Guest Speaker: Nathan Gates

Last Friday, our Foundations of Engineering II group was privileged to hear from retired aerospace engineer Dr. Nathan Gates. Dr. Gates has worked for many years at Astro Aerospace, based in Carpinteria, and is recently retired.

Dr Gates shows a telescoping boom design that he worked on

Dr. Gates’ impressive career was mainly focused on thin, light, graphite structures, such as those used on spacecraft and satellites. His specialty was “deployable” structures, which are launched in a folded-up configuration and then unpackage once in orbit. One recent project will unfold over two weeks to the size of a tennis court, despite being launched in a payload cylinder only a few meters wide.

Students eagerly listening to tales of projects past!

Dr. Gates ended his stories with a memorable reference to Eric Liddell, the Scottish Olympic athlete, who famously stated “when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Dr. Gates has worked for years in the aerospace industry to the best of his ability, designing and creating in imitation of the Great Creator, feeling His pleasure, and living Coram Deo—before the face of God. Our students would do well to take heed.

We are very grateful to Dr. Nathan Gates for sharing with us, and hope to have him again soon!

630 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA

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