Exploring the Next Frontier:  The Commercialization of Space is Lifting Off

Expanded commercial access to space is lowering the cost of exploration, increasing mission reliability and providing entrepreneurs with the ability to build on “old space” technology to address “new space” business opportunities.

Join us for a discussion that is sure to be out of this world!

Keynote Speaker
Tom Mueller, Co-Founder and VP Propulsion for SpaceX


Col Shahnaz Punjani, Commander 30th Launch Group, Vandenberg AFB

Andrew Nelson, COO and VP Business Development, XCOR

Richard M. David, CEO, NewSpace Global, LLC

About the Speakers

tom_muellerTom Mueller is one of the world’s foremost rocket engine designers and is responsible for building and managing an elite propulsion development group at SpaceX. His department is responsible for all propulsion development at SpaceX, including propulsion systems and engines for the launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft. Prior to joining SpaceX as a founding employee, Tom spent 15 years at TRW, where he ran the Propulsion and Combustion Products department and was responsible for liquid rocket engine development activities.

Tom has more than 26 years of relevant experience in the aerospace industry and led development of the Merlin rocket engine, the highest-performing US-made hydrocarbon engine ever and the first American hydrocarbon booster engine made in 40 years. During his career at TRW, he was the lead engineer for development of the TR-106 650,000-lbf thrust LOX/hydrogen engine. Tom has a broad range of rocket engine design, development and testing experience, including work with all common liquid propellants and many advanced propellants, providing thrust ranging from 5 lbf to 650,000 lbf. Tom has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Loyola Marymount University and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho. He has received many awards, including the TRW Chairman’s Award, the company’s most prestigious award for technical achievement, and he holds several US patents in propulsion technology.

Col Shahnaz M. PunjaniCol Shahnaz Punjani is Commander of the 30th Launch Group, 30th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.  The launch group processes, tests and launches boosters and satellites at the nation’s west coast launch base. It provides mission assurance, protects critical launch resources, performs launch operations, and oversees mission integration for launch customers including the DoD, USAF, NRO, MDA, DARPA, and NASA.  The 30th Launch Group consists of two squadrons and over 150 military, civilian, and contractor personnel and is responsible for the management and operations of six launch sites and over 30 critical launch processing facilities valued at over $3.9B.

Col Punjani received her commission from the Reserve Officer Training Commissioning Program at the Pennsylvania State University in May 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.  She holds a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and a Master of Science degree from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.  She graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School’s Flight Test Engineer Course in 1999.

Col Punjani is a career acquisition officer with assignments at the research laboratory, flight test center, program office, and Air Staff levels. Her last program management experience was command of the Space Test Operations Squadron at Kirtland AFB, NM.  In this position, she was responsible for the test and evaluation programs for demonstration satellites and launch system telemetry relay. Her other experience includes chemical defense systems at Brooks AFB, TX; hypersonic propulsion technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH; weapons systems flight test at Eglin AFB, FL and Hurlburt Field, FL; and science and technology budget on Air Staff at the Pentagon.  Col Punjani is Level III certified in Systems Planning, Research, Development, and Engineering, Test and Evaluation, and Program Management.  Recently, Col Shahnaz M. Punjani was an assistant professor at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington DC. She taught the strategic principles of defense acquisition to senior leaders across the federal government.

andrew_nelsonAndrew Nelson is the Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President of Business Development at XCOR Aerospace, with over 20 years of experience in the aerospace, aviation and commercial space sectors.

Mr. Nelson is a recognized leader in the emerging commercial space sector. He is the originator of the Lynx Wet Lease concept at the heart of the XCOR go-to-market strategy for Lynx, XCOR’s suborbital reusable space vehicle.

Upon graduation from Ohio University, he began his career at Cape Canaveral for Pan Am World Services on classified navigation systems and Eastern Test Range (ETR) range safety applications. He then joined MITRE Corporation, where he lead design, implementation, and flight testing of avionics systems in C-130 and UH-1 aircraft with USAF and FAA Technical Center personnel and participated in international regulatory and standards bodies such as International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). From there he joined Booz Allen Hamilton as a senior management and strategy consultant leading the international aviation and space team from offices in London and Paris. After graduate school, he worked for over nine years on Wall Street, leaving Morgan Stanley to join XCOR in 2008.

Mr. Nelson holds a BS in Electrical Engineering at Ohio University, with a focus on avionics and space telecoms. He also holds an MBA with a focus on Finance, Entrepreneurship and Technology Strategy from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is one of the co-Founders of the Gift of Hearing Foundation, a charity that provides support to profoundly deaf children in need of cochlear implants.

Richard DavidRichard M. David is CEO and Co-Founder of NewSpace Global, a New York-based information services provider that focuses on the NewSpace industry. Richard has spoken at numerous venues worldwide including PayPal, Atmel Corporation, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, the Swiss Embassy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Center for Vision & Values, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Canada Space Commerce Association, Space Tech Expo, the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2013 conference, and the 2013 NewSpace Investor Conference. Richard holds a JD from the University of California at Berkeley, a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is currently an industry advisor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Commercial Space Operations program. Prior to launching NewSpace Global, Richard worked as a private equity fund formation attorney for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in their New York and London offices. Richard has appeared on NBC, Fox News, the John Batchelor Show, and the Space Show, and he has been interviewed for several domestic and international publications including USA Today, Euromoney, The Economic Times, and Le Temps.

This program will be moderated by Richard Tico, Bank of the West

Wednesday, February 19, 2013 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Student $15.00
Regular (Online pre-registration only) $30.00
At the Door $40.00
Parking $3.00

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