Meet some women of Wyvern #WorldSpaceWeek

This week is #WorldSpaceWeek and the theme is Women in Space! For our part, you’ll be meeting three women who have been making a difference here at Wvyern. 








Christine on the KC-135 flights testing the VR system to be flown on STS-90 Neurolab.

Credit: Creative Destruction Labs



What’s your experience in the aerospace and defense sectors so far?
After graduating from MIT, I moved to Europe and worked for the big aerospace and defence prime contractors in the UK, France and Germany. I also was based in the United States twice during my career. During that time, I have worked both in engineering management on complex projects like Skynet V satellite communications and C4ISTAR systems as well as on the innovation and research agenda.

How did you end up joining the Wyvern team?
I met Wyvern during Creative Destruction Lab and after mentoring them a couple of times during the program, I signed on as an advisor and continued to be engaged with the team. After being in an advisory role for a couple of years, I felt I could create more impact by deepening my involvement with the company on an operational level. Wyvern is gaining traction and now has to focus on delivering on their commitments. I felt my prior experience could be leveraged to achieve success if I joined the team full-time.

What does your role at Wyvern look like?
I take a broad view of technology to include not just the actual mechanisms but also making sure we have the right resources, people and processes to sustain continued innovation. I also am focused on accelerating our progress and on making sure that our R&D brings value to the customers and the business.

What is your key piece of advice for those looking to get a job in the space sector?
My advice whether it is about the space sector or otherwise always goes back to what a dance teacher used to say in class: “Start before you are ready”.  There are so many exciting opportunities right now to work in space and you can plunge right into a project as a student or even as an enthusiast in a crowdsourced public space project. The key quality is to be curious and learn about the space environment and its challenges. There are many skills needed in the space sector right now, not just rocket scientists! Explore how your unique skill set can be applied to space.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I am an adrenaline junkie. I am a private pilot. I love long bike rides and rock climbing. On the quieter side, there is nothing better than a good book and a glass of wine on the back patio surrounded by nature. I am also renovating an 1830s farmhouse in France.





What is your role at Wyvern and what does this involve day-to-day? 
My role is Satellite Systems Lead, which is basically a fancy way of saying I do a lot of different technical stuff, like project management, checking regulatory compliance, and simulating satellite orbits. Probably the most consistent thing I do is make and edit spreadsheets! (Good thing I love spreadsheets.)

How did you get interested in space?
The first show I remember watching was Star Trek Voyager, and I watched a lot of other Sci-fi shows as well. Even though being captain of a starship is looking less and less likely, I never stopped being interested in space.

How did you end up joining the Wyvern team?
I had previously worked with a few of the founders on the AlbertaSat student project. Wyvern needed someone to join the team as they started a new project and invited me to apply!

What is the most exciting thing you’ve worked on at Wyvern so far?
Working on the first set of Wyvern’s satellites that are launching next year!

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love being active outside. I’m a big fan of hiking, especially in the mountains. I like to rock climb indoors and out and play Ultimate Frisbee. I’m also a big fan of reading, and even more so if it has dragons!





Tell us a little about your experience before joining Wyvern.
I have a passion for agriculture and the technologies that improve agriculture. Before joining the Wyvern team, I scaled a company called Localize that aggregated traceability data for the ag industry. My work at Localize taught me how incredibly powerful data and information can be in providing new opportunities in both ag and food. 

What made you make the jump to the space sector?
I didn’t expect that my career in agriculture would land me in a space company! But my experience in data and agtech are a great combination at Wyvern, especially as we embark on an objective of delivering best-in-class imaging to the ag industry at a fraction of the cost of our competitors. I’m excited about the opportunities that Wyvern is going to open up as users access our data and start building incredible solutions for agriculture – and beyond.

What is a Chief Growth Officer, anyways? 
My job is to support the team in accelerating our growth and getting to our objectives as quickly as possible. A lot of my job is to align our resources and capital towards that end. From forging partnerships to raising financial resources, I get to work on a lot of exciting things at Wyvern.

What is the most challenging thing you’ve worked on at Wyvern?
The most challenging part is also the most exciting part – learning about space! Everyday brings new conversations about everything from engineering work to orbital simulations, and often some fun segues into things like interplanetary travel. I am often challenged to learn new terms, technologies, and concepts, but I love it. 

What motivates you?
We are living in a time of incredible change, and I am simultaneously excited and scared about that change. I’m excited because we (humanity) have so much ingenuity at our fingertips. But I’m scared because we are past the brink of a global climate crisis. I’m motivated to be part of building solutions that really matter, and I think that is exactly what Wyvern is fully focused on and capable of achieving.

What do you like to do outside of work?
My husband owns a bike touring business that offers guided tours through the rocky mountains. I call him the ‘fun machine’ because he always makes sure that me and our two young kids are injecting some fun into our schedule! That often means family bike trips, hiking, and the occasional road trip to somewhere enchanting.

David Miller

Mechanical Design Engineer

David has 5 years of experience with complex mechanical design and prototyping. He earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering for designing Stirling engines for Alberta’s geothermal industry. David is always striving to learn more and share his experience by teaching and mentoring in mechanical design and manufacturing. After work, David is in the woods or woodworking.

Chris Stewart

Data Engineer and Data Scientist

Industrial Engineer with a Masters in Clinical Engineering where he worked on data from smart distributed medical devices. Chris has experience spanning the Aerospace, Manufacturing & Healthcare fields and loves diving into all things data. In his spare time he enjoys sailing and the outdoors.

Adam Keith

Strategy and Business Development

Adam Keith brings over 20 years experience in the downstream Earth observation business, working with government, industry and the investment community along the value-chain.

Pundeep Hundal

Mechanical Engineering - Co-op Student

Pundeep Hundal has finished 2-year of his BSc.-Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He has 4-years of management experience having worked in the fast food industry as a supervisor. He has a deep rooted interest in space, particularly satellites and launch vehicles. His interest in space as well as his drive to learn led him to join AlbertaSat students project group at the University of Alberta. There, some of his duties include orbital operations, defining satellite properties, testing of ADCS Unit as well as administrative and educational outreach tasks. Pundeep plans to leverage his experience from AlbertaSat and Wyvern towards an eventual career in the aerospace industry.”

Ian Splinter

Product Development Manager

Prior to joining Wyvern, Ian Splinter was the CEO of Cocoaburra Chocolates, a company he co-founded that specialized in producing fully custom 3D chocolates. In his free time, he is an avid rock climber and wood carver.

Taryn Haluza-Delay

Satellite Systems Lead

BSc. in Engineering Physics. 4 years as a Systems Engineer with the student group AlbertaSat. Rock climbs and plays competitive Ultimate Frisbee when not designing space hardware.

Vincent Sauer

R&D Scientist

Dr. Vincent Sauer received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering and has over 10 years experience in the fields of optics, nanophotonics, and nano-electromechanical systems. He likes to run, and as a result has an unhealthy knowledge about running shoes.

Christine Tovee


Christine Tovee has over 15 years in the aerospace and defence sectors both in Europe and North America. Her experience spans engineering management as well as research and development projects and at Airbus Group, she held the position of Chief Technology Officer for the North American division.

Kurtis Broda

VP Product and Co-Founder

Kurtis Broda is VP Product and co-founder of Wyvern. Previously, he was a systems engineer at General Dynamics. Kurtis holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering where developed a new way of measuring compounds that influence global climate change.

Callie Lissinna

COO and Co-Founder

Nearly 6 years of experience working on four different satellites at the University of Alberta. People-oriented; background in mechanical engineering and math. In the evenings she teaches jazz and ballet classes for competitive dancers.

Kristen Cote

VP R&D and Co-Founder

Kristen has 7+ years of experience with conceptualization, detailed design, and characterization of optical payloads for space, ranging from laser-based spectroscopy for planetary science, to imaging cameras for Earth observation, to optical atomic clocks for space-based gravitational wave detection. At Wyvern she oversees the development of our in-lab deployable optics prototype. At the same time she is working towards her PhD in physics at the University of Toronto as a Vanier Scholar. 

Chris Robson


Captains the [space] ship. MSc in orbital design and analysis, former AlbertaSat Project Manager, an expert in all things mechanical.