Nathaniel J. Chapman

About me

My name is Nathaniel Chapman, and I can build just about anything. From spaceflight hardware, robotic arms and custom vintage motorcycles, to embedded household gadgets and art projects, I have been building things for most of my life.

I am currently on a personal sabbatical following 7 years working on Blue Origin’s New Shepard Program. I had the unique opportunity to build spaceflight hardware all the way up from initial system concepts through to day-of-launch operations. As an Intern at Blue, I developed customer-facing payload interface hardware, combining electonic circuit design, mechanical packaging, software development, and final systems testing integration, prior to hands-on test and launch operations for New Shepard’s first payload mission. In my subsequent career there, I was the Avionics Technical Project Manager/Lead Engineer focusing on the ongoing development and qualification of our PM4 booster for human flight operations.

Prior to that, I earned my Masters in Robotic Systems Development from Carnegie Mellon University. My coursework was focused on Robotics technical design, systems engineering, entrepeneurship and project management. Among my student projects, I worked on a prototype rover for the Google Lunar X Prize, as well as working with a smaller development team to prototype a hull-crawler robot for on-orbit spacecraft inspections and developing a sample business plan for a ‘smart-fridge’ kitchen inventory automation system.

My undergraduate degree was a BS in Computer Science from the University of Washington focused on embedded systems. I’ve also worked as a blacksmith, an IT admin, a web developer, QA tester, and a teacher for summer camp and overnight science programs. I also maintain a large set of hobbies, including rebuilding old motorcycles, 3D printing and CNC Machining, brewing, swing dancing, ceramics, carpentry, as well as lighting design and mixed-media sculpture.