Executive Team

DavidHurst2David Hurst
Founder and CEO

David has been a technology entrepreneur for most of his career, having founded multiple successful technology companies. He has over 30 years of experience as a software engineer, managing software development teams, developing complex systems and delivering products. He has consulted with venture capital firms and advanced technology start-ups, performing technical due diligence and business strategy assessments. In 2013, he left the IT industry to follow his passion for space exploration. David founded Orbital Transports to develop the space logistics and orbital infrastructure technologies needed for the emerging space resources economy, and ultimately to support human settlement of the Solar System. He performs project management and systems engineering for nanosatellite space missions. He has contributed to the INCOSE Space Systems Working Group CubeSat System Reference Model since 2016 and developed MBSE practices for small satellite missions. As an advocate of space-related and space-scalable businesses, he founded the NewSpace Chicago community of space entrepreneurs and others engaged in building commercial space ventures in Chicago. He has received 4 patents. He graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

gezagyukGeza Gyuk, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist

Dr. Gyuk has a decade of experience in design and construction of space and near-space experiments and operational systems. He is a staff Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and has served as PI on nearly $5M of grant funding, including over $3M of federal grants. He has 15 years of experience managing R&D groups, including the development of a star-tracker for the VERITAS project, novel algorithms for the extraction of high energy events in the presence of spatial and temporal noise, and imaging, control and communications systems for high altitude balloons.

Dr. Gyuk has interests in a broad range of subjects ranging from planetary exospheres to particle-physics cosmology. At the Adler Planetarium, he founded and leads the Far Horizons program, which is a community of amateurs, students and volunteers who design, build, and operate space exploration missions. Currently he is a member of the international VERITAS collaboration, which built and operates the world’s most sensitive TeV gamma-ray observatory. As part of Adler’s NEO followup and AVAST groups, he also studies Near-Earth Objects and the composition of V-type (basaltic) asteroids, thought to be remnants of larger proto-planetary objects.

Dr. Gyuk received his degrees at Brown University and the University of Chicago.

Jeff Krukin
Business Development

Jeff Krukin’s dual-track career (Aerospace & Defense and Information Technology) began as an IBM Systems Engineer, where his customers were NASA’s Johnson Space Center and aerospace contractors. During his 25-year Information Technology career, he specialized in strategic business and technology planning and implementation, technical sales/business development, marketing, and communications.

Jeff left the IT industry in 2004 to establish his space career in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. He quickly conceived the North Carolina Aero/Space* Economic Development Project and received two grants for educating political, business, and economic development leaders about the entrepreneurial NewSpace industry and its significance for the state’s manufacturing sectors. He was the primary researcher and author of The Aero/Space Economy in North Carolina: A Preliminary Assessment of Current Performance and Future Prospects, and a key contributor to North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Workforce Development in the Aviation and Aerospace Industries. In 2009, The North Carolina Aerospace Alliance retained Jeff to organize the state’s first NewSpace Commerce Forum. In 2010, Jeff led a commercial spaceport exploratory committee involving regional economic development organizations, and the state’s Department of Commerce and Department of Transportation.

From January 2005 through December 2007, Jeff was Executive Director of the Space Frontier Foundation, a non-profit NewSpace advocacy organization. He has been widely recognized for dramatically improving its professional impact, reputation, and operations.

Jeff is a global speaker and strategic thinker, appearing across the United States and Europe, and in Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He has been interviewed for newspapers, magazines, radio, and television from Los Angeles to Palm Beach, as well as in Europe and Asia.

Board of Advisors

EpsteinHarry 150x150Harry Epstein

Harry Epstein is currently the President of Quadrant Management Consulting and Managing Director of Quadrant Management Inc. based in New York. His focus at Quadrant is in the areas of strategic consulting, innovation, IP commercialization and the building of strategic alliances.

Harry is actively involved with a variety of organizations across many industries. In addition, Harry serves on innovation and advisory councils for several major brand organizations. Harry frequently speaks in public in the areas of innovation, sustainability, renewable energy and packaging, and serves as a guest lecturer in academia.

Harry has numerous published articles in peer-reviewed international theoretical physics journals and is an accomplished classical pianist. He was educated at Dawson College and McGill University in Montreal in math, physics, business and chemistry. He is married, has four children and is based in Chicago.

Brian G. Peterson

Brian Peterson is Managing Director at Hehmeyer Trading + Investments with responsibility for Electronic Market Making, Digital Assets, and Client Asset Management. He has been the lead executive for quantitative trading in multiple Chicago proprietary trading firms and was a top-25 market maker in multiple Interest Rate and Energy markets and also traded in FX, Agriculture, and other Commodities. He has participated as a designated market maker in new product launches on several global commodities exchanges.

Mr. Peterson is also a senior lecturer at the University of Washington’s Computational Finance and Risk Management department where he teaches quantitative trading systems development and has published multiple papers on portfolio risk and portfolio construction. He is regularly invited to speak at major conferences on topics related to quantitative finance. He is author or co-author of more than 10 open source packages for using R in Finance, the organization administrator of R’s participation in Google Summer of Code, and a founding member of the conference committee for the annual R/Finance quantitative finance conference in Chicago.

Mr. Peterson was previously an executive at two global management consulting firms, one of which was included the Fortune 1000 during the 90’s Internet boom. As a management consultant, he advised 8 of the top 10 global banks and many regional banks, approximately half of the top 25 asset managers, global brokerages, and many other non financial services clients in industries including health care, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, services, and technology.

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