Bob Friend has been employed by the Boeing Company for twenty-six years as an engineer and program manager. He began his career on the Space Shuttle program. Mr. Friend is currently the Chief Engineer for Boeing’s Small Satellite Programs which encompass company efforts to develop spacecraft avionics and software incorporating plug and play features and topologies. Prior to this position he was Director of Platform Engineering for the Boeing Southern California Region, where he was responsible for overseeing the Mechanical, Structural, Tooling, Configuration Design, Aerodynamics, GN&C, Acoustics, Aerothermal, Mass Properties and Propulsion engineering and technology development efforts at four sites.
Prior to the Platform Engineering directorship, Bob was Chief Engineer and Program Manager for the Orbital Express program, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program which successfully demonstrated autonomous rendezvous, docking, and propellant and commodity transfers between satellites. In this position he received the 2006 Engineer of the Year award for the Boeing Huntington Beach and Anaheim sites, being chosen from a field of approximately 5000 engineers. He was also the recipient of the 2007 Advanced Systems Leadership Attributes award, and the Orange County Engineering Council’s James E. Ballinger Engineer of the Year award. Bob was also the Co-Leader for Boeing Defense Systems Flight Function, a functional engineering team which coordinates tool, technology, process, and staff development across fourteen separate Boeing sites.
Bob attended school at Northrop University in Inglewood, CA. His hobbies include snow skiing, off-roading, camping, and woodworking. Bob also performs volunteer work in support of educational activities and leads workshops to show teachers and students that science and engineering can be fun and result in rewarding careers. He lives with his wife and daughter in Redondo Beach, California.