Our Team


Christian Andersen profile photo

Christian Andersen

Program Manager

Christian is an engineering whiz with a background in physics and additive manufacturing. As program manager, he oversees daily operations related to personnel, budget, and project development. He also leads applied research efforts in additive manufacturing and mentors kamaʻāina students.

Beginning in 2008, Christian managed the logistics for a trio of analog site tests on Hawaiʻi Island for NASA and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) payloads. Among these was CheMin, an instrument designed to study the chemical composition of rocks that is now operating aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars.

Christian earned a B.S. in physics from San Jose State University and a M.S. in Engineering from U.C. Davis. His career began with research in inertial confinement fusion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. In recent years, he has served as an assistant professor for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Chris Yoakum profile photo

Chris Yoakum

Public Information & Outreach Officer

Chris is a strategic communications specialist with an interest in sustainable technology and design. As PIO, he writes public releases, creates digital content, and manages social media, marketing campaigns, and design projects. Chris’ devotion to writing earned him a UH Hilo faculty recommendation to work with PISCES as a communications assistant in 2014. In 2016, he took over the communications role and began writing grants to secure funding for internship and outreach programs. He also plans and coordinates the summer STARS program and WiSE Talks series. 

Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Chris earned a B.A. in communications and minor in history from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. In 2018, he was nominated for the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH) “Employee of the Year” award.

Board of Directors

Henk Rogers

Entrepreneur, Founder of Blue Planet Foundation

Senate Nominee

Term: 2014 – 2022

Luke Flynn

Director of Hawaiʻi Space Flight Lab & Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium

Governor Nominee

Term: 2016 – 2023

Kim Binsted

Professor of Computer Science at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Senate Nominee

Term: 2016 – 2024

Bonnie Irwin

Chancellor of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo


Designated Alternate


Mike McCartney

Director of DBEDT


Term: 2015 – 2022

David Lassner

President of the University of Hawaiʻi


Term: 2013 – 2022

Designated Alternate

Brennon Morioka

Dean of UH Mānoa College of Engineering

Rachel Solemsaas

Chancellor of Hawaiʻi Community College

House Nominee

Term: 2018 – 2022

Dennis Gibson

Senior VP of Booz Allen Hamilton

House Nominee

Term: 2018 – 2022


We hold active Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with 15 organizations, institutions, and companies around the world. These formal agreements allow us to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects with added expertise and technical support.