Our team

We at TerraRad Tech come from a wide range of backgrounds but all share a common goal for our business and society alike, one centered around sustainability 

Dr. Derek Houtz

CEO and Founder

With his PhD in Aerospace engineering, specializing in microwave remote sensing, Derek has been engaged in environmental monitoring for over a decade. Bringing strong skills in hardware and software development, microwave radiometry, and field research implementation. Derek built the first TerraRad Tech prototypes in his lab at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Robert Sedin

COO and co-founder

Robert Sedin has an education in International Business and Entrepreneurship. With his strong leadership and networking abilities, Robert will continue to push the business development efforts as the COO for TerraRad Tech. He oversees much of the daily operations and is passionate about not only the market potential that our technology exhbits but also the profound benefit it can have for our natural world. 

The late Dr. Konrad Steffen 

Lead Advisor

Dr. Konrad Steffen was the director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forests, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (ETHZ) for Climate and Cryosphere. Dr. Steffen was heavily involved with TerraRad from the beginning, providing the seed funding for the technology development, and scientific advice he had garnered over 40 years working in the field of remote sensing. Dr. Steffen died in an accident carrying out field work on the Greenland ice sheet in August 2020, his spirit and guiding legacy will always be felt at TerraRad.

Simon Bourguigne

Lead Electrical Design Engineer

Simon Bourguigne is an Electrical Engineer with almost a decade of experience in the hardware design industry. He brings the practical skill needed to turn a conceptual design into manufacturable product and be able to scale production. At Terrarad, he will be overseeing design, testing and manufacturing

Vivienne Oggier

Lead Agricultral advisor

Vivienne Oggier is currently completing her Master’s degree in Agriculture Sciences at ETH in Zürich. She has previously worked as an intern for the Swiss Future Farm, and she brings the Swiss farmer element to our team. She is the lead Agricultural advisor applying both her academic education and agricultural experience.

Simon Steffen

Sustainability & marketing manager

Simon Steffen has a MSc. in Climate Science with an emphasis in economics from the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern. At TerraRad, Simon is involved on multiple fronts and works to ensure that the focus of the endeavor is never lost, we are working to create a company that is of benefit to the natural world and its finite resources. 

James Sanders

Financial Advisor

James Sanders is a Startup coach and Investment Manager, and maintains close ties to the founders. He brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to business strategy. He has experience with going through venture capitalist funding rounds, all the way to bringing companies public, as part of his work experience with FinTech companies. James is a fundraising and financial advisor.

Dr. Mike Schwank

Chief Scientific Advisor

PhD in Physics
Dr. Mike Schwank, a researcher in microwave remote sensing at WSL, will contribute to TerraRad Tech as the lead of the scientific advisory board. Mike has decades of experience in remote sensing of soil moisture and soil physics. Mike helped to develop and improve the soil moisture retrieval algorithm used on the ESA SMOS satellite, and contributes to many ESA projects related to microwave remote sensing from ground-based and satellite-based radiometers. Mike has a vast network in the research and aerospace sector.

Dr. Reza Naderpour

Scientific Advisor

PhD Electrical Engineering
Dr. Reza Naderpour, a post-doctoral researcher at WSL, will also contribute to TerraRad Tech as a scientific advisor. Reza has contributed to the development of multiple new retrieval algorithms for L-band radiometer data, and has experience in calibration techniques, electromagnetic simulation, and field remote sensing instrumentation.

Strategic Advisors 

Shaen Bernhardt

Counsel and Business Development

Mr. Bernhardt holds a Bachelor of the Arts in International Relations with a concentration in Security Studies from Boston University, a Juris Doctor with concentrations in National Security Law and Securities Law from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Mr. Bernhardt has also studied International Law at the University of Florence, and International Business at the University of St. Gallen’s HSG.

Mr. Bernhardt is a founder or principal of several start-up ventures.

Hansjürg Valentin

Board Member

Hansjürg Valentin has extensive experience in company leadership, having served as the CEO and President of Valentin Pontresina AG for over 40 years. Hansjürg maintains a large network of potential investors in the Engadin valley of Graubünden, Switzerland..