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Wed, Mar 03


Zoom Video Conferencing

Space Industry Engineering

Crossover technologies in Space? Privately owned and commercially operated Space station? Automotive Engineering in Space industry? How will these new solutions reshape our world? In this episode of the Virtual Conference Series of the Vice-Consulate of Hungary we will be looking for the answers.

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Space Industry Engineering
Space Industry Engineering

Time & Location

Mar 03, 2021, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST

Zoom Video Conferencing


About the Event

Space Industry Engineering

Virtual Conference Sessions of The Vice-Consulate of Hungary in Houston


The Artemis program has elevated the ambition level and boosted international cooperation in space activity.

Independent nations and private actors are engaging deeply in space activity. Some private companies like Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, SpaceX are backed by the world’s most successful entrepreneurs adding to the well established companies like Boeing, Jacobs and Northrop Grumman, all aiming to profit from a market which is predicted grow to about 10% of global GDP in a couple of decades.

Houston has a historic role in space activity: in Houston you may find the NASA Johnson Space Center, leading the research and development of human space activity, in an ecosystem supported by more than 500 representatives of the global aerospace industry. A new stakeholder of the latter is Axiom Space, poised to be one of the key actors in space in the near future, as they will be the first to create a privately owned and commercially operated space station open to an international clientele.

But many questions remain open today: What kind of human infrastructure do we need to develop in space and for what purposes? Will space manufacturing have effects in our economies of today or even to our day-to-day life in the near future? What engineering challenges will humanity need to solve to support a permanent presence in space? What goals do we need to set, are there any limitations apart from our imagination? How can we adapt existing technologies into space activity and vice versa? How these technologies will help us to overcome challenges in space? How will these new solutions reshape our world?

In the next episode of the Virtual Conference Series of the Vice-Consulate of Hungary in Houston, we will be looking for the answers.


Wednesday, March 03, 2021

09:00 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST), Texas

04:00 p.m. Central European Time (CET), Hungary

All registered attendees will receive an email which includes important details, updates, and LINK TO JOIN.

Detailed agenda (US CST):

09:00 – 09:05 Welcome remarks by Gábor Markocsány, Consul

09:05 – 09:13 Crossover technologies in Space - Prof David Alexander, Rice University Space Institute

09:13 – 09:28 Commercial Space Station by Axiom Space - R. Matthew Ondler, CTO / Director of Engineering, Axiom Space

09:28 – 09:38 Manufacturing and Automotive Engineering in Space Industry - Gábor Kiglics, CEO, Econ Engineering

09:38 – 09:44 Innovative Solutions for Space – Peter Hargitai, Chairman, HunSpace Cluster

09:44 – 10:30 Discussion and Q&A - moderated by Josh Davis, Senior Director, Global Aerospace & Aviation, Greater Houston Partnership


David Alexander is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where his primary areas of research are solar physics, exoplanetary physics and earth remote sensing.  Alexander also serves as the Director of the Rice Space Institute where he is responsible for providing vision, direction, and leadership, managing the various institute programs, identifying and fostering research opportunities for our faculty, and interacting with government and the space industry. Professor Alexander was awarded an OBE in June 2018 for services to the space industry at home and abroad and to higher education.

David received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004 and was appointed a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.   He is former Chair of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society and former Chair of the Solar Heliospheric Interplanetary Environment program.  He has served on many professional committees including the NASA Advisory Council’s Heliophysics Subcommittee, and the NASA Solar Heliospheric Management and Operations Working Group.  He currently serves on the advisory boards of SpaceCom, the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and on the editorial boards of Space Science Reviews and ROOM: The Space Journal.  He has been named a GlobalScot by the Scottish government and was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Astronautical Society in 2018. He was recently appointed Chair of the inaugural Aerospace and Aviation Industry Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Professor Alexander joined the faculty at Rice in 2003.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, and his doctorate on Relativistic Cosmological Models from the University of Glasgow.

R. Matthew Ondler has 35 years experience in engineering, management and leadership in both government and industry. He currently serves as the CTO and Director of Spacecraft Development for Axiom Space. Axiom Space is building the world’s first commercial space station.

He is formerly the President/CEO and co-founder of Houston Mechatronics Inc. (HMI) a fast-growing robotics and intelligent automation company, developing and commercializing a host of robotic technologies and applications. HMI grew from a three-person start-up to seventy-five engineering staff and a valuation of $60M under his leadership.

Mr. Ondler served 28 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Johnson Space Center. Mr. Ondler departed NASA as the Assistant Director of Engineering responsible for all Advanced Exploration Systems Development totalling $200M in project budgets. Prior to that assignment he served five years as the Division Chief of the Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division, the organization renowned for its leadership and innovation in robotics. While at NASA he was the recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and Exceptional Achievement Medal.

After departing NASA and prior to forming HMI, Mr. Ondler served as a senior executive at Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, a $600M/yr engineering services company, performing business development, strategic planning, program management, and led corporate innovation initiatives.

He holds a Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado and an MBA in finance from the University of Houston. Mr. Ondler is active in community outreach particularly around education in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) areas. Mr. Ondler participates in speaking and mentoring activities supporting scholastic robotics, women in engineering and science, Boy Scout robotics badge, and other education related initiatives. Mr. Ondler is an invited panel member of the City of Houston’s Robotics and Automated Systems committee, part of the city’s initiative to build Houston’s technology ecosystem. Mr. Ondler is the Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board of the Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Technology program at Texas A&M.

Gábor Kiglics has 25 years’ experience in engineering, RDI (research, development and innovation), management and business development in different industry sectors. He currently serves as the CEO of eCon Engineering Kft. The company is a Hungarian SME offering high added-value engineering services and support. He was formerly a development engineer at Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems in Budapest developing rail brake systems. After that, he worked as a development engineer and team leader at a private Hungarian engineering company.

In 2002 he established eCon Engineering Kft. with two partners for CAE engineering support, CAE software distribution and design of automation machines and robotics. The company, running with already 80 employees, is constantly growing and is now certified for ISO9001, ISO27001, TISAX Level3, and GE IT Security. Parallel to the industrial projects - with references like BMW, SIEMENS, GE, BorgWarner, DELPHI, SUZUKI, DOWTY, MAGNA, DAIMLER, HILTI - the company participates in different EU- or Hungarian government founded RDI tenders.

The company won the “Innovation Award” at the JEC - an international composites exhibition - in Paris in 2019. He holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Budapest. Mr. Kiglics is active in community outreach particularly around education in the Engineering and RDI initiative areas. Mr. Kiglics has been a member of the board of the National Association of Hungarian Vehicle Parts Manufacturers for 4 years.

Josh Davis, MBA, CEcD, Senior Director, Global Aerospace & Aviation, supports the Greater Houston Partnership’s Economic Development Division in attracting aerospace entities to Houston globally (internationally and domestically) and by supporting home-grown startups and major Aerospace companies. He engages the vast ecosystem of Aerospace-related institutions such as universities, airports, and other economic development organizations.

Mr. Davis envisioned HOUSTON Space City regional efforts for the Paris and Dubai Air Shows (Apollo 50th). Since then the Houston region has made headlines with major announcements from innovative Aerospace companies around the Houston Spaceport. He led Partnership Board engagement for Howdy Modi, the largest gathering for an international elected official in U.S. history and the preceding mission with Mayor Turner and 40 Houstonians to India.

Mr. Davis was also the Partnership representative for the United Airlines Houston- Sydney inaugural flight, the longest from Australia in the world. He has collaborated with the Houston Airport System in various capacities to grow Houston’s global connectivity. He also led a successful bid with the U.S. Commercial Service for HOUSTON Space City to host an official 2021 Select USA Spinoff program focused on Aerospace around NASA and the Houston Spaceport.

Prior to joining the Partnership, he served three years in the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Houston where he cultivated initiatives between the Southern U.S. and Taiwan. Mr. Davis earned an MBA from National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan. Before moving to Taiwan, he was head of international protocol for a mayor, and led in three successful political campaigns.

His Aerospace experience goes back to 2007 where he engaged the industry both in the U.S. and internationally as a mayoral appointee. His undergraduate degree was earned at the University of Oklahoma at Norman and Karl-Franzens Universität Graz, Austria. Mr. Davis has traveled to over 30 countries including Hungary and looks forward to visiting Hungary again to explore its growing Space sector.


The Vice-Consulate of Hungary in Houston

HACCTX - Hungarian-American Chamber of Commerce, Texas

Greater Houston Partnership

Rice Space Institute

Axiom Space

eCon Engineering

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