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.
CHRIS GILBERT, Internal Consultant
Chris joined LIQUIFER as an internal consultant in 2012. He provides support to business development, proposal writing, and has worked on LIQUIFER projects such as EDEN-ISS and Gateway I-HAB.
Chris has 40+ years of experience working for European and international space activities. He worked for 35 years at Astrium Space Transportation where his role involved systems engineering, project management, marketing and business strategy.
Chris spent a year (2011-12) as a visiting scholar at the Space Policy Institute in Washington DC, studying issues of international cooperation for space exploration. Chris has a BSc (Engineering) from Leicester University and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management in England.
MONIKA BRANDIĆ LIPIŃSKA, Internal Consultant
Monika holds a Master in Architecture from Lund University, Sweden and has a Master in Space Studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment at Newcastle University. She researches biofabrication strategies for stabilising regolith using mycelium, to construct inhabitable structures, in resource-limited Martian conditions. Monika also collaborates with the Astrobiology lab at NASA Ames Research Centre. Further, Monika is a co-founder of Bio-Futures for Transplanetary Habitats, a research platform which aims to explore and enable interdisciplinary research on transplanetary habitats and habitable structures in extreme environments through an emphasis on the biosocial and biotechnological relations. She worked with LIQUIFER in 2017 as an intern and since 2020 she has been an internal consultant.
BOB DAVENPORT, Internal Consultant († 14.2.2023)
Bob Davenport joined LIQUIFER as an internal consultant in 2013. He has worked on projects such as MOONWALK, TRAILER, URBAN, EDEN-ISS.
Bob is a space systems engineer with 40+ years of experience in the development and testing of manned space systems, interface definitions, operations scenarios, payload integration for the European module Columbus on the International Space Station (ISS). He worked with Astrium Space Transportation for over 37 years. Bob was also employed as scientific assistant in the Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen researching the global carbon cycle using remote sensing. Bob has a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Materials Science from the University of Leeds.
JENNIFER CUNNINGHAM, Associate
Jennifer joined LIQUIFER in 2020 after work as a design researcher for the circular economy in commercial and academic environments in Northern Europe. Jennifer holds a Master´s degree in Material Culture and Design Anthropology from University College London. Her focus is on the conceptualisation, editorial and development of the LIQUIFER Book.
STEPHEN RANSOM, Internal Consultant (2002 – 2016)
Stephen Ransom joined LIQUIFER as an internal consultant in 2005. He led proposal writing efforts and worked on projects such as RAMA, FIPES, FASTER, SHEE, and MOONWALK.
Stephen has 50+ years of experience working as a systems engineer and project leader in the British aerospace industry for BAC / BAe, and in Germany for ERNO Raumfahrttechnik, EADS Space, Astrium, and Airbus. His areas of expertise include: advanced systems engineering, definition of system and mission requirements, space scenarios and infrastructures, new concepts, R&D, prototyping, manufacturing and testing. He has extensive experience in technical and contractual study management of space projects. Stephen has a BSc (Engineering) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Salford.
Valentin Eder, Managing Partner (2011-2014)
Other Internal Consultants
MOLLY HOGLE (2014 -2020)
Conceptualization & implementation of project identity and project dissemination, research and writing
DAMJAN MINOVSKI (2012/13, 2018/19, 2022)
Architecture, programming, visualization
ANGELO VERMEULEN (2012-ongoing)
Space systems research, biology, art
DR. NORBERT FRISCHAUF (2004-2011)
Systems engineering, project management, strategic planning and press relations
DR. LUTZ RICHTER (2010-2013)
Project management, business development, systems design, cost estimation modelling, planetary landers, rovers, terra-mechanics
DR. KASPAR VOGEL (2008-2012)
Occupational health specialist, Medical Doctor
Further, we would like to thank all our team members
who worked/have been working with us since 2003:
Anne-Marlene Ruede, 2014, 2019 (CAAS, GrAB), 2019 (Living Architecture)
Monika Lipinska, 2017 (RegoLight, Future of Demonstration – Naurutica)
Olisa Agulue, 2017 (Space suit design, RegoLight)
Ewa Lenart, 2013 (TMW-SPACE, space architecture)
Nina Soltani, 2013 (space architecture)
Dr. Kürsad Özdemir, 2003-2013 (HMM, FIPES, RAMA)
Kjell Herrmann, 2010 – 2011(simonaut, ISS-SLEEP-KIT)
Dr. Sandra Häuplik-Meusburger, 2003 – 2011 (HMM, FIPES, RAMA)
Anna Stürzenbecher, 2008/9 (Deployable Getaway Office and space)
Sonia Leimer, 2007 (All live differently)
Anna Balint, 2005 (model building)
Irmgard Derschmidt, 2004 (model building)
Melanie Klähn, 2005 (conversion of a flat)
Barbara Kolb, 2005 (layout, graphic design)
Paul Mayr, 2004 (ExoMars)
Georg Pamperl. 2004 (ExoMars)
Bruno Stubenrauch since 2002
Alexander Ach Schuh
Molly Hogle (texts, editing)
Emma May since 2010