Engineering Leadership SIG: Bruce Pittman speaks on Innovation at NASA
TOPIC: Balancing Innovation and Risk in the Development of Large Aerospace Systems
This talk with focus on the development history of NASA over the last 4 decades; the good, the bad, and the really ugly. One key question that needs to be addressed is why after the investment of billions of dollars and thousands of man years of effort, why are the systems we produce today pretty much like those produced decades ago in terms of reliability and $/performance. The history of NASA projects will be contrasted against the new emerging commercial space companies such as Space X, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, and Sierra Nevada and the different approaches to innovation and risk that they have developed. Recent data indicates that these companies are able to develop systems quicker and at a cost that is an order of magnitude cheaper but at what risk?
These two system development approaches will be compared and contrasted and a path forward that takes advantage of the best of both will be proposed.
SPEAKER: Bruce Pittman - Bruce has over 30 years of experience in aerspace and other high technology industries. He spent the first 11 years of his career with NASA and after that helped found several entrepreneurial space companies including SpaceHab and Kistler Aerospace. He has also been involved in the project management and system engineering of complex systems. he has taught and consulted for a wide variety of companies both large and small and government agencies including NASA and the Department of Energy. Now he's back working at NASA Ames as a contractor as part of the Space Portal to open up the space frontier for entrepreneurs and and the American public.
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