John Dec, Ph.D.

Prior to coming to Terminal Velocity Aerospace and SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc., Dr. Dec was a senior thermal analyst at NASA Langley Research Center. During his 16 years at NASA, he acquired knowledge and experience in the design and analysis of spacecraft thermal protection systems (TPS), hot structures, and spacecraft thermal control systems. He made substantial contributions on programs such as the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) flexible TPS, the Crew Exploration Vehicle TPS Advanced Development Project, NASA Engineering and Safety Center’s Autonomous Aerobraking Project, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter aerobraking, Mars Odyssey aerobraking, Hyper X, and Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle. Most recently, Dr. Dec led the HIAD flexible TPS thermal model development team. For the Crew Exploration Vehicle TPS Advanced Development Project, he led the heatshield compression pad design, analysis, and test effort with a team made up of personnel from multiple NASA centers and industry.

Dr. Dec’s Ph.D. dissertation topic was related to the Orion compression pads and their unique design challenge. In his dissertation, he developed a multidimensional finite element based thermal response analysis tool which he used in an advanced probabilistic design methodology that he developed as well. Dr. Dec has authored numerous journal articles and conference papers related to thermal protection systems and advanced thermal analysis methods. He also has peer reviewed several articles for the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets as well as the AIAA Journal of Thermophysics. He has knowledge of a broad range of topics related to spacecraft thermal analysis, passive thermal control, thermal design, including hardware development, TPS sizing, aerodynamic heating assessment, and vehicle thermal performance.

Dr. Dec received his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.