Slingshot Aerospace, Inc., a company building world-class space simulation and analytics solutions, announced today that Tony Xiao, former Head of Engineering at Airbus UTM, will serve as the company’s Vice President of Engineering, effective immediately. In his new role, Xiao will oversee the design and development of the company’s technologies.

“At Slingshot Aerospace, we are creating technologies that are on the cutting edge of space innovation,” said Melanie Stricklan, Co-founder and CEO, Slingshot Aerospace. “As we continue to grow, it’s imperative that we diversify our technical team to ensure we are always thinking ahead, and differently, about the problems we are trying to solve. Tony’s experience and technical expertise adds a unique perspective to our leadership team as we work towards accelerating space sustainability to create a safer, more connected world.”

Xiao brings more than 13 years of engineering experience to the Slingshot Aerospace team. Most recently, Xiao served as Head of Engineering at Airbus UTM–a team focused on a technology and international policy approach to enable autonomous vehicle airspace management–where he led the engineering and operations team. Airbus UTM was originally known as Project Altiscope, of which Xiao founded while he was Director of Engineering for Acubed, Airbus’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center. While at Acubed, he focused on transitioning teams from proof of concept projects into self-sustaining entities with multiple aerospace software-as-a-service (SaaS) projects, including the Airbus UTM organization.

“Slingshot Aerospace is tackling one of the most complex problems in the world which is space sustainability,” said Xiao. “The space economy is growing at a rapid pace, and Slingshot Aerospace’s dynamic virtual environments and decision intelligence technology will help ensure sustainability through safe operations. It’s an exciting time for the company, and I’m thrilled to join the team as Vice President of Engineering.”

Prior to joining Airbus, Xiao served as an engineering manager at Sparkcentral, a messaging app-focused customer engagement platform that was acquired by Hootsuite. There, he managed and grew the backend development and project teams, and oversaw and architected technical relationships between Sparkcentral and multiple enterprise-scale integration partnerships. Xiao also worked at Kixeye, a leading gaming developer, where he held various engineering roles including quality software engineer, lead performance engineer and technical program manager. Before Kixeye, he was a System Integration and Test Engineer at ViaSat, a global communications company, on military SATCOM projects where he developed throughput test and analysis suites for integrating beyond line-of-sight communications.

Xiao earned a Bachelors of Science degree from University of California, Riverside, and Masters study in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of California, Irvine. Xiao will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area and report directly to Stricklan. The search for Slingshot Aerospace’s Vice President of Engineering was led by Silicon Beach Talent.

About Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. is creating world-class space simulation and analytics solutions. The company brings the space domain into the digital environment and fuses data from different sources to provide a full, dynamic orbital picture. In doing so, Slingshot Aerospace customers can make decisions at the speed of relevance and achieve clarity in complex environments. Launched in 2017 and based in Austin, TX, and Los Angeles, CA, Slingshot Aerospace seeks to help government and commercial customers accelerate space sustainability to create a safer, more connected world. Visit and follow Slingshot Aerospace on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Slingshot Aerospace media kit, including photos, can be found HERE.


Kylee Keskerian