Team Leads

The activities of the forum are coordinated by the team leaders and the board. Besides research & development programs and outreach activities, the Service units provide the administrative and logistical backbone of the forum. The teams support the board and project leads in the realization of their tasks. 

Service Units and their Leaders
  • Financial Services (Olivia Haider, board member)
  • IT Team (Thomas Bartenstein)
  • Legal Team (Mag. Alexander Soucek, MSS, board member)
  • Media (Mag. Monika Fischer)
  • Membership & Recruitment (Dr. Julia Weratschnig)
  • Transportation (Gerhard Grömer)
Project Leaders
  • Earth Observation School Lectures (Othmar Coser)
  • Mission Support Center / Flight Directors (C. Plank, L. Zanardini)
  • Mission Support Center / Flightplan (Nina Sejkora)
  • Mission Support Center / RSS (Dr. Emmanuel Lalla)
  • Mission Support Center / Ground Support (Lisa-Maria Madlener)
  • Passepartout Stratospheric Balloon (Michael Taraba, BSc)
  • Safety Officer (Michael Klicker, MSc., MSS)

This article is available in: German

Monika Fischer, MA

Team Lead Media

Career: born 1972 in Poland, amateur astronomer, Studies of law in Vienna and afterwards working for the higher administrative court.  Further customer aquisition for a leading personal consultant in Vienna. Several years experience in public outreach, marketing and fundraising for the planetarium Vienna. Currently public outreach and realization of cooperations for the artistic adult education center in Vienna. Co-organizer of the Yuri’s Night Vienna and the castle talks at the castle Albrechtsberg near Melk. Since 2012 team lead of the media team.

This article is available in: German

Gerhard Grömer


Carrer: Born 1951 in Upper Austria, since 1970 police office,  between 1974 and 2011 officer at the bureau of criminal investigation in Upper Austria,  thereof Lead of the observation unit for 20 years, before retirement (2011) working at the strategic Analyse office and trainer for criminal law trial; Studies of law until the 2nd section. His passion: flight photography with a model helicopter.

This article is available in: German

Michael Klicker, MSc., MSS

Safety Officer

Carrer: Born in 1974, graduated 2001 in Technical Physics at the University of Technology in Graz, Austria. Graduated 2004 as Master of Space Studies at ISU in Strasbourg, France. In 2004 worked at ESA in the area of electric propulsion systems. Since 2005 working for various consultancy companies on projects in functional safety / system safety / software safety of complex systems in aerospace and defence.

This article is available in: German

Emmanuel Lalla, PhD

Team-Lead Remote Science Support

Career: Born 1983 in Argentina. Studied applied physics (BSc., MSc) at University of La Laguna (Spain), Master degree in Education from the University of Alfonso X. Finished the PhD in Mineralogy (2014) from the University of Valladolid and Centro de Astrogiologia (CAB) being part of ESA-RLS-Team. Currently working at the The Planetary Exploration Instrumentation Laboratory at York University, Canada. The research focus is based on multi-analytical detection systems for Mineralogy and geochemistry (e.g., Raman-IR, XRD and Mossbauer spectroscopy for Martian missions) and volcanic terrestrial analogs.

This article is available in: German

Dr. Christian Luethen

Team Lead BME

Career: Born 1966 in Bonn, Germany. Studied Medicine in Düsseldorf, Germany and Nantes and Paris, France. Residency in Anesthesia and Intensive Care in Düsseldorf and Dresden, Germany. In 2000 started working as a medical specialist at the Department of Anesthesia at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam University Hospital, The Netherlands. Since 2006 working as Cardio-Thoracic Anesthesiologist at Erasmus MC Thoraxcenter.

International Space University Space Studies Program 2012, FloridaTech/Kennedy Space Center. Since August 2015 PolAres BioMedical Team Lead.

This article is available in: German

Lisa-Maria Madlener

Team Lead Ground Support

Biography: Born 1995 in Austria, Bachelor of Arts in Business. OeWF Internship 2016 (project assistant for ASE Congress and 17A test campaign).
As a professionally trained cook and waitress with many experiences a broad finally led to a bachelor’s degree in Nonprofit-, Social- and Health Care Management and to the MSC team lead of the ground support at the Austrian Space Forum.


This article is available in: German

Nina Sejkora

Team Lead Flight Plan (MSC)

Career: Born 1994 in Innsbruck. Currently physics studies at the University of Innsbruck. Participation at the Alpbach Summer School 2014. Since 2012 member of the Austrian Space Forum. Participation at the MARS2013 Mars Simulation and World Space Week 2013 as member of the flight planning team. Since 2014 flight planning Team lead.

This article is available in: German

Michael Taraba, BSc

Project Lead Passepartout

Career: Born 1967 in Vienna, Studies of technical physics at the University of Vienna, numerous teaching activities as assistent in the area physics and engineer at the upfield laboratory of the Technical University Vienna. Participating at the Space Summer School Alpbach in 2003 “Working and Living in Space: from ISS to Moon and Mars”, Flight Director at the Mission Control Center of AustroMars in 2006 and MARS2013. Currently Engineer at the University Vienna,  Faculty Physics, Department Quantum Optics. Project Lead Stratospheric Balloon “Passpartout” and Pegasus Cubesat (Communication)

This article is available in: German

Dr. Julia Weratschnig

Memberships & Recruitment

Career: Born in 1982, masters degree in physics, PhD in observational cosmology (Leopold-Franzens University, Innsbruck); Senior Analyst at HM Nautical Almanac Office in Taunton between 2009 and 2013. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volunteer at ESO Education and Public Outreach Department. Visited several Conferences and participated in IAU workgroups (Commission 4). Currently teaches Physics, Maths and IT at a high school in Tyrol.

This article is available in: German

Laura Zanardini, MSc.

Flight Director

Career: Born in 1983 in Milan, Italy. Master Degree in Space Engineering from the University in Milan and then working for the Italian Space Agency as Liaison and Engineering support at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, Texas. Since 2011 STRATOS Flight Controller at the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Increment Lead for the missions of ESA astronauts Alexander Gerst (2014) and Tim Peake (2015). Joined OeWF in February 2015. Designated Flight Director for the upcoming AMADEE-15 Mission.

This article is available in: German