Biography - Bryan Erb

Bryan ErbDr. Bryan Erb

“ From the Arrow to the Apollo heat shield, lunar sample quarantine, remote sensing, Space Station robotics and Space Solar Power, it’s been a great ride!”

While officially retired, Dr. Erb has continued to pursue his interests in the prospects of alternate energy sources. He was an Engineering Aerodynamicist with A.V. Roe (Avro) Aircraft at Malton doing thermal analysis on the Avro Arrow until 1959 when NASA recruited him for his expertise. He laid the concepts, as one of the original 8-person team, for what became Apollo, the only manned spacecraft to reach the moon. He was responsible for the technical leadership for several key elements of the Apollo spacecraft, including the Command Module heat shield. He managed the Lunar Receiving Laboratory during the early critical missions. Dr. Erb planned and managed important remote sensing experiments, including the first world-scale inventory of wheat using satellite data. He was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service medal for this accomplishment. He became Chief of the Earth Observations Division of NASA’s Life Sciences Directorate in 1979 and later was the Manager of the Earth Resources Program Management Office. Having maintained both his Canadian citizenship and broad network within NASA, Dr. Erb was pleased to be selected as the Assistant Director of the Canadian Space Agency’s Canadian Space Station Program in 1986. In this role, he represented Canadian interests at the Johnson Space Center and to other partners on the International Space Station Program. By 1991, Dr. Erb had become captivated with the potential of solar power from space and served as the President of the SUNSAT Energy Council for five years. He chaired the International Astronautical Federation’s Space Power Committee from 1998 through 2001. From 2000 through 2002, he instigated and managed the Canadian Space Agency’s Canadian Space Power Initiative. Dr. Erb took his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, an M.S. in Aerodynamics from Cranfield Institute of Technology, England as an Athlone Fellow, an M.S. in Fluid Mechanics at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, an M.S. in Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA as a Sloan Fellow, and was awarded an Honorary D.Sc. from the University of Alberta. Dr. Erb is a prolific author and speaker with over 100 technical publications and major presentations including invited papers for meetings in Canada, Brazil, France, Italy, Mali, Ghana, Australia, and the United States. He was also a Lecturer at the International Space University Summer Sessions in Toronto, Huntsville, Houston, and Barcelona.


Symposium Panelists & Presentations
Quirks & Quarks Interviews

Quirks & Quarks

Listen to CBC Radio’s “Quirks and Quarks“ interviews from the SPACE Canada Symposium



Symposium Sponsors

Space Canada gratefully
acknowledges the support of
these progressive organizations:
The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute



Symposium Speakers

George Dietrich, President, SPACE Canada
John Mankins, CO-Chair, IAA Study Group
Nobuyuki Kaya, CO-Chair, IAA Study Group

International Policy Forum
Bob McDonald, Master of Ceremonies
Hon. John Milloy,
Marc Garneau

Dan Fortin, Key Note Speaker

PANEL: Space-Based Solutions to Earth-Bound Problems
Richard Peltier
Bryan Erb
Wael Almazeedi

PANEL: From Space Research to Commercialization
Ted Hewitt
Kieran Carroll
Robert Zee

PRESENTATION: Entrepreneurs in Space
Bob Richards

PANEL: Space Policy
John Siebert
Ram Jakhu

MEDIA PANEL: Political Will and
Public Perception

Peter Calamai
Stephen Strauss
Iain Carson
Alanna Mitchell