Main focus: Space Science, Cosmic Dust
Twitter handle: @veerlesterken
Languages: German, English, French, Dutch
Topics: history of spaceflight, planetary science, space science
Originally from Belgium, Dr. Veerle Sterken graduated in Aerospace Engineering at the TUDelft (the Netherlands) in 2005. She first gained experience as a Young Graduate Trainee at the European Space Agency and performed engineering studies for the Darwin mission at the TUDelft and Thales Alenia Space before she switched in 2009 to planetary sciences and specialized in cosmic dust. She focused on the motion of interstellar dust moving through the solar system, at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics in Heidelberg (Germany). She obtained her PhD in geophysics from the Technical University of Braunschweig in 2012. In 2014, she moved to Bern, Switzerland to continue her own research program at the International Space Science Institute, after which she supported the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern on precise orbit determination of LEO satellites. Since 2020, she is a researcher at the ETH Zürich, based on a European Starting Grant project on cosmic dust and the heliosphere. She is the author or co-author of 33 scientific (refereed) publications and has held many talks at conferences, seminars or public events. In her free time, she is keen on outdoor sports (skiing, hiking, caving) and outdoor photography.
Examples of previous talks / appearances:
For the Sattelkammer in Bern, I have introduced to a broad audience the exciting world of cosmic dust science and the exploration of nearby interstellar space.This talk is in: German
This talk takes us back in time towards spaceflight in the late 60s, when Sir Hermann Bondi became the director of the European Space Agency. He was a cosmologist and an inspiring leader. In this talk we focus on his life, his achievements in these two fields, and beyond. The talk was originally given at the International Astronautical Congress in Valencia, and was perceived with great enthusiasm.This talk is in: English