Is a mechanical engineering, high altitude balloon designer and current President of Near Space Corporation a balloon company based in Oregon, United States.
He was born in Portland, in 1958. Attracted by the Cowboy's way of life, he started competing in rodeos at the age of 21, winning a championship four years later. Then, he entered the forest products industry, before he discovered the science of balloon engineering. Making his way through college in eight years, he earned a mechanical engineering degree at Portland State University in 1985, which allowed him to began in the computer aided balloon design.
He joined Raven Industries Inc. of Sioux Falls, one of two US companies that in those time manufactured balloons. Soon he reached the top of his profession becoming scientific high altitude balloon designer and participating in several projects for NASA and other Federal Agencies. In 1990 he was heavily involved in the design, testing and making of the air-ballasted double balloon of the Project Earthwinds.
After retiring from Raven he started in 1995 his own balloon company called Global Solutions for Science and Learning, Inc. which was in 2006 renamed Near Space Corporation with headquarters in Tillamook, Oregon. He hold the patents for an inflatable and deployable system with three dimensionally reinforced membranes and a system for tactical balloon launch and payload return.