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Making Leaders: Building Two Satellites a Day

Even on the Space Coast of Florida, where so much innovation is taking place every day, there simply aren’t enough technicians with the training to operate and maintain a satellite assembly line. OneWeb Satellites, a joint American/European venture combining the efforts of Airbus and OneWeb, decided to tackle this problem by creating a European-style apprenticeship program. How did OneWeb find its way from problem to solution, with the help of neighboring companies and consultants? It’s a lesson that can be applied in space clusters across North America and around the world, as the space business increasingly sets to a faster, higher-volume pace.

This podcast series features interviews with consultants and members of the OneWeb Satellites team sharing insights that answer that question.​​​​​​​ You can also read more about their collaboration and the results in SSPI’s Staffing the Space Assembly Line report, available for free to all members!

Episode 1: Creating the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program

In this podcast, we hear from Bryan Kamm, Founder and Principal GAP Consultant at Kamm Consulting Group and Founder and Lead Advisor for the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program. After a career spanning a wide variety of sectors, including economic development, electric utilities, telecommunications IT software, software consulting and engineering, Bryan founded Kamm Consulting in 2015 and landed a site selection contract with RUAG Space in 2016 to assist the Swiss company in locating a manufacturing facility to the Cape Canaveral area to supply thermal panel structures to OneWeb Satellites.

Together with RUAG Space and OneWeb Satellites, Bryan developed, founded and launched (SCCAP) the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program and registered the program with the Florida Department of Education Office of Apprenticeship to begin in the fall of 2019. Learn more.

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Episode 2: Building 10 Satellites a Week

In this podcast, we hear from Gwen Sisto, Operations and Planning Manager at OneWeb Satellites. Her career experience includes nearly 6 years at General Electric Aviation, beginning as a F404 Contract Repairs Manager before becoming a Military Systems Black Belt in charge of initiatives to increase productivity. She continued this path as Continuous Improvement Manager with Parker Hannifin, followed by 4.5 years with Albany Engineered Composites, where she served in a variety of roles, including Senior Enterprise Excellence Manager.

Gwen joined OneWeb Satellites in May 2017 as Industrialization Manager and took on the additional role of Operations and Planning Manager in 2019. In her current role, she is responsible for managing the world’s first serial production line of satellites, including manufacturing, engineering, planning, logistics and associates. In this podcast, Gwen spoke with SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell about what it takes to build 10 satellites a week. Learn more.

Episode 3: Global Just-in-Time Manufacturing for Space

In this podcast, we hear from Tony Gingiss, CEO of OneWeb Satellites. He has over 25 years of experience in the satellite and telecom industries, including roles as an Executive, Program Manager and Systems Engineer. Tony began his career at Hughes Space and Communications (now Boeing Network & Space Systems) in 1992 as a Mission Analyst, where served as the lead mission analyst for the first three DirecTV satellites. After Hughes, Tony led the Systems Engineering organization for Boeing’s GPS (Global Positioning System) IIF and then served in multiple roles at Boeing Satellite Systems in California from 2011 to 2016, where he ultimately became Director of Strategic Integration.

In 2017, Tony joined OneWeb as Vice President, Space Segment, making him responsible for satellite and launch vehicle procurement. He was appointed CEO of OneWeb Satellites in the same year. OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb created to design the satellites for OneWeb’s low earth orbit constellation and manufacture over 900 of them at a production rate of 10+ satellites per week. In this podcast, Tony spoke with SSPI Executive Director Robert Bell about OneWeb Satellites’ mission to provide low cost and high-quality satellites to the market to revolutionize the economics of space and what it takes to realize it. Learn more.