Some of our international alumni

Elodie Viau (MS2008)


Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at the European Space Agency

Elodie is graduated in a master degree in satellite telecommunications. She has worked for 12 years at SES, one of the world’s leading satellite owners and operators in Luxembourg, and at SES Technology as Deputy Programme Manager. Today, Elodie is the Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, and Head of ECSAT, Harwell, UK.

Aude Vignelles (E1991)


Chief Technology Officer at the newly created Australian Space Agency

Studying at and graduating from ENSICA (now ISAE-SUPAERO) has provided me with a system engineering mindset that has allowed me to follow an international career across a breath of disciplines with flying colours. From the European Space Agency in the Netherlands where I became a source of expertise in satellite Assembly Integration and Test culminating with the XMM mission test campaign, through the UK where I led the integration, commissioning and launch of the world premiere Digital Terrestrial Television broadcast centre, I am now in Australia where I am the first Chief Technology Officer at the newly created Australian Space Agency.

Anthea Comellini (S2017, D2021)


Flight dynamic engineer for deep-space navigation at the European Space Operation Centre

Anthea arrived in Toulouse in 2015, for a Double Degree program between ISAE-SUPAERO and Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in Aerospace Engineering. After her graduation, she started an industrial PhD with ISAE-SUPAERO and Thales-Alenia-Space (Cannes) on “Vision-Based Navigation for autonomous space rendezvous”. After defending her thesis, she moved to Darmstadt (Germany) to work at the European Space Operation Centre (ESA-ESOC) as a flight dynamic engineer for deep-space navigation.

Juan Cantillo (S2004)


Senior Exploration Advisor at TotalEnergies, Coordinator of the LNG exports to Japan

Born and raised in Colombia, Juan entered ISAE-SUPAERO in 2000. He started his private pilot’s license training shortly after, but ended up tuning rocket engines and supersonic concept planes for JAXA in Tokyo instead. He almost stayed forever in Japan… but returned to France to complete a PhD in satellite communications with Thales-Alenia-Space and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris. During this period, he produced two international patents for digital communications and co-authored the current standard for satellite communications in Europe, DVB-S2, hand in hand with ESA and the Internet Engineering Task Force.

In a bold move and looking for wilder adventures, Juan joined TotalEnergies in 2008 as researcher for geophysical and O&G exploration applications. Posted in France, Indonesia and Singapore, he successfully led some of the boldest exploration efforts in the South China Sea, with notable discoveries that are currently on stream.

Juan is currently recognized in the exploration and seismic industry for having pioneered and patented some of the most advanced algorithms for 3D and 4D geophysical mapping of the subsurface. With time, Juan’s interests have shifted to more environment-friendly energy sources and topics. Life being full of surprises and thanks to his rusty Japanese, during the past years he has been coordinating his company’s LNG exports to Japan.

Oussama Khatib (D1980)

alumniOussama Khatib2021

Full Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Robotics Laboratory and at Stanford University

Originally from Syria, Oussama Khatib received his PhD from ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University. His robotics research focuses on control architectures, algorithms, sensing, and human-friendly designs for advanced capabilities in complex environments. He is exploring applications in healthcare and wellness, industry and service, farms and smart cities, and dangerous and unreachable settings, deep in oceans, mines, and space.

Professor Khatib is a Fellow of IEEE, Editor of the Springer STAR and SPAR series, and the Springer Handbook of Robotics. Professor Khatib is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He is recipient of the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award, the George Saridis Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award, the Rudolf Kalman Award, and the IEEE Technical Field Award. Professor Khatib is a member of NAE, the National Academy of Engineering.

Priyanka Das Rajkakati (S2017-D2021)


Co-founder and GNC Engineer at The Exploration Company | Artist

Priyanka has a story to tell: about mixing Art, Science and Space. Born in the Himalayas and growing up in Delhi, she moved to France at age 21 to explore new horizons. With a bachelor in Physics from St. Stephen’s College (University of Delhi), a double-degree in Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique and ISAE-SUPAERO, she completed her studies with a CIFRE Ph.D. from Safran and ISAE SCAN-R (DEOS) laboratory. Shortly after, she co-founded The Exploration Company and started its GNC activities.

In parallel, Priyanka explores the art and science harmony through exhibitions and residencies, drawing inspiration from mathematics, space, science, her Indian roots and travels. She is also actively involved in #S.T.E.A.M. outreach through talks and channels such as SGAC (as a founder of the "Our Giant Leap" initiative) and Homeward Bound Antarctica programme for women in science. She was featured on the 2021 Forbes India 30 under 30 list and is a 2021 Karman Fellow.

Luca Parmitano (MS2009)


Italian Pilot & Astronaut, Colonel at the Italian Air Force, former Commander of the International Space Station

Luca is an Italian astronaut recruited in 2009 in the European Space Agency’s 3rd astronaut selection. The same year, he obtained a master’s degree in experimental flight test engineering from ISAE-SUPAERO. In February 2011, he was assigned as Flight Engineer for Expedition 36/37 (a long duration mission to the International Space Station). This mission started on board the Soyuz TMA-09M on 28 May 2013 and arrived at the ISS on 29 May 2013. During this mission, Luca Parmitano performed a spacewalk on 9 July lasting 6 h 7 min to participate in various repairs on the station. He was the first Italian astronaut to go into space.

Olivia Drayson (M2019)


PhD student in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California Irvine

Before coming to ISAE-SUPAERO, Olivia attained her Bachelor’s in Physics from the University of Oxford. At ISAE- SUPAERO she completed the Master in Aerospace Engineering course specialising in Space Systems.

Her Master’s thesis was on the subject of an ICE Cube experiment designed with fellow students at ISAE-SUPAERO and Politecnico di Torino and which was selected by ESA for the first-ever Orbit Your Thesis! programme. This became the AIM (Artery in Microgravity) project that was continued by students after her graduation and is set to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) this year.

After graduating from ISAE-SUPAERO Olivia started a PhD at the University of California Irvine in Environmental Toxicology. She is currently in her third year of the PhD and is conducting research with the Limoli Lab on the effects of space radiation on the brain as well as on the application of deep learning to radiographic images post radiotherapy treatment.

Thomas Pesquet (S2001)


French Ingénieur, black belt Judoka, Pilot & Astronaut, Commander of the International Space Station

After he graduated from ISAE-SUPAERO, Thomas Pesquet held various positions in the aerospace industry and at the French Space Agency (CNES) before becoming an airline pilot in 2005. In May 2009, he was one of six candidates selected to form the third group of European astronauts selected by the European Space Agency (ESA).

He was the tenth Frenchman to go into space, taking off on 17 November 2016 aboard Soyuz MS-03 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. His crew occupied the International Space Station (ISS) from November 2016 to June 2017 as part of the Proxima mission. During this mission, Thomas Pesquet conducted around 100 experiments, half of which were developed by the European Space Agency or the French National Centre for Space Studies, the other half by the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). He performed two six-hour spacewalks for maintenance missions on the International Space Station.

In July 2020, he was selected for a second mission aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, built by the American company SpaceX. He thus becomes the first European assigned to a mission on board the Crew Dragon2, which the European Space Agency decides to name Alpha.

On 23 April 2021, Thomas Pesquet embarked for the second time in his life to the International Space Station (ISS). At the end of his six-month stay, he will become the first French commander of the ISS.

Guillaume Faury (S1992)



Prior to being CEO, Guillaume was President of Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft business and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Helicopters (2013-2018). His achievements included restructuring manufacturing systems and introducing new technologies.

Before his recent Airbus tenure, Guillaume enjoyed a four-year spell in the car industry with Peugeot (2009-2013), rising to become the Executive Vice-President for Research and Development and a member of the company’s management board.

Guillaume began his career in 1992 as a flight-test engineer for the Eurocopter Tiger helicopter in the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) – A French government agency responsible for the development and purchase of defence systems for the armed forces.

He then had his first stint at AIRBUS (1998 – 2008). He held various leadership positions in the helicopter business; then operating under the name Eurocopter. He became Executive-Vice President for Programmes and a member of the Executive Committee, before appointment as the Executive Director for Research and Development.

Guillaume’s love of flying and aviation dates back to his childhood. He is a qualified light-aircraft pilot and helicopter flight-test engineer with 1,300 hours of flying experience. Guillaume graduated from the École Polytechnique in Paris, and subsequently from ISAE-SUPAERO.

Marcin Budkowski (S2001)


Polish Formula One engineer

He graduated from École Polytechnique, Paris, in 1999 and continued his studies between 1999 and 2001 at ISAE-SUPAERO and Imperial College London, specialising in aeronautics and aerodynamics.

After completing his studies, Budkowski started his career in motorsport in 2001 as an aerodynamicist for Prost GP. Budkowski subsequently moved to Maranello, working for Ferrari between 2002 and 2007 in a period that saw the team winning multiple championships.

Seeking a new challenge, he then joined McLaren in 2007, working in a variety of aerodynamic roles both at the factory and trackside, notably during the 2008 title winning year, before becoming head of aerodynamics in 2012.

His seven years at McLaren ended in 2014, after which he became Formula 1’s technical and sporting coordinator for the FIA, subsequently becoming head of the Formula One technical department in 2017. He then joined Renault F1 Team as executive technical director, where he has remained as the team has transitioned into the Alpine F1 Team. In his current role he oversees the day-to-day running and operation of the team, working closely with senior management and directors to ensure that the team meets its objectives, he also works with HR and finance to manage budgets and recruitment. In January 2021 he was made a director of Alpine F1 Team.

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