Executive Team

David Hurst

David Hurst is a technology entrepreneur, having founded multiple successful technology companies. He also has over 30 years of experience in software engineering, developing complex systems, managing software development teams, and delivering products. He has performed technical due diligence and business strategy assessments for venture capital firms and advanced technology start-ups. In 2013, he left the IT industry to follow his passion for space exploration. Mr. Hurst founded Orbital Transports to develop the space logistics and orbital infrastructure technologies needed for the emerging economy of space resources—and ultimately support human settlement of the Solar System. Mr. Hurst performs systems engineering and project management for small satellite space missions. He is a contributor to the INCOSE Space Systems Working Group CubeSat System Reference Model and develops MBSE practices for small satellite missions. As an advocate of space-related and space-scalable business, he founded the NewSpace Chicago community of space entrepreneurs and others engaged in building commercial space ventures in Chicago. Mr. Hurst graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and has received four patents.

Stephen Wasko

Stephen Wasko is Principal and Owner of Wasko Associates, an operations and financial consulting firm specializing in small to mid-sized company development and growth. He has over 35 years of management experience in the aerospace, life sciences, healthcare, advanced materials/nanotechnology, software and telecommunications industries. During his career, Wasko was responsible for commercial space activities in the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) Space Station Division, directed technology development activities on the National AeroSpace Plane Program, and was a Program Manager in Rockwell International’s Shuttle Orbiter Division. Wasko holds a B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in the same field from the University of Southern California, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Charles Lee Mudd, Jr.

Charles Lee Mudd Jr. contributes to the international community as a thought leader in Internet and space law and policy. Throughout his law career, Charles has focused on technology and Internet law on both a litigation and transactional level. In the litigation context, his advocacy contributed to the development of precedent relating to the anonymity of speech on the Internet and other defamation related issues. From the transactional perspective, his counsel guided many businesses through a myriad of legal issues and helped foster their growth. More recently, he expanded his practice to include space law and policy. The impetus for space began while Charles attended a graduate astrophysics course at the University of Chicago as a Returning Scholar. Since then, his space clientele grew and his engagement in the development of space policy advanced. In particular, Charles advocacy includes speaking at numerous international fora on space policy, including United Nations conferences and workshops. Charles remains sought after for his insight and experience in space and Internet law and policy.

Brendan Hennessey
Programming Committee Chair

Brendan is the Co-Founder and CTO of a Chicago web development firm called LaunchPad Lab. With a product-focused approach to development, the team uses inventive and creative ways to solve real problems. IoT is a focus area for the team in building a complete system to interface with connected devices and visualize data on the web.

Brendan’s degree in Electrical Engineering provides for a natural interest in IoT, the fusion of hardware and the web, and the space industry. As a member of Chicago’s Tech community, he’s excited for the potential to transform Chicago into a hub for the space industry the same way IoT has evolved in the Midwest and Chicago over the last decade.

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