Digital Transformation in Aerospace: The Case for SaaS

With a combined 50+ years of industry experience, our panelists discuss the importance of modern software solutions in the aerospace industry, a complex ecosystem of organizations under extreme pressure to maximize profitability, efficiency, and reliability. New digital solutions are being developed to help these teams achieve their missions. We’re seeing agile, forward-thinking startups like Firehawk Aerospace develop cutting-edge rocket engines much faster than their larger, older competitors. Could modern software-as-a-service be one of their secret weapons? Can larger aerospace companies remain competitive without prioritizing digital transformation?

Kevin Lapp is the Engineering Division Manager at Firehawk Aerospace. He’s been there for over three years, and is responsible for building their propulsion engineering team. Prior to Firehawk, he was a Propulsion Engineer at Virgin Orbit. He has a Master’s in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue.

Laura Crabtree is the CEO of Epsilon3. Laura was one of the Crew Operations & Resource Engineers who helped put the United States back in the human Space Flight business. Among the initial members of the operations team for SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, she was also on console for the first Dragon mission in 2010, the first mission to the ISS in 2012, and part of the commercial crew contract over the next decade—including the mission that delivered astronauts to the ISS in 2020. Laura began her career at Northrop Grumman working various programs for DARPA and other DoD customers. She has a Bachelor’s in Astronautical Engineering and a Master’s in Systems Architecture, both from the University of Southern California.

Ryan White is the director of software and digital design for Kepler Communications. He is passionate about Kepler’s mission to revolutionize space-based digital communications and leads a team of exceptional designers devoted to pioneering the next generation of digital solutions. Ryan also oversees the development of cutting-edge hardware and software to enhance the onboard processing capabilities of Kepler’s next-generation Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

Trish Ness is a Customer Success Manager at Epsilon3. She’s led product implementation and training for many new Epsilon3 customers. Trish has played a major role in helping industry professionals incorporate Epsilon3 into their existing workflows. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Certificate in Full-Stack Web Development from the University of Washington.