Aphelion Aerospace was founded in early 2019 by a group of experienced aerospace engineers.
Miguel has more than 20 years of experience in engineering, leadership, and management of multidisciplinary engineering teams developing aircraft, launch vehicles, spacecraft, and associated ground support equipment in high-profile government and commercial space programs. Miguel is passionate about contributing to groundbreaking innovations in space exploration and aerospace transportation.
With the intent of becoming an effective well-rounded leader, he has devoted his entire career to gaining a broad background in engineering and leadership, encompassing: small startups and large corporations; design, analysis, test, and manufacturing; propulsion, structures, mechanisms, and thermofluid systems; technical leadership; project and people management. Previous programs include ULA Vulcan rocket at Belcan, Orion spacecraft and A2100 satellites at Lockheed Martin, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets at SpaceX, aircraft GNC at L3Harris, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 aircraft engines and ISS habitat module at Honeywell, and NASA Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster processing at Northrop Grumman.
Miguel holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University.
Matthew Travis studied at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, IL for Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering and Computer Science. At this time, he was also employed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. While there, he developed applications in C++ and Java. Create shared libraries in C/C++ that were callable from Java, in support of the Habanero object-sharing and collaboration project. Performed debugging and Q/A for the NCSA Mosaic web browser development team.
In 2003, he founded the Aerospace Research & Engineering Systems Institute near Kennedy Space Center, FL, to promote space exploration and STEM education with hands-on projects. Projects include the development of an experimental cubesat and research into new chemical propulsion technologies for space launch vehicles. He was deeply involved with the development of the organization’s projects. The projects included web-based mission simulation and real-time control, hardware-in-the-loop testing and educational media websites.
From 2003 to 2017, along with managing the non-profit organization, Mr. Travis worked on multiple space missions in various capacities with NASA, USAF and the commercial launch industry. His roles varied from engineering to media relations.
Mr. Travis co-founded Aphelion Orbitals in early 2017 and assumed the Chief Operating Officer role. He led a team of 10 employees developing a dedicated nanosatellite launch service and cubesat ecosystem. In close collaboration with the other founders, he helped secure Seed funding from Angel investors that enabled the company to grow rapidly. Aphelion Orbitals established a research & development facility in New Jersey, brought a line of cubesat systems to market, participated in the DARPA Launch Challenge and successfully demonstrated a flight-scale propulsion system.
Mr. Travis founded and transitioned to Phoenix Launch Systems in 2019 to continue development of the launch system and build out the company’s business relationships, supply chain and international network of partners. During this time, he negotiated MOU’s with potential customers, executed an agreement for future launches from the Kodiak, Alaska spaceport and agreements with other potential spaceports, test locations and manufacturing partners. Also during this period, Mr. Travis led the company’s participation in the 2019 NewSpace Business Plan Competition and, significantly, participation in the 2020 U.S. Air Force AFWERX EngageSpace program. At the same time, he led the effort to ensure the company would survive the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a result, Phoenix Launch System was well-positioned for rapid growth at the end of 2020.
In early 2021, the company reorganized and rebranded as Aphelion Aerospace, where Mr. Travis is currently Chief Operating Officer. He is working with the leadership team to establish new headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado, build out R&D infrastructure, continue propulsion system and launch vehicle development. He is also actively involved with fundraising planning and execution and growth initiatives.
Frederick has been in aerospace, both government and commercial, for 13+ years. He has contributed to multiple outstanding unit awards while serving in the United States Air Force conducting a wide range of duties. While stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, he performed as a Dedicated Crew Chief on F-15 aircraft that flew with the 65th Aggressors, part of the USAF Weapons School. Also, during this time, he was deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon return, he transferred to the United States Air Force Reserves and carried out operations as a life support and parachute systems specialist for an elite special operations unit in Florida which conducted crew recovery operations in conjunction with NASA. After completing his time in the military, Frederick was part of multiple high-profile programs including booster refurbishment (first re-flight of a flown booster) at SpaceX along with Falcon Heavy integration. He also served as part of the Dragon capsule crewed and un-crewed program. From there he transitioned into a leadership role at Blue Origin, responsible for a team conducting manufacturing, test, and integration operations for the BE-3, BE-4, and BE-7 engines along with establishing the in-space propulsion and start systems program.
Engineer with satellite design experience contributing to General Atomics’ MAIA and ARGOS-4. Rocket propulsion experience in experimental hybrid rocket engine technology in an academic setting and launch vehicle trajectory analysis at Ayala engineering.
Francis Lam holds bachelor’s degrees in Aeronautical and Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with experience in engineering design, manufacturing, as well as CNC machining. His experience includes high-pressure fire suppression systems at Core Tech Industrial, turbomachinery technology with GE, and project engineering on commercial jet engine system at Collins Aerospace. An aerospace propulsion technology enthusiast, Francis is responsible for propulsion systems design and testing at Aphelion Aerospace.
Computer science student at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Interested in guidance systems.
Sales Representative with 8 years of experience within the Industrial and Wholesale industries. Specialized in sales and operations associated with the Aerospace, Food Manufacturing and fabrication markets.