Director, George Washington Carver Science Park

nanoracks logo
Company: Nanoracks
Location: Houston, Texas

About Nanoracks:

Nanoracks is a cutting-edge aerospace company focusing on providing commercial access to space, currently on the International Space Station (ISS), suborbital vehicles, expendable launch vehicles, and more! We have sent over 1,000 payloads to the Space Station, kickstarted the CubeSat deployment revolution, and have customers in over 30 nations.

Since 2009, Nanoracks has created and expanded new in-space markets and has been the world leader for ushering in a new era of in-space services. Currently, Nanoracks is working to build commercial space stations (“Outposts”) from the spent upper stages of launch vehicles in orbit. This technology will enable spent upper stages to be used as crewed and un-crewed space stations for various purposes and customers—both civil and commercial.

Nanoracks will provide and facilitate an ecosystem of interoperable technologies and distributed free flying space stations. You can read our approach here.

Nanoracks is building Starlab, a free-flying commercial space station, to launch in 2027. The Starlab Vision is exemplified in the George Washington Carver (GWC) Science Park, an international consortium of organizations working in concert to design, build, and operate the world’s first science park in space. The GWC Science Park will leverage a successful terrestrial business model where scientists and industry experts share findings, collaborate, and use new technologies to advance both scientific and commercial endeavors. This effort compliments Nanoracks’ long history in supporting universities, start-up companies, non-profits, and other organizations’ research on the ISS. The GWC Science Park goals will be accomplished within its four main operational components, which will include a biology lab, plant habitation lab, physical science and materials research lab, and an open workbench area.

About the Position:

Nanoracks is looking for a highly experienced Director to lead the George Washington Carver (GWC) Science Park team members in the definition, development, and design of the park. They will be an obsessively organized individual, capable of meeting both programmatic and organizational demands, and coordinate a constant flow of communication between science park members and Starlab technical staff at both Nanoracks and its integration subcontractor. This individual will be expected to represent the interests and report on the progress of the GWC both publicly and within Nanoracks and its parent company, Voyager Space Holdings. This individual will have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be comfortable representing technical and program information to various stakeholder communities, including scientists, academics, engineering staff, executives, and investors—both nationally and outside the United States. The ideal candidate will be exceptionally science-literate and be able to build—and execute—a roadmap for the GWC team to follow in outreach supporting the building of a thriving global community of scientists and users. The GWC Science Park Director will be responsible to developing the flight science payload requirements for the Starlab vehicle.

As the functional Director of the GWC park, this individual will be a thoughtful leader—ready to inspire both the GWC Consortium and the world to engage in the dawning of a new age of commercial human space exploration.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Acts as the standing leader of the GWC Consortium, communicating with all team members daily, and reporting on team progress to the Starlab management team regularly.
  • Coordinates the development of all technical requirements relevant to the GWC Science Park including, but not limited to: Science equipment development across all functional areas, payload management processes and procedures, integration into the Starlab spacecraft.
  • Coordinates the work on a task-by-task basis with all GWC Consortium members.
  • Maintains constant communication between GWC team and both Voyager and Nanoracks executives as needed.
  • Builds an effective team and procedures to manage future science payloads to be installed on Starlab, providing requirements and guidance to scientists, government actors, commercial customers, and other stakeholders for successful operations. Initially, this individual will need to conduct many of these activities on their own, until a full team is identified and selected.
  • Works with GWC partners to coordinate the definition and management of payload requirements, DDT&E, command and telemetry requirements, installation and verification, operations, logistics, crew interfaces and training requirements.
  • Works with GWC partners and Nanoracks team to define and manage payload operation control room (POCR) facilities and communications interfaces.
  • Responsible for staffing and training of first program staff – capable of rapidly learning all long-term program technical requirements, including POCR operations and real-time payload monitoring.
  • Manages SE&I of the GWC Science Park members and builds a competent team and infrastructure for management of customer integration requirements and activities.
  • Defines and manages all payload to vehicle and verification of interfaces in coordination with the Ops and Mission Manager and System Engineering Manager.

Key Attributes/Qualifications:

  • 10+ years of work leading high-functioning teams and creating consensus among multiple stakeholders.
  • 5+ years working in a technical, engineering, or where specialized knowledge must be understood and communicated.
  • 2+ years of experience coordinating scientific and research communities either as a member or otherwise representing their interests outward.
  • Experience in long-term mission planning, budgeting, and operations management.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills for both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Ability to travel extensively both within the United States, especially to Columbus, Houston, and Denver as well as abroad.
  • Must work flexible schedule (to include weekends and/or holidays) as needed.
  • Direct experience in crewed spacecraft payload operations.
  • Experience working with government and aerospace companies.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in engineering (i.e. mechanical, electrical, aerospace), sciences (i.e. physics, materials science), computer science or mathematics from an accredited university.

Competitive with industry standard.