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 an Avionics Technical Project Manager on Blue Origin’s New Shepard Program. I’ve been here for over 5 years and have 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, my role has been focused 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.