisions and actions is resulting in a progressively unsustainable way to live. Orbital space is included in this existential dilemma and is experiencing this in spades. In this presentation, Moriba Jah presents evidence of this orbital crisis and makes the case for orbital space to be treated as a finite resource in dire need of environmental protection. He discusses how Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) should be used as a basis of tenants with which to achieve space environmentalism and sustainability, as well as the role of AI as high tech to apply ancient TEK in solving this problem. He presents a few of our knowledge gaps where the need for more science is critical to space sustainability.

Photo of Luis Sentis, one of the "SOE'23 | Space, Ocean and Earth Insights" speakers

Luis Sentis

Professor at the Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin


Embodiment of general purpose robots and their potential use in day-to-day activities

Human Centered Robotics advocates for developing robotic capabilities that benefit communities, individuals, and industry at fulfilling their goals, increasing their wellbeing, and improving their productivity among other key human and industrial development factors. To study this general question, traditional robotic studies need to transcend their engineering and computational corpus of study and promote the use of approaches that directly measure impact on humans and communities by robots. Such approaches may include areas from group communications, to data informatics, to ethnography, to urban design, to human factors among methods of interest. At the same time, we must remind ourselves that many roboticists are driven by the idea of creating general purpose robots that provide some of the physical and cognitive versatility that people provide in tasks that are dull, dirty and dangerous. In this talk I will discuss both topics and the connection between them: embodiment of complex general purpose robots and their potential use and improvements to working and urban communities.


SOE’23 Scientific Coordinator

Photo of Ana Pires, Scientific Coordinator of "SOE'23 | Space, Ocean and Earth Insights" Ana Pires – Researcher, INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS)

Other Experts Involved in the Organization of the Workshop

Andreia Passos (UT Austin Portugal), Catarina Carvalho (INESC TEC), Joana Coelho (INESC TEC), José Almeida (ISEP, INESC TEC), Paula Lima (INESC TEC), Rui Moura (FCUP, INESCTEC)

Supporting Team

Adriana Costa (UT Austin Portugal), Rita Costa (UT Austin Portugal), Sofia Maciel (UT Austin Portugal), Vera Pinto (UT Austin Portugal)

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