Lift, Off the Page: The Commercial Space Race

Join us at 7 p.m. Monday, April 9 for Lift, Off the Page: The Commercial Space Race. This lively panel discussion, moderated by Marc Bernier, director of Embry-Riddle's Speaker Series, will be held at the Capt. Willie Miller Instructional Center Auditorium at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach Campus. The event will also be live streamed. Lift, Off the Page expands upon a topic in Lift, the Embry-Riddle alumni magazine, in a live forum. It's an opportunity for Lift readers and the general public to explore a topic of national and/or global interest through an interactive discussion with Embry-Riddle faculty and alumni subject matter experts. Register to attend in person or online at

Featured guests for Lift, Off the Page: The Commercial Space Race include leading space industry experts: Diane Howard, Moriba Jah and Sonya McMullen. See below for more information on our esteemed panelists.

Diane Howard is an assistant professor of commercial space operations at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus and executive secretary of the International Institute of Space Law. She holds a Ph.D. (DCL) in International Space Law from McGill University, a Juris Doctorate in Law from Nova Southeastern University and a Master in Air and Space Law from McGill University. Howard is a member of the International Institute of Space Law board and a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), as a private sector adviser. Howard participated (2014-2017) in a Working Group of the Legal Subcommittee of UN COPUOS researching the many different mechanisms used by the space community to foster cooperation. She is renowned as a space law expert and organizes the annual Space Traffic Management Conference at Embry-Riddle.

Moriba Jah (’99, PC) is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in astrodynamics and statistical orbit determination, and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus. Jah is a world-recognized subject matter expert in astrodynamics-based Space Domain Awareness sciences and technologies. He’s been an invited lecturer and keynote speaker at 20-plus national and international space events, workshops and fora. He is also a Fellow at the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, American Astronautical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society and an Associate Fellow at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Jah previously led the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics and was a principal investigator for its Detect/Track/ID/Characterize Program. He was also a spacecraft navigator for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Sonya A. H. McMullen (’00, WW) is an assistant professor in the College of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus, associate program chair of the B.S. in Aviation Security degree and secretary of the Worldwide Faculty Senate. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with specializations in homeland security and aeronautical science management from Northcentral University, a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining Embry-Riddle, McMullen served as a Space and Missile Operations Officer in the U.S. Air Force. Her research focuses on the evolution of the commercial space transportation industry; and sensor applications, multisensor data fusion and data visualization. McMullen is a textbook author and has served as a U.S. delegate to the North American Treaty Organization’s Research and Technology Organization IST-085 and IST-063 Network Visualization research groups.  

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at