Kim Ellis, Founder and Director of Earth Space Tech and native of Australia, is a leading voice in the growing Space Law profession. As a qualified lawyer, mining and metals manufacturing research scientist, and adjunct faculty member of the International Space University, Ellis has received numerous accolades internationally for her research and is sought after for her unique perspective and experience in the science, technology, and legal fields. In addition to regular educational outreach efforts in these areas, Ellis frequents television and radio programs across the globe to communicate the benefits of space technology and its applications in “plain English” for the general public.
Ellis began her career in mining and metals manufacturing processing research, working at the Shortland Research Laboratory for BHP Billiton and at the Melbourne Research Centre for Rio Tinto--two of the leading mining companies in the world, both headquartered in Australia. First working within the uranium technology team for the Olympic Dam pilot plant process development, she was then employed by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) for the Australian government with the minerals research team on uranium process development. As a resource industry scientist her specialized skills include: hydrometallurgy; pilot plant process design and optimisation; analytical, process, and environmental chemistry; instrumental and wet chemistry methods for mining concentrate analysis and characterization; novel mining concentrate analysis method development; acid leach; and rheology. Her expertise in mining and manufacturing industry is unique and, as a result, Ellis has a particular interest in the development of industry and legal processes which promote technology development and innovation.
After receiving a scholarship to the world-renowned International Space University (ISU) in 2010, Ellis completed the Space Studies program after a nine-week residency in Strasbourg, France. Following graduation, she received the Endeavour Executive Fellowship Award by the Australian Government Department of Education and, as a result, was placed on a team responsible for the delivery of a Space Studies academic program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the United States for an international collaboration between the Florida Institute of Technology and ISU. Held over the course of 12 weeks, Ellis managed the coordination and delivery of over 450 academic activities including operational briefings and reconnaissance office launches for over 300 space industry professionals.
In 2014, Kim served as the Space Policy, Economics, and Law Department Chair during the 27th session of the International Space University Space Studies program in Montreal, Canada where she designed, developed, directed and delivered a post-graduate, interdisciplinary curriculum for space industry professionals. Since then, she has worked closely with ISU through publishing a range of legal and technical papers as well as facilitating industry workshops on topics including asteroid sampling methodology, sample return mission design, legal aspects of space operations, in-situ resource utilization, mars mission simulation, space habitat design, and space treaty negotiation--ultimately leading to her appointment as an adjunct faculty member for the university.
Ellis has been admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia, elected to the International Institute of Space Law, and is a member of the New South Wales Law Society, the American Bar Association, and the International Bar Association. Serving on the committee of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law, Ellis actively contributes to the growth of the global space law profession through contributing to international research, organizing legal symposia, and developing initiatives for space industry standards.
A passionate educational advocate, Ellis provides mentorship for university students in Newcastle and Sydney in Australia, and assists underprivileged high school students in raising funds for STEM education. She speaks regularly for charitable organizations, universities, government departments and schools, and is a long-term volunteer scientist for the Australian government as well as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Scientist in Schools program. Ellis was most recently appointed as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Reviewer by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), where she evaluates students’ research on scientific merit and provides recommendations for award of postdoctoral projects.
Ellis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, a Bachelor of Laws degree, and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice for which she completed specializations in environmental, resources, international, dispute resolution, Government Law, and Intellectual Property Law. Her company, Earth Space Tech, provides consultancy, research, and stakeholder engagement services in addition to educational outreach, workshops, and curricula development for space industry professionals and institutions.
Communications & Marketing Manager
Founder & Director
Shannon Hurst is communications professional and educator from the Space Coast of Florida with more than ten years’ experience in print and digital marketing, website administration, and social media management for nonprofits, community organizations, and private businesses. As an educator, Hurst has taught classes to students from elementary to university levels and currently serves as a STEM teacher for the Science Center of Pinellas County, the longest-running science museum in the nation. She was previously the Communications and Educational Programs Coordinator for Dr. Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, where she was instrumental in developing its flagship educational program and corresponding curriculum for an international community of STE(A)M educators. Hurst is an active musician and holds an MA and two BA degrees from Florida State University.
Earth Space Tech delivers a range of unique services and programs to industry professionals in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Whether delivering a keynote presentation, consultancy services, or training and workshop services, we aim to achieve excellent outcomes for our clients. Our professional industry network spans the globe as does our team.