The Delta-Utec team comprises an international network of experts, directed by Dr Michiel Kruijff.

Key team members:

Dr Michiel Kruijff Dr. ir. Michiel Kruijff has built 20 years of experience in satellite design, system engineering and service development, R&D and team management. At Delta-Utec SRC, from 1996-2009, Michiel co-led the development of several ground-breaking technology demonstration satellites (YES1, TEAMSAT, YES2) and a re-entry capsule (Fotino).

YES1 was the first satellite built by ESA according to the skunkworks approach (1997). YES2 broke a world-record by deploying the longest man-made structure in space (a 32 km tether, 2007). Fotino was the lightest fully equipped re-entry capsule ever built. He was co-initiator of JAXA's T-Rex experiment (2010, which was the first deployment and in-space demonstration of a bare electrodynamic tether. Michiel is also the co-developer of the SSATT / ADTE star sensor test tool and test environment (1998-2009), which set new standards for star sensor performance.

Dr James KassDr James Kass started his career as a physicist. Following research in Nuclear physics, he worked in Neurophysiology, Space Medicine, Human Spaceflight, Operations, Telemedicine, Applied Human Sciences, Behavioural Psychology, Knowledge Management, and Data Privacy.

This wide background allows him to analyse problems and investigate needs in a holistic manner taking into account the various complex inter-related issues often arising from very different domains that usually surround a situation. A broad system approach to designing solutions is facilitated by the wealth of experience garnered along his multi-disciplinary professional career.

Jeff GramJeffrey Gram is a system engineer with more than 29 years’ experience in satellite projects support at ESTEC. Since the last 12 years, within the Human Spaceflight & Operations directorate (HSO-UP division), in development monitoring in technologically advanced payloads for the International Space Station and the Sounding Rockets programme. Developments are verified against the numerous NASA, ESA and ECSS standards (European Cooperation for Space Standardization).

Previous experience includes environmental testing of satellites at the ESTEC test centre - electrical thermal sensors setup, monitoring and recording, and satellite operations at ESOC, and in the beginning of his career electrical and functional checkout of the Olympus satellite Attitude and Orbit Control System.


Rafal GraczykRafal has 7 years of experience in designing satellite systems electronics with focus on imagining data acquisition, on-board data processing and control hardware and power subsystems.

Amongst his recent achievements was the granting of a patent for effective architecture of FPGA / ASIC based high speed data acquisition systems for airborne and space-borne imaging systems, and 1st prize in Airbus Defence & Space (EADS Astrium) competition for best PhD thesis proposal: “Dependable space equipment implementing dynamic partial reconfiguration of FPGA devices”.

He has worked as Project manager / Systems Engineer / Electronics Specialist, designing very high speed data acquisition systems for hyper-spectral imaging, lead team developing and supporting on board computers and power systems for two first polish scientific satellites (BRITE-PL project).

Eva RodriguezEva has been involved in the research, definition, and management of programs and systems/software development projects working hand- to-hand with governmental agencies, universities, research organizations, industry, and user communities in the satellite communications, satellite navigation, remote sensing and mobile networks markets.

She has worked as Technical Officer and Project Manager for the ARTES Applications program of the European Space Agency (ESA), and as researcher and telecommunications engineer for the Vienna University of Technology and for Siemens AG. Eva holds a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering and Management, a Degree in Telecommunications Engineering and a Bachelor in Telematics from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).

Marcin StolarskiMarcin Stolarski was born in 1976, in Warsaw, Poland. He received his Ph.D. degree at Warsaw University of Technology in 2010. His research interests and work are related to space technology, focusing on communication systems, distributed networks and fault tolerant systems. He is the author and co-author of many documents concerning space systems. He works at Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences in projects like BRITE-PL (first Polish scientific satellites) or STIX (Solar Orbiter experiment for European Space Agency). He worked for Polish space company Astri Polska, where he cooperated in projects such as RecAv (new reconfigurable computer in FPGA technology for space application).

Jim SontagJim Sontag has over 30 years’ experience in the development of industrial and business computer applications across a range of industries including gas plant process control, municipal water treatment, seismic data acquisition, airline/hotel reservation systems, stock market trading and large scale electronic manufacturing.

He is capable and comfortable working with high level languages and frameworks used in web page, business or imaging applications down to the low level chip-level assembler programming needed for real time process control and data acquisition,

Jim has been involved in 3 start-up ventures that achieved significant commercial success with market valuations that exceeded $100 million.

Dr. Alejandro Salado Dr. Alejandro Salado is an assistant professor of systems science and systems engineering with the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he balances research, teaching, and private consulting. Previously he was employed as a Systems Engineer with OHB System AG, a Satellite Systems Engineer with EADS Astrium GmbH (now Airbus Defense and Space), an Electronics Engineer with SENER-NTE S.A., a Stagiere Electrical Systems Engineer with the European Space Agency (ESA), and an Intern Electronics Engineer with Delta-Utec SRC. His work focuses in problem definition, elicitation of stakeholder value, architecture of affordable and elegant systems, and in embedding strategic intent in engineering activities over the entire system life cycle. Moreover, Alejandro has developed a success track record in pragmatically infusing latest developments in the fields of systems engineering and engineering management in industrial contexts.

Olga PanfilovaOlga Panfilova is webmaster for Delta-Utec and designer/ creator of the Delta-Utec website.

She is a graduate of Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, St. Petersburg, Russia. She started her professional career as a middle- and long-distance runner, participating in, and winning, national and international competitions.

She then changed her vocational direction towards ICT, developing expertise in desktop publishing and photo editing, using these skills at ACCESS, The Hague, a non-profit organisation providing help to the international expatriate community in The Netherlands, in the Public Relations department.

She is now a web designer creating small and mid-size responsive design websites mainly on CMS (Content Management System) Joomla-3x, but also with WordPress.

For more info see Olga Panfilova’s website.