Our Team

Mars City Design's world renowned team of cross disciplinary experts are here to assist the winning teams to fully develop, finalize and visualize their design projects for sustainable cities solutions on Mars.

Vera Mulyani   

CEO and Founder

Vera Mulyani

CEO and Founder

Ms. Mulyani’s multidisciplinary background in master planning in various fields of art; architecture, urban design, filmmaking and storytelling, has made her specialized in conceptual strategy in technology, innovation and business development. Ms. Mulyani contributes her expertise in applying combining these fields, creating a collaborative competition platform for designing cities for Mars, our next step to settle the Red Planet. Ms. Mulyani is the Master Architect and planner of Mars City Design.

Mulyani has traveled to many cities as a photographer and architect, working closely with world renowned architects Jean Nouvel and Rudy Ricciotti, contributing studies of urban analytics and experimental solutions for dynamic change to cities such as Nantes, France, Ruhr, Germany, Shanghai, China, Jakarta, Indonesia, Cairo, Egypt, Hiroshima, Japan, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and New York City.

Mulyani’s thesis, F* da Rules (Master the Rules), suggests an innovative adaptation to the contradictive layers of New York City’s urban rules, which contributed to the collapse of the real-estate economy during the 2007 Construction Boom.

Ms. Mulyani’s shortfilms The Melody of Choice (2012) and Elah and The Moon (2008) were successfully crowdfunded and hosted at the Cannes Film Festival and other prestigious venues. Her photography and other works of art have been exhibited at many international shows, such as PhotoLA, ArtSland, London and Batten Gallery HongKong.

Mulyani is a co-founder and co-organizer for SPACEPORT LA, the biggest space community, the home base for space enthusiasts, learners and professionals living in Los Angeles, California.

Paul Hoare   

COO, Operations Strategy Consultant

Paul Hoare

COO, Operations Strategy Consultant

Paul Hoare is Founder and COO of EZPAY.mobi, a new mobile payment application. Mr. Hoare’s executive experience includes: financial services, engineering operations, strategy and process related environments with a 20 year chronicle of success driving benchmark, setting growth for fortune 100, turnaround and start-ups.

In addition to his previous engineering roles at International Rectifier’s space & government division, Gillette and Avcon, a magnetic levitation company, Mr. Hoare also worked at Bank of America, LoBue Associates, Countrywide Financial Corporation, GE Money Bank and Full Spectrum Lending and is Six Sigma Black Belt trained.

Conor Walshe   

Mechanical Engineer, Filmmaker

Conor Walshe

Mechanical Engineer, Filmmaker

If you manage to track Mr. Walshe down you are likely to find him either likely playing an Irish priest in a theatre, producing the latest Irish film or debating with rocket propulsion engineers on liquid oxygen fuel lines. Mr. Walshe enjoys challenging both sides of the brain. He studied mechanical engineering at DIT in Ireland and his consulting work has taken him around the world.

When opportunities arise and time permitting, Mr. Walshe will follow his family’s background in the arts and enjoy feeding his creative juices. This year alone he has been back in Ireland acting on one of the countries newest cops shows, consulting for two of southern California’s major aerospace companies with focus on rocket propulsion and has another Irish film project in development – he’s promising a comedy this time. He is excited to be part of the Mars City Design both creatively and technically.

Jeff Demain   

Director of Business Development

Jeff Demain

Director of Business Development

Jeff Demain brings to Mars City Design extensive executive experience from the corporate world. This includes driving businesses from the startup phase to the multi-national corporate level. He has developed technology, driven strategy, engaged with global clients and brought numerous successful products to market.

At Intel Jeff was an Executive of Strategic Product Development and Marketing across the market verticals of consumer, enterprise, cloud, telecom, high-performance computing, digital media and space program. He now is the President of Hantheon, a company working directly with global technology and innovation companies. Hantheon is their partner in driving significant business success. Jeff also has spoken extensively in keynotes and public forums. He is passionate about innovation, human creativity, the arts, nature and exploration. And in business he is keen on solid, value-added partnerships.

Evin Wald   

Writer

Evin Wald

Writer

Ms. Wald, a Los Angeles native, graduated from the University of Southern California at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Ms. Wald has narrated audiobooks for various fiction & non-fiction works, and is a series regular on the StarTrek spinoff audio series Henglaar M.D.

Ms. Wald’s love of storytelling and wordsmithing led her to be a part of the magical world of the Parable of Colors, Ms. Mulyani’s series of children’s books. Ms. Wald is President of the non-profit organization, KINGGO, who’s noble mission is to support families with children on the autism spectrum.

Neil McHenry   

Virtual Reality and Engineering Team Director

Neil McHenry

Virtual Reality and Engineering Team Director

Neil first teamed up with Mars City Design at the 2016 Mars City PowerLab Workshop, in which he helped create a virtual reality simulation for architectural models to be showcased in a virtual Martian environment with the HTC VIVE. He is currently a graduate student researcher at Texas A&M University and an active member of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-USA). His research focuses on developing a virtual reality space sandbox called “SpaceCRAFT” that aims to help shape the future of humanity in space. The SpaceCRAFT platform aims to do this by allowing different companies and organizations to test out their system models collaboratively online within a scientifically-accurate simulation of the universe. He hails from Dallas, TX and is currently pursuing a Master of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, with a focus in spacecraft dynamics and control.
He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2015, and in 2010 was selected to become a part of the prestigious Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) early college residential high school program. While at TAMS, he interned at the NASA Johnson Space Center for two summers, where he helped develop electrical hardware systems to train astronauts as part of the International Space Station program. While at Texas A&M, he spent his summers working on aircraft and spacecraft avionics systems at L3 Communications, Firefly Space Systems, and SpaceX, respectively. While at SpaceX, he helped develop flight software and hardware for the autonomous propulsive landing systems that are currently used on the Falcon 9 launch system. He is an Eagle Scout and enjoys volunteering around the community, ranging from helping with emergency preparedness with the American Red Cross, to performing music on the xylophone, viola, drums, & guitar with the “Chyao Pra Ya” Dallas Thai classical orchestra. His main passions are to become an astronaut and to ensure that humanity’s future in space is bright.

Roy Nolan   

Technology Advisor

Roy Nolan

Technology Advisor

Mr. Nolan is experienced in managing engineers, machinists, technicians and shop floor personnel in developing new manufacturing processes, using state of the art fabrication methods to produce components and assemblies to support: Missile Defense – EKV – The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, NASA – J-2X liquid-fuel cryogenic rocket engine, DARPA – Enduro-Core engine development.

Result-driven and well organized, Mr. Nolan’s accomplishments vary from strategic planning to complex manufacturing projects, in which execution expands from developmental stages through to final production.

Our Collaborators

Dan Fitzgerald   

Mars City Design Ambassador at MIT (Media Lab)

Dan Fitzgerald

Mars City Design Ambassador at MIT (Media Lab)

Dan Fitzgerald is a robotics engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Masters Media Arts and Sciences, working to make space exploration and colonization safer, cheaper, and more reliable through automation and in-situ fabrication. Previously Mr. Fitzgerald worked on a Mars colonization scenario involving robotic pre-construction via a Phobos outpost.

Ava Iranmanesh   

Mars City Design Ambassador at MIT

Ava Iranmanesh

Mars City Design Ambassador at MIT

Ava Iranmanesh is the president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT’s chapter of the nation-wide student organization SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). She has been involved in aerospace and technology since middle school through FRC (First Robotics Competition), RCJ (RoboCupJunior) and IOAA (Astronomy & Astrophysics Olympiad) until now inside and outside of MIT through various research projects and competitions. Ava is currently pursuing Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Robotics). Ava was the team leader for Mars City Design Best Infrastructure 2016.

Alexander Cadain   

Mars City Design Ambassador

Alexander Cadain

Mars City Design Ambassador

Alexandre Cadain is an entrepreneur and researcher, specialized in hybrid intelligence processes and exponential imagination.

Graduated from HEC Paris, Ecole Normale Supérieure, and La Sorbonne, he explores both applications of exponential technologies and collective creations. He believes we are in the midst of the Digital Renaissance, a unique moment in which technological progress turns most of yesterday’s fictions into reality, therefore enhancing the direct power of collective imagination. He developed a specific methodology for a responsible and accelerated creation, using the future as a medium.

He ran two art galleries in Paris before engaging in a developing countries tour where he applied exponential technologies to tackle economic and energy challenges in Cameroun, North India, Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia. He now designs architectural and public art plans in Paris and Tokyo, leads the Postdigital research program at Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and teaches anticipation and speculative thinking at HEC Paris. He joined XPRIZE and will deal specifically with the IBM Watson AI Prize.
By joining Mars City Design, he expands his interest for speculative design overspace, where he finds the unknown as the most exciting driver for creation.
This engagement is part of the Futurity program he works on with international artists and scientists to imagine and build collective art projects addressing the future.

Britt Duffy Adkins   

Mars City Design Ambassador

Britt Duffy Adkins

Mars City Design Ambassador

Britt received the S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Urban Studies & Planning and a B.A. from Wellesley College in Architecture as a student of the MIT/Wellesley Dual Degree Program.
Currently, Britt is a Development Associate at Crimson Partners, a real estate development firm, and is presently working on developing a mixed-use metro-oriented project in Northern Virginia. Prior to that, Britt was a Real Estate Associate at a real estate technology startup, Fundrise, and a Real Estate Analyst with Washington Real Estate Investment Trust where she underwrote and managed retail and office assets in the Washington D.C. area. Previously, Britt also worked for J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank in San Francisco.
Britt is a space enthusiast and passionate about projects that require multidisciplinary collaboration. She believes that Mars will be the next great leap for humanity into a broader understanding of our place in the universe.

Lauren Apsokardu   

Real Estate Development & Construction Advisor

Lauren Apsokardu

Real Estate Development & Construction Advisor

Lauren Apsokardu is a construction manager and real estate developer who specializes in the full lifecycle of the real estate process. She has experience in fundraising, grant writing, marketing, construction, and real estate that aids her in the development of this project.

Apsokardu’s undergraduate degree is in Professional Writing from Penn State University, and her Master’s is in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver. She has been recognized professionally for her leadership abilities and her endurance to see logistically difficult projects through to completion.

Apsokardu focuses on Mars City Design project in Mojave desert. Exciting programs for the new center will introduce the self-sustainability concept that will bring value to the local land. For more information about this project: MCTMOJAVE

Thomas Sériès   

Architect, Visual Translator Artist

Thomas Sériès

Architect, Visual Translator Artist

Thomas Sériès holds a professional Bachelor degree in Architecture from the École Nationale Supérior d’architecture de Marseille. He is a master of visual translation of architecture, environment and nature. His dedication and specialization applies in teaching at Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris which brought him to participate int he creative process of projects with OMA and BIG, to the efficient and professional with KPF and SOM. Learning from these collaborations, he was driven in examining new fields and formed his own firm in Venice California; Series and Series to further explore and expand his vision in architecture.

Lara Hoad   

Architect

Lara Hoad

Architect

Lara Hoad, AIA, LEED AP Architect, Designer, Educator. Lara is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art and has broad, global experience as an architect, designer and educator.  A modernist and eternal optimist whose projects are typically progressive, forward thinking and concerned with aspects of sustainability, social change and contemporary culture, Lara has a utopian vision for the future Mars City that is being explored with her students through an Interior Architecture studio at Woodbury School of Architecture, Los Angeles.  Lara also teaches Science and Sustainable Design at OTIS College of Art and Design, Los Angeles and is fascinated at the possibility of applying the principles of Biomimicry and Biophilia to the Mars model.  When she is not in LA teaching, designing buildings and exhibitions, or overseeing Design Direction for Architecture firm March Studio, you can find her at her Joshua Tree residence in the Mojave Desert where she spends her nights gazing through the telescope at the not so distant Red Planet.

Joel Freedman   

Innovation and Enterpreneurship Consultant

Joel Freedman

Innovation and Enterpreneurship Consultant

Senior Design Thinker at the Satellite Applications Catapult

Joel obtained a masters degree from Glasgow School of Art and The University of Glasgow’s Product Design Engineering course in 2008. Since then he has worked in such areas as automotive, aeronautical, custodial, and marine design, before moving into working in the space industry.

In his current role Joel applies human centred design to opportunity scoping and problem solving across a range of different sectors, looking at how cutting edge space technologies can be used to enable innovative terrestrial applications. He specialises in fusing lean start up methodology with design thinking to support start-ups and nurture ideas into scalable and sustainable business propositions.

He has designed and facilitated multiple user engagement workshops with stakeholders ranging from universities, research councils, and SMEs, to big industry organisations and government departments.

Joel is passionate about humanity’s journey into space, and how innovating for a better future can help to create a better now.

Joshua Jordan   

Poet and Musician

Joshua Jordan

Poet and Musician

Joshua Jordan is an emerging poet who lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As an active member of the Mars Society, as well as the National Space Society, Mr. Jordan has been an avid Space enthusiast for many years.

Currently serving as a Music Department Chair and Director of Junior High Instrumental Music within a local school district, Mr. Jordan instructs students as the conductor of several concert bands and jazz ensembles.

Mr. Jordan is humbled and incredibly excited to lend his poetic voice to the Mars City Design visionary process as a writer. Mr. Jordan hopes that by lending his “cosmic phrases” to the project, it will spark artistic minds to create further “multi-planetary artwork” to help inspire and expand our sustainable future among the stars.

Angelo Esposito   

Chemist, Chemical Engineering Consultant

Angelo Esposito

Chemist, Chemical Engineering Consultant

Mr. Esposito’s chemical engineering expertise focuses on hydrogen fuel, fuel cells, batteries, electrolyzers, monitoring, faults diagnostics, prognostics, control, test plan definition, system modeling and signal analysis (FFT, Wavelet Transforms, Neural Networks, Fuzzy logic, Design of Experiment, etc.), Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, micro-CHP, UPS, back-up power, Hybrid Vehicles.

Fluent in 5 languages, Mr. Esposito’s passion for engineering and science is driven by the positive impact he can create for society. Since very young, Mr. Esposito had a genuine curiosity for how devices work and how to fix them. Mr. Esposito’s passion to chemistry and engineering had connected both microscopic and macroscopic scale of life.

Our Advisory Board

Dr. J.R. Skok   

Mars geologist

Dr. J.R. Skok

Mars geologist

J.R. Skok, PhD is a research scientist with the SETI Institute. He has been actively involved with the exploration of Mars since 2000 and has participated on multiple NASA mission teams including the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), as well as contributed to the landing site selection for the Curiosity rover and the upcoming Mars2020 rover. His graduate work at Brown University focused on using remote spectroscopy to determine the volcanic composition of the Martian surface and map the compositional evolution of the planet. This work resulted in the first compositionally confirmed remote identification of a relict hot spring deposit on Mars. He is currently leading multiple NASA funded projects to better understand the earliest history of Mars and to use Icelandic analogs to develop a mission to search for life in the hot spring deposits of Mars. His research has involved a broad experience with Mars analog locations on Earth, including research in Iceland, Hawaii, Antarctica, Spain and the Mojave. Beyond his Mars research, he is an active cave explorer with a focus in western China.

Artemis Westenberg   

President and Director, co-founder of Explore Mars, Inc.

Artemis Westenberg

President and Director, co-founder of Explore Mars, Inc.

Artemis Westenberg has over 35 years of experience as an influential lobbyist and advocate among variety of circles, organizations and causes in the Netherlands, Europe and North America. She has been a lobbyist in the space exploration sector since 2000.

She has worked as account manager, project manager and spokesperson for Mutlinationals, Dutch Government, Policy groups putting her degree in General Management from the Dutch Entrepreneurial Society to good use. Over the years, she has developped a wide network of contacts on board level with many companies and organisations.
She has become an expert on many things Mars, e.g. the geology of Mars and NASA’s Curiosity, and Opportunity & Spirit, and ESA’s Mars Express. Westenberg is a well-known Mars and space ambassador, often as a Netherlands spokesperson among the national and international space community.

She served as president of the Mars Society Netherlands and as a Steering Committee member for the Mars Society Inc. Prior to that, she served as Capsule Communicator (CapCom) and crewmember in a number of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) missions. In 2007, she was logistics manager for the Flashline Arctic Research Station (FMARS) crew. Westenberg took on management of MDRS in 2008 as Mission Director where she turned the project into a completely self-sufficient and financially independent venture. She has coordinated both national and international conferences since 1980, many taking place in the Netherlands and Europe.
Since early in her career, she has been a nationally decorated feminist in her country, which began when she was delegated as a member of the Dutch government to attend the UN conference on the status of women, in Copenhagen 1980. Westenberg gained knowledge in public affairs and business administration as president of the Council of Women for Rotterdam.

Westenberg is multilingual, speaking Dutch, English, French, German regularly, with fluency in six others languages.