Credit: Originally published by Aurecon | 24 April 2019.

The podcast is named Engineering Reimagined and explores how, like engineers, people from all walks of life are reimagining the future and their roles in it.

The latest episode Is there life on Mars? The expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach, according to NASA, which plans to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. While experts say that travelling to the red planet will soon be possible, it is still not known whether we can survive there.

Dr Adriana Marais is one of Africa’s foremost physicists and an aspiring extra-terrestrial, having dreamt of living on another planet since childhood. She is currently one of the 100 astronaut candidates shortlisted for a one-way trip to Mars in a mission to establish a permanent human settlement. But with a lack of funding, will Mars One get off the ground?

In this episode of Engineering Reimagined, Aurecon Associate Dr Gabi Wojtowitz, interviews Adriana about her motivation for moving to Mars and why we should be excited about the future. We also chat about how engineers can contribute to the pursuit of space discovery and why the SKA telescope will help to drive innovation.

With limited resources on Earth, what are the possibilities of mining the asteroid belt beyond Mars? “Whatever element you’re looking for, there’s probably an asteroid with your name on it,” says Adriana.

Adriana was a wonderful interviewee and it’s a fascinating conversation! The episode is available here or you can listen on thefollowing apps: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and Stitcher

We have also posted about it on Aurecon’s social channels across LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook so feel free to share.

Meet our guest and host


“When astronomers can understand the formation and evolution of the first stars, what will they do with this information that can help us today?”

Dr Gabi Wojtowitz is an Associate and Geotechnical Engineer at Aurecon. In Gabi’s nearly 14 years in the industry, she has played a role in the foundation and ground engineering on many complex projects. Her career highlights include being part of the Deep Foundations Geotechnical Team that is supporting world-renowned architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava.


“Space exploration seems to be an extreme but effective way of really forcing people to think differently by achieving really improbable things.”

Adriana is a physicist and innovator, who has raised her hand to go and live on Mars. She is also the Head of Innovation at SAP Africa, has a background in physics and holds an MSc in quantum cryptography and a PhD in quantum biology. Adriana has authored numerous academic and public articles and has received a range of awards.