Dr. John E. Bradford is President & Chief Operating Officer of SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Bradford’s expertise is in systems integration, multidisciplinary optimization, and power/propulsion system design and performance assessment for future space concepts. As President, Dr. Bradford oversees the day-to-day operations of the office, manages the engineering staff and task assignments, performs bid and proposal work for new efforts, and is the primary interface for all business with the Department of Defense.
Upon joining the firm in 2001 as Director of Hypersonics, he served as Program Manager for numerous government-sponsored activities with NASA, the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), and DARPA. Under an activity with AFRL, Dr. Bradford led a team to design two military space plane (MSP) vehicle concepts called the Quicksat and Sentinel. Working with various NASA field centers, he has supported the SLI and NGLT RLV development programs, providing both concept analysis and disciplinary expertise in the areas of propulsion and aeroheating/TPS analysis. Dr. Bradford led the firm’s activities in support of both the DARPA/Air Force FALCON program (under the Northrop-Grumman team) and DARPA RASCAL program (under the Coleman Research team).
In 2004, Dr. Bradford was named President of the Engineering Division. During that year, revenues at SpaceWorks exceeded $1M for the first time. Continuing that growth trend, corporate revenues have more than doubled since that time and the company has opened two additional office locations (Washington D.C. and Huntsville, AL). In 2011, SpaceWorks was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list as the second fastest growing engineering firm in Georgia.
Recent projects at SpaceWorks have included assessing heavy-lift configuration options for NASA’s SLS, technology road-mapping and prioritization for AFRL hypersonic systems, programmatic support to the Air Force’s Reusable Booster System (RBS) Pathfinder flight demonstrator program, design of hypersonic flight research vehicles (FRVs) for the Air Force, and independent concept analysis for the NASA-AFRL Joint Systems Study (JSS).
Prior to joining SpaceWorks, Dr. Bradford worked at both NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL and Aerojet in Sacramento, CA. His specific area of interest is in computational analysis and design of future systems using collaborative, automated engineering frameworks. Dr. Bradford has developed both disciplinary analysis tools as well as end-to-end concept simulation models spanning performance assessment through life-cycle cost.
Dr. Bradford has a Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Minor in Computer Programming from North Carolina State University. He is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), on the Steering Committee and a judge for NASA’s RASC-AL student design competition, a NASA Academy (NAAA) alumnus, an alumni member of the AIAA High Speed Air-Breathing Technical Committee, and regularly a guest speaker at science fiction conventions. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgia Tech in the School of Aerospace.