Wanting to build a Mars Rover is an ambitious undertaking – but dreaming big is what we do. Over the past five years, what started in a small garage has grown to more than 60 bright and driven people rethinking the current approach to Mars exploration.In organizational and technical projects we work on designing, developing, and improving the next-generation Mars rover and everything around it.

United under our common goal, Team Tumbleweed brings together members from all across the globe.

Wanting to build a Mars Rover is an ambitious undertaking.

Especially for a team of young scientists without a head-start in the space industry – but dreaming big is what we do. Over the past five years, what started in a small garage has grown to more than 60 bright and driven people rethinking the current approach to Mars exploration. Our interdisciplinary team’s organizational and technical projects work on designing, developing, and improving the next-generation Mars rover and everything around it.




Technical Lead

Image of Head of Science and Organization One Mikulskyte


Science & Organization Lead


The Teams


Together with leadership, our executive team is responsible for keeping overhead on the various departments, creating strategies, goals, and structures. Bringing together all the different aspects of working on the Tumbleweed Mission, this team makes sure each project takes us one step further on our Road to Mars.

Felix Abel

Head of Electrical & Software Engineering

Image of member Lucas Cohen

Lucas Cohen

Head of Systems Engineering

Cristian Ferent

Head of Power & Analogue Electronics Engineering

Image of member Amelie Finan

Amelie Finan

Head of Communication

Matthias Frenzl

Head of Operations and Research Lab

James Kingsnorth

Head of Science

Michael Sandrieser

Head of Structural Engineering

First Last

Head of Funding


As developing a Mars rover requires a considerable amount of resources and financial support, the business team works hard to guarantee us the necessary funding, acting as a support entity for the other teams. They also work closely with our partners to ensure our collaborations run smoothly.

Supervisor: Julian Rothenbuchner

Sjoerd Fijan


Jai Chahar

Partnership Strategist
Business Strategist

Farayi Karumazondo

Business Strategist

Maxim Pavlov

Partnership Strategist

Marinos Podimatis

Financial Manager

Image of member Julian Wahlmüller

Julian Wahlmüller

Partnership Strategist
Legal Advisor


As one of the few non-technical subteams, Media is responsible for most of what you see of Team Tumbleweed around the internet. This includes producing content for and running our various social media accounts, as well as the website.

Supervisor: Amelie Finan

Peter Carvalho

Social Media Strategist

Leonhard Goliasch

Graphic Designer

Garnet John

Social Media Manager

Anisha Nookala

Graphic Designer

Image of member Austin Phillips

Austin Phillips

Content Creator


To ensure maximum productivity, the operations team oversees the working habits of the team, implements procedures as well as routines, and plans out objectives and milestones. Through this, they provide a frictionless work environment to our members, whose entire focus can lie on our goal: building a Mars rover.

Supervisor: Matthias Frenzl

Vincent Schorren

Project Management Officer

Emile Schummer

IT Manager
Office Manager


The People and Culture team makes sure communication within the team runs smoothly. The subteam’s responsibilities include handling the recruiting process from application to onboarding and supporting us with any issues that may arise for members.

Supervisor: Matthias Frenzl

Jacobus Fourie

People Manager


PROJECT 0: Mars Demonstrator Mission Science Case Detailed Development

Science goals lie in the heart of the rationale of any deep space mission. P0 defines science cases in the areas of atmospheric science, surface geology, interior geology and geophysics, astrobiology, and the preparation of human Mars exploration. The team’s ultimate goal is the delivery of a full mission proposal, including science goals, scientific requirements, and the definition, selection, and design of the required instruments to fulfill the mission’s scientific purposes.

Supervisor: James Kingsnorth

Giovanni Cozzolongo

Mission Scientist

Henry Manelski

Mission Scientist

Luka Pikulić

Mission Scientist

Elemer San Miguel

Mission Scientist

Abhimanyu Shanbhag

Mission Scientist

Danny Tjokrosetio

Mission Scientist

PROJECT 1: Mars and Earth Demonstrator Mission Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is at the core of any space mission. This project formalizes earlier system engineering efforts by combining European space standards and utilizing Model-Based Systems Engineering approaches prevalent in the industry. Its importance lies in synchronizing all other technical projects and preparing upcoming Earth demonstration missions.

Supervisor: Lucas Cohen

Mihir Kapadia

Systems Engineer

Furqan Mahmood

Systems Engineer

Markus Renoldner

Systems Engineer

Darius-Andrei Vicovan

Systems Engineer

PROJECT 2: Outer/Inner Structure and Deployment Mechanism Lab Demonstrator

The aim of the mechanical and testing engineers on this project is to design and build a structurally rigid, foldable outer and inner structure for the Tumbleweed rover that is able to support the components from the other technical projects. It is crucial to improve, test, and verify the capabilities of a functional deployment mechanism, taking aerodynamics and possible obstacles into consideration.

Supervisor: Michael Sandrieser

Image of member Nils Neumeister

Nils Neumeister

Project Manager
Mechanical Engineer

Image of member Yara Eggenfellner

Yara Eggenfellner

Mechanical Engineer
Testing Engineer

Sabin Ilegitim

Aerodynamics Engineer
Mechanical Engineer

Yasmine Mafoutsis

Testing Engineer
Mechanical Engineer

Image of member Mikhail Maximchuk

Mikhail Maximchuk

Mechatronics Engineer

Ben Placke

Mechanical Engineer

Joshika Sachithanandan

Testing Engineer

Arun Osman

Mechatronics Engineer

Image of member Marco Zambolin

Marco Zambolin

Mechanical Engineer

PROJECT 3: Aerodynamics and Sails Wind Tunnel/Lab Demonstrator

The P3 team consists of enthusiastic engineers who love the beauty of aerodynamics. The team is responsible for designing the heart of the Tumbleweed, the sails, which provide the propelling power of the rover and help land it on the surface of Mars. Tasks include aerodynamic design and analysis of the sails and the entire rover.

Supervisor: Michael Sandrieser

Zoltán Túri

Aerodynamics Engineer
Mechanical Engineer

Noah Nasr El Din

Aerodynamics Engineer

Image of member Divya Sreedharan Menon

Divya Sreedharan Menon

Testing Engineer

Tristan Souillart

Structural Engineer

PROJECT 4: Pods and Thermal Concept Initial Prototype

With temperatures that can vary from -140°C to +30°C, harmful radiation, and a dusty atmosphere, the Pods are responsible for protecting the internal components from the harsh Martian environment. This project aims at designing a compact, lightweight, and efficient Thermal Management System responsible for maintaining the electrical and electronic components within their operating temperatures throughout the mission.

Supervisor: Michael Sandrieser

Mihai Coman

Project Manager
Mechanical Engineer
Testing Engineer

Dimitri Buryak

Testing Engineer

Bianca Crisan

Thermal Engineer

PROJECT 5: Location and Attitude Determination System Embedded Demonstration

The Tumbleweed Mars Rover traverses the Martian surface at high speeds and in a semi-controlled manner. Knowing its position at all times is important to give context to measurements done with scientific instruments. In Project P5, the position determination of a semi-controlled, fast-moving agent in an unknown environment is addressed.

Supervisor: Felix Abel

Tim Holthuijsen

Electrical & Software Engineer

William Moretti

Electrical & Software Engineer

PROJECT 6: Onboard and Data Processing Computer Analysis and Design

At the heart of any spacecraft, the computers control the Rover and all its subsystems. P6 addresses the challenging task of designing a space-grade computing architecture that can withstand the harsh Martian environment.

Supervisor: Felix Abel

Nassim Eddini

Electrical & Software Engineer

Amirreza Movahedin

Electrical & Software Engineer

Gustavo Villaescusa

Electrical & Software Engineer

PROJECT 7: Electrical Power System Analysis and Design

The P7 team is responsible for the development of lightweight solar panels and electrical power systems for the rover. The electrical power system is critical to the functioning of the rover and simultaneously a major factor for the weight. Low weight is paramount for the Tumbleweed rover, with P7 fulfilling a critical role in designing the next-generation electrical power system.

Supervisor: Cristian Ferent

Sudarshan Bhat

Power & Analogue Electronics Engineer

Mojtaba Karimi

Power & Analogue Electronics Engineer

PROJECT 8: Transmit-Receive Module Analysis and Design

The P8 project team is working on the Transmit and Receive Module (TRM), which handles the communications of the Tumbleweed rover. The TRM will transmit all the data gathered during the mission – which is essential for scientific analysis – as well as receive commands from Earth.

Supervisor: Felix Abel

Ali Haider

Telecommunications Engineer

Carlos Castro Garcia

Telecommunications Engineer

Patrik Ahola

Telecommunications Engineer