Published: Oct. 11, 2016
Heather Hava in the Bioastronautics lab.

The first ever White House Frontiers Conference is coming up and University of Colorado Boulder aerospace PhD student Heather Hava is on the guest list.

The event, set for October 13, 2016 at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, will focus on building U.S. capacity in science, technology, and innovation. The conference will bring together some of the world’s leading innovators to discuss how investing in science and technology frontiers can improve lives and help us settle the final frontier – space. 

Hava has been asked to speak at a panel discussion entitled Not Just to Visit, But to Stay.

Hava’s research focuses on developing plant growth robotics and automation technologies such as SmartPOT and Ag.Q. (A.I. for agriculture) to improve astronauts’ nutritional and psychological health during long-duration space missions. Bioregenerative Life Support Systems (BLiSS) such as these will be cornerstone technology for space habitats. They also have potential here on Earth to increase self-sufficiency and food security.

In addition to Hava's graduate work, she is an entrepreneur who has two start-up technology companies, Stellar Synergetics and Autoponics, which commercialize her research and innovations for sustainable Earth application and apace exploration.

At the event, President Barack Obama will participate in a discussion on innovators in medicine and healthcare. The conference, which is by invitation only, will also include presentations or speechs by NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman as well as astronauts Anousheh Ansari and Serena Aunon-Chancellor.