Registration :: Program & Speakers :: Banquet :: Venue :: Accommodation :: Travel :: Sponsors :: Brochure ::

The 8th Australian Mars Exploration Conference will be held in Adelaide over the weekend of 4th - 6th July, 2008. Presentations over this exciting two-day event will cover a range of issues concerned with forging, nurturing and developing the pioneering culture and methods required to explore Mars. The conference also serves as a prelude to the Spaceward Bound-Australia expedition immediately following it. MSA will be taking a group of educationalists on a learning and development trek to Woomera, Arkaroola and the central Flinders ranges. They will examine sites of past and present space activity and those with Mars analogue significance and which illustrate major events in the history of Earth. A number of participants are expected to make presentations AMEC.

Download a conference brochure or a media release and help spread the word!


You can register for AMEC2008 by filling out the
online registration form or downloading a printable pdf form here. Single day passes are also available. A special discounted rate applies to University of South Australia students, who can take advantage of this by using the UniSA Student Registration form. All registrants will be eligible for this year's door prize of accommodate for two night's for two at the Arkaroola Wildlife Sanctuary, plus a free 4WD Ridgetop Tour. All the more reason to register!

Program & Speakers

A draft conference program may be downloaded here. Confirmed speakers include the following...

OPENING PUBLIC LECTURE - 'Australian Hypersonic Research and the Road to Mars'.
Professor Russell Boyce, DSTO Chair of Hypersonics, Division of Mechanical Engineering, University of Queensland
Professor Russell Boyce gained his PhD in Hypersonics from the Australian National University in 1995, and prior to his current position held postdoctoral positions at the University of Queensland Centre for Hypersonics and Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London, and a Senior Lectureship in the School of Aerospace, Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. He now holds the DSTO Chair for Hypersonics at the UQ Centre for Hypersonics, where he conducts fundamental research in hypersonic airbreathing propulsion and aerothermodynamics, and coordinates the Australian hypersonics network. He actively collaborates with international agencies and institutions such as the European Space Agency, the USAF, the German Aerospace Center, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. Among other activities, he represents Australian hypersonics on the steering committee for the first Decadal Plan for Australian Space Science 2008-2017.

Russell will be delivering this special public lecture on Friday, 4th July beginning at 7.30pm, Entry is by gold coin donation, attendance is open to all.

Professor Rob Morrison OAM, South Australia 's Senior Australian of the Year 2008.
Professor Rob Morrison's work as a scientist, writer and media personality has added profoundly to the promotion and understanding of science in Australia. For 25 years he has been a familiar face of science on television, as presenter of The Curiosity Show for eighteen years and appearances on The New Inventors, Nexus, Science Magazine, and Radio National's Ockham's Razor. He has written thirty books on science and natural history and under his stewardship the SA Royal Zoological Society has trebled its membership in six years. Rob recently helped establish SciWorld, a new science centre in Adelaide which runs exciting education programs and developed six regional science fairs and shows, including Adelaide's National Science Week. He is recognised nationally and internationally as an outstanding science communicator and in the citation for his 2007 Australian Museum Eureka Prize Rob is described as a national treasure and a well-loved ambassador for science. Rob's talk will be titled 'Trust me, I'm a Science Communicator!'

Dr Mark Bishop, Senior Lecturer, School of Natural & Built Environments, University of South Australia and Associate Research Scientist Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona
Mark has research degrees in physical geography, geomorphology, and spatial statistics and some 20 years of service as a geoscience educator in the tertiary sector. His research involves the application of geographical information systems (GIS) based spatial analysis to the landforms of Mars and Earth. The title of Mark's talk is 'Exogeography: A Paradigm for the Further Understanding of Climate Change on Mars and Earth'.

Dr Jonathan Clarke, Vice-President, Mars Society Australia
Jon is a geologist with 25 years experience in industry, academia, and government. Jon will be talking about missions and roles for rovers supported crewed missions to Mars.

Dr Lizabeth K Coe, Assistant Chief (Acting), NASA Education Division
Spaceward Bound: Training the Next Generation of Explorers

Mr David Cooper, President, Mars Society Australia
Based in Western Australia, David is a former commerical pilot who now runs hobby shop outside Perth. His talk will be on 'Mars Society Australia, 2017AD'.

Mr Michael L. Darby, Lecturer/Researcher, Curtin University of Technology
Michael is a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Curtin University of Technology, Perth WA. He has over 30 years experience in Modelling and Simulation with the US Department of Defense (DoD), Australian Defence Force (ADF), Industry, Standards Organisations, research laboratories, and Academia experience. His presentation is titled 'Exploring Knowledge beyond the Rutted Path: Aligning Computer Based Technologies with New Curricula for Teaching and Learning High School Science and Mathematics'.

Mr Mark Gargano, Education Officer Mars Society Australia, Inc.
Mark is Science Coordinator at St Joseph's School, Northam, in Western Australia and a participant in the upcoming Spaceward Bound Mojave 2008 Expedition. Mark will present 'Creating the Next Generation of Space Explorers Now'.

Mr Hugh Gregory, Spaceflight Historian, Spokesperson for the Orbital Commerce Project
Hugh's presentation will be on the Orbital Commerce Project.

Mr Steven Hobbs, 87 Squadron, RAAF Edinburgh, South Australia
Steven's talk is titled 'Colouring Mars: Revisiting Historical Spacecraft Imagery'.

Ms Erita Jones, Director, Mars Society Australia
Erita's talk will be 'Modeling the Martian Subsurface In Search of Water'.

Dr Graham Mann, Director, Mars Society Australia, Lecturer, School of Information Technology Murdoch University Murdoch Western Australia
Graham's talk will be 'Quantitative Evaluation of Human-Robot Options for Maintenance Tasks during Analogue Surface Operations'

Mr Trevor Rodwell
Trevor Rodwell holds a Bachelor of Design (Honours) from the University of South Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Business Enterprise from The University of Adelaide. He is currently undertaking a Research Masters in Communication at the University of Canberra. He works a an artist mainly in the fields of Public Art and Land Art. The title of Trevor's talk will be 'Messages for the Future - the Concept for a First Human Landing Marker on Mars'.

Ms Jenna Sharpe, Monash University
Jenna's presentation is on the site selection process for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission.

Ms Artemis Westenberg, President, Mars Society Netherlands, Director of International Relations for the Mars Society (US)
Artemis has an M.A. in History, (Classical Studies, International Relations and Islam), from Leyden University. She has organised many Mars Society gatherings and conferences in the Netherlands, including the second and seventh European Mars Society conferences. Artemis is a member of the Mars Society International Steering Committee, and has served on 5 crews at the Mars Desert Research Station.

Mr David Willson, Director, Mars Society Australia and Mars-Oz Project Manager
David is a mechanical engineer with background in major materials handling infrastructure projects for mines and ports. He also has co-authored a number of papers on manned Mars missions. His presentation will be, 'MARS-Oz: A Proposal for a Simulated Mars Station at Arkaroola in South Australia, providing an Inspirational Setting for Science Education and a Focal Point for Australian Planetary Science.'

Conference Banquet

The conference banquet will be held at 7pm on the evening of Saturday 5th July at Marcellina Restaurant, 273 Hindley Street (corner Grey Street) Adelaide. This will be a great opportunity for registrants and speakers to mingle. Those wishing to attend will need to book ahead through the registrations page, though bookings will be accpeted up until the end of Friday 4th July.

The conference and Friday night opening public lecture will be held at -

Centenary Building,
Level 3 - Room 16 (C3-16),
University of South Australia,
City East Campus,
Cnr North Terrace and Frome Rd,

Download map (pdf) showing conference, banquet & ice-breaker drinks venues.

(Click here for campus map.)

(above) - entry from North Terrace


AMEC registrants have a range of different hotels and other types of accommodation available to them in central Adelaide close to the conference venue. Bookings and prices are subject to availability, do check conditions which apply prior to booking. We would particularly like to recommend the following:

Adelaide Central YHA
This is located at 135 Waymouth Street, in the heart of central Adelaide overlooking picturesque Light Square.

$28.50 multi share
$75 twin/double
$90 twin/double ensuite
$105 family
$120 family ensuite

For more information visit or call (08) 8414 3010

Pacific International Apartments Adelaide
88 Frome Street (corner of Frome & Grenfell Street) Adelaide SA 5000 With spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments in the midst of Adelaide's vibrant east end.

1 Bedroom Apartment, $145.00 per room, per night (Queen bed)
2 Bedroom Apartment $195.00 per room, per night (combination of queens /& single beds - with sofas)

For more information visit or call (08) 8412 3393

Pacific International Suites Adelaide
55-67 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide SA 5000. An apartment style hotel, located in the seclusion of Hindmarsh Square, offering the unique combination of a central location with a peaceful environment.

1 Bedroom Suite(Queen bed), $164.00 per room, per night.
Parkview 2 Bedroom Suite, $179.00 per room, per night (combination of queens /& single beds - with sofas).

For more information visit or call (08) 8412 3393

Mercure Grosvenor Hotel Adelaide
An historic hotel at 125 North Terrace, right in the middle of all the action of Adelaide. Quote 'AMEC 2008' when booking in order to access the following rates -

Economy Room - 3, $115.00 - Single, Double or Twin
Standard Room, $165.00 - Single, Double or Twin
Deluxe Room, $195.00 - Single, Double or Twin
2-Room Suite, $245.00 - Single or Double

For more information visit or call (08) 8407 8888


For information on public transport in the Adelaide metropolitan region visit
Adelaide Metro

Some useful travel links for online booking of airfares are:
Virgin Blue -

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University of South Australia
School of Natural and Built Environments