Candidate Profile

Astronomy & Space Science
Science - General
Science - Physics
Norbert Frischauf is a partner at SpaceTec Partners, visiting scientist at CERN, lecturer at TU Graz and co-founder of two operating start-ups.

He is an alumnus of the International Space University, holds a master in Technical Physics from the Technical University in Vienna and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University in Graz (Austria). Following his specialization on high energy physics he moved to CERN in Geneva (Switzerland) to work on two particle detectors in the DELPHI Experiment of the Large Electron Positron Collider (LEP).

After having spent some years at CERN, his professional career led him to the European Science and Technology Centre (ESTEC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Noordwijk (Netherlands), where he co-designed the avionics systems of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), a 20.5 ton spacecraft, which was re-supplying the International Space Station in a fully autonomous manner. When ESA’s Moon-Mars program took shape, Norbert joined the program executive as future studies systems engineer and expert for emerging technologies, acting as book captain for the “Long-term plan”, the program’s master strategy document, detailing out what kind of missions were to be flown, which technologies had to be developed and what kind of contributions were to be brought in by other agencies, institutes and the industry.

From 1999 to 2006, Norbert was engaged with consultancy work for Booz Allen Hamilton, mostly focusing on aerospace, telecoms and hi-tech.

After co-founding the start-up QASAR in Vienna, Norbert returned to the Netherlands in the beginning of 2009, where he worked for three years as a scientific officer at the EC Joint Research Centre – Institute for Energy and Transport in the action for “Hydrogen Safety in Storage and Transport”, being responsible for scientific aspects of high pressure hydrogen storage activities and further technical developments.

From 2012 on, Norbert serves as partner at SpaceTec Partners a unique boutique consultancy providing strategy and technology consulting, communication activities and interdisciplinary project management mainly for the European Commission, ESA and leading industries. Norbert’s role within the company involves: strategy development, science and technology competence, experimental research, coaching, mentoring and networking, as well as authoring and presenting.

Beside these scientific activities, Norbert is a leading member in various associations (like the Austrian Space Forum, the Space Generation Advisory Council of the United Nations and the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Astronautical Federation), lectures at the SpaceTech Master Course of the TU Graz and is active as science communicator, making science documentaries for the Austrian Broadcasting (ORF) Corporation, Bayern Alpha, 3Sat and writing popular science articles in various magazines. In addition, Norbert is a keen acrobatic pilot and a high sea skipper, enjoys skiing and ballroom dancing.

1. Mars - The red Planet caught in between Fire and Ice.
Mars is neither the brightest planet nor is he permanently visible. Still he sparks the phantasies of humanity and is seen as the next goal of human exploration into space. What makes Mars so interesting and appealing to us? What are the biggest challenges to get there? And When will the first human set foot on Mars?

2. The Moon – Earth’s Eight Continent. A technological Analysis WHY and HOW the Moon can/will play a Key Role in Humanity’s Space Ambitions
The Moon - the eighth continent of the Earth. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon. He was the first person to enter an alien celestial body. 11 more Americans were to follow by 1972, but then our neighbors in space fell silent. Today, 50 years after Apollo 11, the Moon is again in the focus of interest and plans are being made to construct a permanently inhabited lunar station. This lecture deals with the question WHY the moon is today called the 8th continent of the Earth and WHY the Moon plays a key role in human exploration ambitions.

3. Jede Schöpfung ist ein Wagnis / Every Creation is a Venture - Innovation triggered by disruptive Thinking and multidisciplinary Creativity.
Physics, chemistry and biology are the basis for our current progress paradigm and entities like CERN, ESA and the JRC-IET are representative for the actors in these domains. Aviation, rocketry, nuclear power were the buzzwords of yesterday, today we are dealing with digitalisation, M2M, industry 4.0, biotech and Moore's Law and tomorrow it may be nanotechnology, fusion and AI that will drive the world into a new era of science, economy and society.

4. Space and Security: Earth Observation between the priorities of civilian and military use.
Corona, Ikonos, Lacrosse - these names symbolise Earth Observation satellites that are used by the military therefore representing what the man from the street calls a spy satellite. 100s of those circle above us constantly observing what happens in East and West, North and South. What are the features of these satllites? Ar they really so powerful as suggested by the Hollywood movies? And could it be that these spy satellites might serve as a tool for global peace?

5. LHC@CERN.CH: Big Bang or doomsday machine?
The LHC is the largest human-made particle accelerator. At a circumference of 27 km, an average of 800 million collisions per second take place at a depth of 100 m underground and at a temperature of 1.9 K, such that protons hurtling at each other at 99.9999991% of the speed of light. With these energies, scientists hope to find exotic new particles - but how big is the risk that a black hole can form that devours the Earth?

6. Rosetta, Philae and 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko - Culmination (s) of a centuries-long comet hunt!
Blacker than coal, 5 billion years old and a treasure trove of science - 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko may look like a giant rubber duck, but in reality the comet is the most important piece of the mosaic in understanding the early solar system. It is not for nothing that the Cometary orbiter and lander are called Rosetta and Philae. This is the story of their mission, which has become one of the most exciting journeys humanity has ever undertaken.

7. Time: an infinite mystery of perception and science?
Already Aristotle, the great Greek natural philosopher, stated that "time is the most unknown of all the most unknown." In the meantime, 2400 years have passed and we are still wondering what time really is - both in science, philosophy and psychology. One thing is clear: This lecture will not solve the "time" mystery either, but will certainly provide for some insights and clues that will be both very exciting and illuminating.

8. The 10 biggest unsolved puzzles in the universe - Or: "I know that I don't know ..."
How does consciousness work? Are we alone in space? Is there an indivisible particle - an "atomos"? What was before the Big Bang? And how dark is the universe really? These are just a few questions that pose the greatest challenge for scientists and which are discussed in this lecture.

9. Balance of Terror - Terror Without Balance: The Power of the Atomic Bomb.
How quantum theory paved the way to the ultimate weapon, "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" brought death and ruin, and "Castle Bravo" turned a paradise into hell. About the history of the A and H bombs, the dangerous balance of terror as the basis of the (sometimes not so) cold war and the fatal club of the new nuclear powers.

10. Up, up and away! How aircraft have become the safest means of transport on this planet and how they will enable humanity to set course for the stars
The dream of flying is as old as mankind. And just as old is the fear that one will "crash" - it is not for nothing that it is often said: "They always come down!" However, it is often forgotten that the plane has become the safest form of transportation in the world. So it should rather be "faster, higher, safer" and if one day the plane is supposed to open the door to space, then at the latest the proverb will be "they do NOT always come down!" need to be changed ...

11. Ten-to-the power-of-X - a journey through space and time to the limits of human imagination.
Albert Einstein is the father of space-time, the stage on which the dramas of our universe take place. And this stage is huge, it extends over more than 30 orders of magnitude in space and more than 20 orders of magnitude in time. How can you find your way around in such scales of space and time and what can we expect if we change our space and time horizon? Let yourself be surprised how diverse our universe really is.

12. What is it like to be an Astronaut and how do live and work in Space?
What does it take to become an astronaut? How do astronauts live and work onbaord the International Space Station? And what is "the right stuff" that is needed to fly to Mars?

13. Moon Landing: Fact or Fiction?
Did the Apollo astronauts really land on the Moon or just in a Hollywood studio? We will assess the most famous discussion items to see what the truth is.

14. Faster than the Speed of Light - the physics behind Star Wars, Star Trek and Co. Of hyperspaces, wormholes, impulse drives, Kalups and warp cores.
Plasma, ion, fission, fusion and antimatter drives: How do science fiction spaceships fly through space, what is currently possible and what would a radical change in our physical models be needed for?

15. Journey through the Universe
An introductory course through the heavens and to the miracles that lie behind the Moon and our neighbouring planets.