Former space executive Sirangelo joins University of Colorado

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LOGAN, Utah — Mark Sirangelo, who left Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in June after heading the company’s space division for a decade, has joined the University of Colorado Boulder as an “entrepreneur-in-residence” in its aerospace engineering program.

In an Aug. 7 statement, the university said that Sirangelo would start work this month in its Ann & H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, with a joint appointment in the university’s Engineering Management Program. He will help create “an entrepreneurial center of gravity for industry throughout the state” to support the research and educational goals of the university’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“Mark is an aerospace visionary who recognizes that CU Boulder is a premier research and innovation engine for the United States and the hub of Colorado’s aerospace ecosystem,” Bobby Braun, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and former NASA chief technologist, said in a statement. “A leader in entrepreneurial space, a contributor to national security, a pilot and veteran, Mark’s expertise and creativity are a perfect mix for this groundbreaking institution.”

Sirangelo previously served for nearly a decade as executive vice president in charge of Sierra Nevada Space Systems, responsible for projects like the Dream Chaser vehicle and satellite programs. He had been at SNC since its acquisition of SpaceDev in 2008.

SNC said in a July 2 statement that Sirangelo left the company at the end of June for personal reasons, and as part of a “friendly transition.” Fatih Ozmen, owner and chief executive of SNC, took over the space systems unit on an interim basis while the company performs a serch for a permanent replacement.

Sirangelo said in a subsequent interview that, with SNC Space Systems in good shape, he felt it time to look for new opportunities. At the time, he said he expected to take some time off in the summer before deciding on new plans.

“I am thrilled to be joining CU Boulder and its premier aerospace program at this pivotal time.” Sirangelo said in a university statement. “Helping to support the growing connection between aerospace, engineering, education and the entrepreneurial ecosystem is an exciting opportunity that I truly look forward to.”