Joseph Cassady

Joseph Cassady

Executive Director for Space Programs, Washington Operation Aerojet Rocketdyne
BSAEE 1981, MSAAE 1983

"As I have participated in various roles in many space projects one thing has always been a constant - that I am a Boilermaker and an AAE graduate. I have always kept that thought in mind and tried my best to represent Purdue in a manner that would reflect positively upon the University and the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.”

As Executive Director of Space Programs in the Washington D.C. Operations for Aerojet Rocketdyne, Joe Cassady helps oversee strategy development and architectures for future space and launch systems. His current interest areas include Space Mobility and Logistics and Space Debris Remediation.

Cassady holds five U.S. patents for Electric Propulsion technology. He has 37 years of experience in propulsion development, flight operations, mission architecture and systems analysis. He has authored more than 60 technical papers dealing with electric propulsion, power and attitude control systems and mission analysis and recently co-authored a textbook, “Rocket Propulsion,” with AAE Professors Stephen Heister, William Anderson and Timothee Pourpoint.

Prior to coming to the Washington office, Cassady led flight project teams for the 26 kWe ESEX arcjet system — which still holds the record as the highest power electric propulsion system flown — and the EO-1 Pulsed Plasma Thruster system.

In addition, he has served on a number of advisory groups for NASA and the DoD. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, vice president of the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society and serves as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Directors for ExploreMars, a 501c(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting STEM and human Mars exploration. It is his goal to see humans join their robotic precursors on the surface of the Red Planet.

He obtained his BS in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering at the George Washington University in 2005.