Summer workshop connects young researchers in exo-planetary science

Participants at the TEPS workshop
Participants at the TEPS workshop

The Technologies for Exo-Planetary Science (TEPS) CREATE program – directed by York Science Dean Ray Jayawardhana – hosted its first summer skills workshop June 15 to 17.

Held at the University of Montreal, the TEPS Summer School Workshop attracted more than 50 researchers, including 24 trainees. It was an intensive three-day event that exposed students to recent advances in exoplanetary astronomy, planetary science and space instrument development and provided them with an opportunity to network and to present their research.

Participants at the TEPS workshop

“The workshop fostered cross-disciplinary conversations, with speakers drawn from academia, industry and NASA centers,” says Jayawardhana. “ And our trainees presented an impressive array of research, from nano-satellite payloads to impact craters on Titan to exoplanet imaging.”

The workshop offered:

  • presentations by guest speakers Rebekah Dawson (Pennsylvania State University), Cameron Dickinson (MDA Space Missions), Barbara Cohen (NASA), Jason Rowe (Bishop’s University), Paul Hayne (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology), and York Professor and TEPS Deputy Director John Moores;
  • a mini-conference for trainees in the TEPS program;
  • a public lecture by Jayawardhana titled “Rocks, Ice and Penguins: Searching for Clues to Planetary Origins in Antarctica”;
  • and a tour of the Canadian Space Agency.

The TEPS program is an academic-industry partnership funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Grants Program. It was established in April 2016, when the Government of Canada allocated $1.65 million over six years to the program, which has a total project value of over $7 million. The program offers students and postdoctoral fellows innovative and collaborative training environments, to position them at the forefront of the rapidly developing and exciting field of exo-planetary science. TEPS currently includes 31 trainees, 10 co-investigators across Canada, three industry partners, and more than 25 international collaborators.

Learn more about the program at