Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan M. Edwards

Senior Director of Vehicle Engineering
Falcon 9 Product Director
BSAAE 2001
MSAAE 2004




"I look back on my time at Purdue with great fondness and appreciation. The engineering curriculum challenged me to think outside the box and prepared me for the rigors of industry - even the rigors of a fast-paced startup such as SpaceX. The facilities and professor-sponsored projects provided opportunities that have had a tremendous impact on my career and life in general."

Jon earned a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University in 2001 and 2004.

After graduating from Purdue, Jon joined Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in April of 2004 when the fledgling company had less than 50 full-time employees. His first responsibility at SpaceX was to help develop and qualify the Merlin and Kestrel engines for the Falcon 1 launch vehicle. In 2006 Jon became the Lead Engineer of the Kestrel engine and Responsible Engineer for the Falcon 1 2nd Stage. In September 2008 the Falcon 1 became the first privately-developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle to successfully reach orbit.

When SpaceX began development of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, Jon took on the role of Falcon 9 2nd Stage Responsible Engineer. Falcon 9 successfully launched in June 2010 and followed up with the successful launch of the Dragon spacecraft in December of that year. Jon was promoted to Manager (and later Director) of the Propulsion Systems Engineering team in August 2010. Although his primary responsibility was overseeing vehicle propulsion systems, Jon’s role expanded to include vehicle-level trade studies, systems engineering, and integration, test, and launch support. Jon continued in this role throughout the development and initial launches of the upgraded F9 v1.1 until taking on the role of Falcon 9 Product Director in April 2014 and Senior Director of Vehicle Engineering in February 2015. In these roles Jon works directly with the president and CEO/CTO to define vehicle design requirements, manages the day-to-day Falcon program schedules, and manages a team of over 100 engineers in the vehicle engineering department.

Jon currently lives in Redondo Beach, CA, with his wife Ashley and their 8 month old son Charlie.