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AA 395 Undergraduate Seminars

Autumn 2020 Seminars

View recordings of our Autumn 2020 seminars below.

Jason Andrews

Jason Andrews is an American space and technology entrepreneur. He co-founded Andrews Space in 1999 with his wife Marian Joh, founded Spaceflight Inc in 2009, BlackSky Global LLC in 2013, and integrated all three entities together in 2015 under Spaceflight Industries. From 2013 to 2018 Andrews raised over $200M in capital to fund the development and growth of Spaceflight Industries and the BlackSky business plan. In 2019 Andrews founded BigIdea Partners as a Seattle based idea lab and startup studio that strives to field game changing products and businesses that create or define a category. One of his first projects was Orbite Inc, which he co-founded with Nicolas Gaume, a unifying space experience and astronaut training company.

Building a Road to Space: My Path to Blue Origin

Heather Nelson

Join Heather Nelson, Senior Manager of University Relations at Blue Origin, as she discusses her path to Blue Origin. Drawing on 25 years of experience working in government, industry, and academic environments, Heather will share lessons learned and specific skills that have enabled her to succeed in the space industry.

Heather Nelson is the Senior Manager of University Relations at Blue Origin and directs university partnerships, the internship program, and early talent and diversity recruiting initiatives for Blue. Heather has 25 years of experience working in government, industry, and academic environments. Before joining Blue she was a research assistant at Penn State and held positions with the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium and the Penn State Astrobiology Research Center. She’s built a career helping students find their dream jobs in the space industry. Feel free to reach out to her and the UR team about opportunities at Blue – they can be reached at

The Aerospace Engineering Workplace

James L. Teslow

Throughout my undergraduate years in UW’s Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, I wondered, “What is it going to be like working 40 hours a week for decades at a large company in the aerospace industry?” Perhaps you are wondering the same thing. In this session, I will briefly describe my history; tell a few stories; and provide my perspectives on large business organization, characteristics of successful engineers, and professional and social expectations in the engineering workplace.

James L. Teslow (PE, Ph.D.), an educator and life-long learner, practiced aerospace engineering for 30 years. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington (1970), and two Masters degrees at the University of Colorado (1982, 2000).

He worked as a propulsion analyst at Rockwell International during the Apollo Program. His engineering positions at Martin Marietta/Lockheed Martin involved liquid and solid rocket propulsion systems, launch support, new technology research, systems engineering, and business development. Most of his experience was associated with analysis, design, test, and operations for the Titan family of space launch vehicles at Denver, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. He also worked as a systems engineer on the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program.

James became interested in education, obtained a teaching certificate in secondary mathematics, taught for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Germany and Japan, and earned a doctorate in instructional technology at the University of Colorado (1995). His doctoral studies included an internship as an instructional designer at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research where he developed computer-based, multimedia instruction for the National Weather Service, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy.

James also developed training materials for the U.S. Air Force Space Command. He taught several classroom and online courses in educational technology, research methods, and instructional development as an adjunct professor; and served as a post-doctoral research associate at Texas A&M University College of Engineering. James also earned a Cambridge University Certification for English Language Teaching for Adults (CELTA). He published several instructional technology articles, and now lectures about space science on cruise ships, and walks hundreds of miles on European long-distance trails.

The James L. Teslow University of Washington Endowed Ph.D. Fellowship in Aeronautics and Astronautics will serve to support the advancement of engineering theory, practice, and education.