Over the years, the European Rover Challenge has become much more than just a robotics competition. Every year the ERC gathers world-class specialists, industry leaders and scientists from around the world and creates a knowledge-sharing platform for university students, space enthusiasts and potential space sector employees.

Previous editions’ speakers & special guests include among others: Robert Cabana – NASA Associate Administrator, Steve Jurczyk – former NASA Associate Administrator, Robert Zubrin – founder of The Mars Society, Harrison Schmitt – NASA Astronaut and member of the legendary Apollo 17 mission, or Tim Peake – an European Space Agency’s Astronaut.

Find out more about this year’s confirmed speakers below ↓
This list will be updated regularly.


Dr. Gernot Groemer

Austrian Space Forum

Founder and Administrative Director at the Austrian Space Forum, managing OeWF spacesuit laboratory Innsbruck. Gernot Groemer holds M.Sc. degree in astronomy and Ph.D. in exploration astrobiology from the Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck, graduate of the ISU Summer School (Houston/Texas). Lecturer at the International Space University and the University of Innsbruck. Member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (Board of Mentors) and Flight Crew 37th ESA Parabolic Flight Campaign. He is also part of the Programme Management Group AustroMars and PolAres. Dr. Groemer gives lectures and does research at various universities in the field of human Mars exploration and Astrobiology. He led more 12 Mars expedition simulations, including the Dhofar desert in Oman, the Northern Sahara, Utah and southern Spain and leads the development of the experimental spacesuit simulator Aouda.X.

Dr. Reut Sorek Abramovich

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Astrobiologist at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Centre, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Her research topics include: Hydrazine based bioreactors with extremophilic bacteria and algae. Cross contamination challenges in future space missions (published). Former employee at Check Point Software Technologies (2001-2005, Cyber). Co-founder and current chairperson of the Israeli Mars Society, former director of the NSW chapter in the Mars Society Australia (2009-2013). Participant in NASA’s Spaceward Bound Field Expedition in South Australia (2009). Graduate of the Microbial Diversity Course, at MBL Woods Hole, MA, USA (2013). Former Chief Scientist and Co-founder of D-MARS (Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station), Israel, 2017-2020. Analog astronaut since 2018. Co-founder of ME First - a new Middle East program to support women in space in the region, public speaker and outreach activist. Aiming to be the first Israeli woman in space.

Dr. Joanna Jurga

Product and interior designer, innovator and university lecturer. Specialist in sense of security design. Keen on discussing issues relating to the area of speculative and synesthetic design. Analogue astronaut and a two-time commander of space missions at the Lunares Habitat. Meditation teacher and outer space enthusiast. Conducted research in cooperation with infuture hatalska foresight institute and Instytut Kontekstów Pracy. Her works have been honored at exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Participated in numerous design festivals (Lodz Design Festival, Gdynia Design Days, Dutch Design Week). Finalist of competitions such as: MakeMe, Young Polish Designer, Innovation Ad and Jutronauci.

Leszek Orzechowski

Space is More

Leszek Orzechowski is an architect and founder of Space is More – a space architecture company that also runs LunAres Research Station – a European analog habitat. Leszek is an enthusiastic science advocate with hundreds of lectures presented to the public and an award-winning designer. His group created a number of scientific reports on the future manned Moon and Mars missions presented during international competitions and conferences. Space is More was a part of a winning team in ESA Moon Challenge for a report on returning to the Moon in the next decade and a finalist of NASA 3d-Printed Habitat Challenge phase 1 from 2015. The team won multiple architectural awards for Mars bases colonies including Marsception (2018) and Mars Colony Design Competition (2019). Currently, Leszek is leading operations and research at LunAres Research Station. LunAres Research Station is an analog habitat created to study medical and psychological aspects of isolation during simulated planetary missions. From its beginning, in 2017 a total number of 13 diverse teams conducted isolation missions inside the habitat and it recently has been featured in the Science Magazine.

Remco Timmermans

Content marketeer and social media specialist for the global space industry. Remco is an EU citizen with a Dutch passport, living in the UK and an e-resident of Estonia. He is the founder and owner of space marketing agency Spaceside OÜ, co-director of Powering Space, a community organisation for space communication professionals, he is a member of the International Astronautical Federation Space Education and Outreach Committee and a Faculty member of the International Space University. Remco is best known as a space influencer on social media, being selected as #EUinfluencer for space in 2020 and 2021.

Dr. Dolly Daou

An expert in establishing and designing executive education and practice-based higher education programs and courses. Dolly’s career path led her to the West of France, where she expanded her area of research and expertise by leading the Food Design Lab with a clear mission on how to feed the planet in 2050. She is currently back in Melbourne. Dolly combines her doctorate knowledge in interior architecture and urbanism with food management and strategies to develop bespoke industry-based workshops and projects. She focuses on a system-based strategy working closely with the local agribusiness industry and with the government on implementing current and impactful projects with ecological and economic benefits. Dolly has 21 years of international experience in design pedagogy/research, leading philanthropic associations and a higher education quality assurance in Australia, Asia, Europe and in the Middle East. She is the author of many publications including: Unbounded on the Interior and Interiority. Due to her industry experience she has mentored professionals to transform theoretical methodology/research into their daily business practices.


Where can I find more information about the agenda?

The regularly updated, detailed information about the agenda – the Inspiration Zone, competitions and workshops – will be available in the VISITORS and ABOUT THE ERC -> INSPIRATION ZONE tabs on our website. We also invite you to follow the ERC profiles on social media.

How can I participate in the event?

Basically, you can participate in two ways: on-site and online. If you come to Kielce (Poland), you will be able to see experiments, interactive shows and presentations prepared by our exhibitors as well as take part in mini workshops. You will be also able to see the Mars Yard up close, spectate the competition and listen to debates in the main hall. If you can't come to Poland, you can watch the livestream on our website to follow the competition progress, listen to passionate debates and presentations of our speakers. The livestream will be provided exclusively in English.

Is the admission to the event free?

Yes! Participation in all attractions, livestreams, shows, lectures, workshops and debates are free of charge. You can use cash though to buy gadgets, posters or books at the on-site exhibitors’ stands.