LIQUIFER Systems Group (LSG) is a Viennese NewSpace company that engages in cutting-edge research, design, engineering, innovation, prototype development and testing for space and space-related habitation, transportation and exploration technologies.
The LIQUIFER team is trans-disciplinary and includes experts from diverse fields such as architecture, industrial design, engineering, robotics, biomimetics, ergonomics, material sciences and new age manufacturing technologies such as 3D-printing. Our core areas of expertise include systems engineering, human factors, habitability and exploration science.
WALTRAUT HOHENEDER, cofounder, Managing Partner, senior designer
Waltraut Hoheneder is a co-founder, managing partner and co-owner of LIQUIFER. Barbara Imhof and Waltraut Hoheneder incorporated the company in 2005.
Waltraut is an architect and product designer with a dedicated focus on research. She holds two diplomas, one in Architecture from the Academy of Applied Arts, Vienna, and another in Commercial Science from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She also studied Product Design at the Academy of Applied Arts. Her rich and varied professional experience ranges from market research to design responsibilities for large-scale architectural projects at COOP HIMMELB(L)AU.
At LIQUIFER, Waltraut’s role and responsibilities include: business development, project management, architecture, product, process and environment design, as well as finance management. Her core areas of expertise include: interdisciplinary design research, scenario- development, deployable habitat solutions, living systems integration in sustainable human life support systems, and teaching.
Waltraut enjoys life intrinsically tied to her ongoing research activities merging art and sciences, business and technologies, to explore promising scenarios and applications for an attractive future on and beyond the planet.
DR. BARBARA IMHOF, cofounder, Managing Partner
Barbara Imhof is a co-founder, Managing Partner and co-owner of LIQUIFER. She co-founded LIQUIFER with Susmita Mohanty in 2003 and incorporated the company with Waltraut Hoheneder in 2005.
Prior to starting LIQUIFER, Barbara co-founded an architecture firm called ESCAPE*sphere and did a short stint at NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston. She has pioneered the field of ‘space architecture’ in Europe and is a founding member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Architecture Technical Committee (SATC). She has been teaching at renowned institutes in Europe and the United States, for 20+ years. Educated in Vienna, London, Los Angeles and Strasbourg, Barbara has multiple degrees including a PhD.
At LIQUIFER Barbara’s role and responsibilities include: business development, bid & proposal, international cooperation, negotiations, project management, architecture and design development. Her core areas of expertise include: space architecture, human factors, interdisciplinary research, biomimetics, systems design, and teaching.
Barbara loves the mountains. She has been exploring remote and extreme landscapes of the Alps since childhood. More recently, she has taken to exploring the subsea and underwater worlds.
RENÉ WACLAVICEK, Managing Partner
René Waclavicek is a Managing Partner and co-owner of LIQUIFER. He started his career working in design and construction planning for terrestrial buildings. In 2002, he participated in the Lunar Base Design Workshop (LBDW) organised at the European Space Agency’s ESTEC Centre in Noordwijk which was the starting point of his career in space architecture.
Educated as an engineer, mason, carpenter and architect, René applies his skills to interdisciplinary research, design projects and complex geometries, including parametrics.
At LIQUIFER, Rene’s role and responsibilities include: architecture and design development. His core areas of expertise include: interdisciplinary research, architecture, systems design, human factors, habitability, and visualization.
Educated at the Vienna Boys Choir, René continues to pursue his love of music through electronic music composition and building an audio library. In recent years, he has found a new passion – scuba diving and exploring the underwater world.
DR. SUSMITA MOHANTY, cofounder, Ambassador
Susmita Mohanty co-founded LIQUIFER in 2003 with fellow International Space University (ISU) alumna Barbara Imhof with the objective of bringing a multi-disciplinary approach to designing future systems for space exploration, a marked shift from the engineering-centric approach followed by government space agencies. Then Waltraut Hoheneder came onboard, and between the three of them, they had degrees in engineering, product design, architecture and space studies, a perfect mix to launch a multi-disciplinary enterprise.
Prior to LIQUIFER, Susmita co-founded MOONFRONT, San Francisco (2001-07) and post LIQUIFER, she co-founded EARTH2ORBIT, Bangalore (2009-ongoing). She was actively involved in LIQUIFER projects, business development, proposal writing, and technical publications up until 2016. She worked on projects such as RAMA, FIPES, LUNA and CAAS. Starting 2017, she switched to an ambassadorial role for LIQUIFER, while focusing on her India venture. Starting summer of 2019, Susmita has been working towards a “15th Anniversary Retrospective” for LIQUIFER. She has pitched idea to curators and potential exhibition venues in the US, Europe and India.
Before turning entrepreneur in 2000, Susmita worked in business development for the International Space Station (ISS) program at Boeing in California. She also did a brief stint at NASA Johnson in Houston where she worked on Shuttle-Mir projects.
Educated in India, France, and Sweden, Susmita holds multiple degrees including a PhD. She is probably the only space entrepreneur in the world to have started space companies on three different continents. In 2017, she was featured on the cover of Fortune magazine. In 2019, she was selected as one of BBC’s 100 Women laureates inspiring and influencing a female-led future.