Employee Spotlight: Jordan Bridgeman, Space Systems Engineer
What’s your role?
As a systems engineer for Space Services missions, I’m responsible for the entire end-to-end engineering solution delivered by Spire to our customers and act as the technical point of contact throughout the different engineering phases. As a team lead, I manage the systems engineering team resources and provide coaching and support to the team.
Describe your journey to Spire.
During my time at university studying for an Aerospace Engineering degree, I both fell into a student organization (Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory) that focused on developing cubesat technology, and also struggled in my low-speed aerodynamics courses. These two factors helped cement my intent to work in the space industry!
I worked as an on-console spacecraft operator for EchoStar from 2013-2014. While I enjoyed the work, I was looking for an organization that better fit my values. I ended up not accepting a job offer to continue working there as an engineer because I wanted to be a part of something more interesting and where people were passionate about their work. This is how I found Spire (Nanosatisfi at the time) in 2014. I began working for Spire’s first spacecraft operations team.
Fast forward eight years – 150+ satellites launched into orbit, Series A/B/C and IPO, moving abroad (USA to the UK) and back, three major job-role transitions, a marriage, two Scottish-born children – and that brings us to today!
What Spire value do you relate to the most?
I truly believe in being Relentless. All great things are found and made greater by an unrelenting force driving us forward. In the most challenging of times, we have forged paths to ultimate success by grit, determination and adaptability – the subtext of a relentless pursuit. It is the one value that I find makes the largest difference when treading new ground – whether that be in new product development or when operating a first-of-its-kind satellite system.
What is a project that you have worked on that makes you particularly proud?
Developing Spire’s first vertically integrated Attitude Determination and Control system and managing its first series of evolutions was immensely rewarding. I am proud of our team for delivering the first version of hardware in a matter of months and for the manner in which we continued to improve upon the system’s capability through a relentless series of iterations over the following years. This is definitely a moment in my time at Spire that stands out among all others and was a turning point in my career and in my confidence as an engineer.
Tell us about something you’ve learned from your colleagues at Spire.
This is a fun question because it’s harder to think of things that I haven’t learned, or capability I haven’t developed thanks to the team of people around me. One example that stands out is when my colleagues Robert Deaton and Jeremiah Matthey taught me python and C programming. These are programming languages which were respectfully invaluable to me in the scaling of Spire’s satellite operations systems and the development of the second major iteration of Spire’s attitude control system.
What interests you most about space? Have you always wanted to work in the space industry?
Space has always fascinated me, but I never knew I was going to work in the industry until I entered university and began working on cubesat technology. The most interesting and thought provoking thing about space is what we don’t know, haven’t explored, or haven’t accomplished yet. It is an uncharted territory of knowledge and capability that mirrors the evolution of ocean transportation in human history, but with a much larger ocean – and much more to be learned.