Dr Kaja Antlej is a digital innovation leader with 18 years of experience in this dynamic field. She holds a BSc/MSc in Industrial Design (2008) and a PhD in Museum and Heritage Studies (2013) from the University of Ljubljana. Both theses were industry-focused and centred on 3D technologies. Currently serving as a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design, Co-founder of HuTech – Human-Centric Technologies Research Group, and Researcher at CADET Virtual Reality Training and Simulation Research Lab at the School of Engineering, Deakin University, Australia, she is at the forefront of cutting-edge research and innovation.

Her previous knowledge in the space sector was further enhanced by completing the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program 2021 (SHSSP21) by the International Space University (ISU) in partnership with the University of South Australia, deepening her insights into the global space industry. She has played pivotal roles in forming associations, professional sections, and research initiatives in the areas of human space exploration, human-centred design, digital heritage and virtual museums, extended reality (XR), 3D printing, futures thinking, well-being, and entrepreneurship.

In 2014, Kaja founded her consultancy as part of a start-up accelerator, showcasing her entrepreneurial mindset. Her transferable expertise lies in networking and personal branding, cross-cultural communication, and interdisciplinary partnerships, skills honed through global engagements in academia, industry, and non-profit sectors. Through her leadership roles, teaching, mentoring programs, coaching sessions, and engaging public talks, she passionately shares her wealth of experience, empowering future creative problem solvers.

Dr Antlej is the Chair of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Melbourne Section and an Expert Member of the Committee for the Cultural Utilisation of Space (ITACCUS), a technical committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). She is also a member of several museum organisations, including ICOM, AMaGA, and AAM.

Kaja is a Slovenian and Australian Citizen with living and working experiences in Europe, Morocco and Australia. Dr Antlej is the Co-founder and President of the Slovenian Australian Academic Association (SAAA), a member of the Association of Slovenes Educated Abroad (VTIS) and one of the mentors in the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) Fellowship Program.