ADVANCE GLOBAL AUSTRALIAN AWARD WINNER 2014
ADVANCE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AWARD WINNER 2014
ADVANCE BOARD MEMBER
Chris is a Partner at the venture capital firm DCVC, which specialises in deep tech and data-driven science and engineering companies. In October 2021, Chris fulfilled his lifelong dream of space travel, onboard the Blue Origin New Shepard flight with three other passengers, including Star Trek legend, William Shatner. Chris became the third Australian to fly into space, and securing his title as a space pioneer after two decades in the field.
In his vocation to democratise space flight, he was previously a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research Center. After working on a number of traditional spacecraft programs at NASA, Chris co-created Phonesat, a spacecraft built solely out of a regular smartphone. The cost was so low, and the concept so simple, that space exploration is now within grasp of the everyday person, and many other groups around the world are pursuing their own low-cost space programs as a consequence.
Whilst also at NASA, he established Singularity University, a school for studying the consequences of accelerating technological development. Initially fulfilling the role of Interim Director, Chris helped raise over $2.5 million to establish the university, assembling the faculty and serving as co-chair for the University’s Department of Space and Sciences.
In 2011, Chris co-founded Planet Labs, a company providing unprecedented daily, global mapping of our changing planet from space. As the company’s CTO for five years he took the company from the drawing board to having launched more satellites into space than any other group in history, completely transforming the space industry along the way. Fundamental to Chris’s approach is a dedicated investment in people, especially youth and recent graduates, to create a powerful, connected global workforce capable of achieving anything.
In 2014 Chris was won an Advance award in the manufacturing category, and also the overall Global Australian of the Year award. He has subsequently become a member of the Advance Board of Directors.
Chris received his Ph.D. in Physics and BSc. with honours from the University of Sydney. He is also an avid musician and DJ, writing and producing music from his home studio in San Francisco and performing as Dr Chrispy.