Tim Pickens is an inventor, entrepreneur, innovator, engineer and educator. He is Vice President of Propulsion for Moon Express, a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company created to establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit. He most recently served as Commercial Space Advisor and Chief Propulsion Engineer for Huntsville, Alabama-based Dynetics.
Tim founded Orion Propulsion, a Huntsville aerospace company, in 2004 and sold it to Dynetics in 2009 after growing it to a 40-employee, $6.4 million business. Within five years, Orion had received multiple Small Business awards and become AS9100 certified to build man-rated flight hardware. Before founding Orion, Tim worked for small hardware-rich aerospace companies in Huntsville, as well as serving as lead propulsion engineer for Scaled Composites on SpaceShipOne, winner of the $10 million Ansari X Prize.
Popular for his inspiring, genuine and humorous speaking style, Tim is recruited to give presentations at business, space and motivational conferences all over the country. He has also been featured in national media for his inventions and innovative accomplishments.
Tim has received numerous awards for business and technical accomplishments.
Tim’s hobbies include building things – like rocket-powered vehicles – in his Man Cave. His passion for rockets began when he was a small child in Huntsville and continued into his adult life as a serious hobby. He led multiple amateur rocket design efforts in his garage for community service and recreational clubs and worked as an independent aerospace consultant at night and on weekends. He had a long-time interest in studying applied engineering and science, but the desire to own and operate a space company would drive him to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.