KinetX Aerospace — Providing Visionary, Highly Prized Engineering in Support of Space- and Earth-Based Endeavors

 

 

Management Team

The management team at KinetX Aerospace brings a unique perspective, extensive engineering experience, and proven project management skills to every business challenge we face.

Board of Directors

Jack Sears Jr. - Director and Chairman
Christpher Bryan - Director
Craig Cigich - Director
Joe Hoffman - Director
Kjell Stakkestad - Director
Bobby Williams - Director

Management Team

Kjell Stakkestad - President and Chief Executive Officer
Jack Sears Jr. - Chief Financial Officer
Bobby Gene Williams, Ph.D. - Executive Vice President, Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics
Craig Cigich - Sales
Joe Hoffman - Chief Technical Officer and Facility Security Officer
Kjell Stakkestad - President - Northstar, a wholly owned subsidiary of KinetX Aerospace

SNAFD Strategic Advisory Council

The SNAFD Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) Group is made up of retired JPL engineers and navigators working as independent contractors for KinetX Aerospace.  SAC members provide advice and support for navigation technical developments and operations at SNAFD.

Jim McDanell Sam Dallas Bill Kirhofer
Pete Antreasian Jordan Ellis Bill Purdy
Peter Breckheimer Don Gray Bill Sjogren
Carl Christensen Gerald Hintz Pam Wolken

Biographical Summaries

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Kjell Stakkestad

Mr. Stakkestad received both his bachelor and master degrees in mathematics from the University of California at Davis, and then accepted a position as a staff orbit analyst at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (LMSC).  He produced orbit-planning products for an array of operational satellite programs run by the Air Force, NASA, and SDI.

In 1992, Mr. Stakkestad and a small team of engineers developed a prototype satellite ground system using off-the-shelf hardware and software products to demonstrate that a robust satellite ground system could be rapidly, cheaply, and reliably developed.  This prototype was used as the example for the future development of the AFSCN satellite ground systems.  His work on the prototype included implementation of the orbital dynamics portion of the ground system including development of the operational rule base.

In 1993, Mr. Stakkestad left LMSC to help found KinetX Aerospace and serve as its first President and Chief Financial Officer.  As the orbit dynamics lead for the development of the IRIDIUM satellite ground control system, he developed the initial orbital dynamics requirements for the ground system.  He led the orbit trade study that chose the company to implement the requirements, worked as the liaison between the development and operational staffs, and was part of the initial operations team that assembled the IRIDIUM constellation.  Mr. Stakkestad also led a variety of KinetX Aerospace software, hardware, and system engineering projects for the IRIDIUM project.

After leaving the IRIDIUM project, he worked on new business development for KinetX Aerospace and assisted Spectrum Astro in the design of the satellite constellation and ground system architecture for the SBIRS Low project.  He has written a number of papers on effective satellite operations and autonomy for large satellite constellations, a subject with which he is still actively involved.


Bobby Gene Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Williams holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California.  He is a member of Sigma Gamma Tau, the national honor society for aerospace engineering.

As an employee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, he participated in and eventually headed the orbit determination teams at JPL for the Viking missions to Mars, the Pioneer Venus Orbiter mission, and the Earth oceanographic mission TOPEX/Poseidon.  He participated in gravity field determination for both Mars and Venus by analyzing orbiter tracking data and was a member of the Phobos Experiment Team which first determined the mass of the Martian moon, Phobos, from spacecraft tracking data.  Dr. Williams was co-investigator for Venus gravity field determination on NASA’s Pioneer Venus Data Analysis and Guest Investigator Program.  He was appointed lead of ground based low thrust navigation development for NASA’s Deep Space 1.  He has supported navigation trade studies and design for many Discovery proposals and was the navigation lead for all three successful Discovery proposals from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  He was navigation team chief throughout development and flight operations of NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission which was the first mission to orbit and land on an asteroid.

Dr. Williams has received several prestigious honors and awards including: the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for leading the NEAR navigation team; the 2001 Aerospace Laureate for Space from Aviation Week & Space Technology for his work as the NEAR mission navigation team leader; the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Trophy as a member of the NEAR mission team; his nomination to the American Astronautical Society Space Flight Mechanics Committee; and his nomination to the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics National Technical Committee on Astrodynamics for which he subsequently served as secretary.  In honor of his efforts for NEAR, asteroid 1990 OK1 was renamed (5642) Bobbywilliams by the International Astronomical Union.

Dr. Williams is author or co-author on over seventy technical papers, including twenty-four refereed articles and over thirty-six conference papers.  He holds current memberships in the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, the Americal Geophysical Union, and the American Astronautical Society.

He founded and is now the Director of Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics for KinetX Aerospace, the first privately held company to supply critical navigation support for NASA deep space missions; the first two being the New Horizons mission to Pluto and Charon and the MESSENGER mission to Mercury.


Craig Cigich

Mr. Cigich received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering technology (BSEET) from the DeVry Institute of Technology, Columbus Ohio in 1984.  He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 1993.

Upon graduating with his bachelor degree, Mr. Cigich accepted a position at the Rockwell International facility in Anaheim, California to support the design and development of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) guidance systems.  After supporting multiple efforts in the ICBM design and development field, Mr. Cigich pursued opportunities in space based and terrestrial communication programs.  He has worked on satellite and terrestrial communication systems since 1993, primarily in the area of ground systems network management infrastructure design and development.

Mr. Cigich was President/CEO of a consulting company (CMCS LLC) started in 1996 to provide network management engineering consulting services to telecommunication companies developing both terrestrial and space based communication systems.  He grew the company to over 20 contractors supporting multiple telecommunication programs in 4 years.  Mr. Cigich engineered and managed the design and development of a fault management system for the IRIDIUM communication system.  In addition, he has provided engineering and management for systems engineering and development efforts of both commercial (e.g., AT&T wireless) and DoD (e.g., MUOS) terrestrial and satellite communications systems.

Mr. Cigich joined KinetX Aerospace in July 2007 to utilize his vast systems knowledge and broad skill range cultivated over many years of supporting multiple customers and projects to help guide KinetX Aerospace on a sustainable growth path across the systems engineering, HW/SW development, and operations disciplines.  He currently supports many facets of operations and business development.  Mr. Cigich was instrumental in steering KinetX Aerospace into the UAV business with the successful contract win of providing a data recorder for the BAMS UAV.  Mr. Cigich defined the target markets and roadmap for KinetX Aerospace to obtain quality (CMMI, ISO, AS) standards to enable the company to broaden from just a services organization to deliverable/product based.


Jack Sears Jr.

Jack Sears, Jr. is an Aerospace and Defense executive with over 25 years experience in military, federal service, and industry leadership, management, and execution roles.  Mr. Sears currently serves as Deloitte Services’ Strategic Client Relationship Executive for Strategic Federal and Aerospace and Defense clients in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Before joining Deloitte in 2011, Mr. Sears was the Sector Vice President and General Manager for the Information Technology and Communications Sector of Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc, where his organization was responsible for delivering professional services, engineering, and technical solutions to Department of Defense (DoD) customers.

From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Sears held the position of Program Manager for the Common High-Bandwidth Data Link-Surface Terminal (CHBDL-ST) and Common Data Link (CDL) programs while a member of the Federal Service at the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center in San Diego.  Mr. Sears was a Project Manager and Subject Matter Expert in the Link 16 Program at SPAWAR Systems Center San Diego from 1994 to 1998, and a member of the U.S. Navy from 1988 to 1994.

Mr. Sears is a recognized expert in the fields of federal contracting, Foreign Military Sales, and Advanced Tactical Data Link Systems, and holds a BS in Business Management from San Diego Christian College and an MBA in Finance from the University of Redlands.


Christopher Bryan

Christopher G. Bryan began his career in 1982 with Lockheed Corporation supporting the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) Space Test Program.  While at Lockheed, he held lead positions as a Planner/Analyst, Mission Controller, and Orbit Analyst, including Lead Orbit Analyst for the Strategic Defense Initiative's successful Relay Mirror Experiment (RME).

In 1993 he left Lockheed to help found KinetX.  Since then, he has worked on many key projects for KinetX including Iridium, the SBIRS Low missile defense simulation, and MUOS, earning several individual and group achievement awards.  Chris currently works in KinetX's Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics group, and is the Navigation Team Chief for the MESSENGER spacecraft which is currently in orbit around the planet Mercury.  While at KinetX, Chris has held many senior management positions including Contracts Manager, Export Control Officer, CFO, Chairman, and President.  Chris has served as a Director of KinetX for over 20 years and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Chris has a B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.S. in Computational Physics with emphasis in Astrodynamics from San Jose State University.


Joe Hoffman

Coming soon.


 

 

 

 

 

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