FreeFall is developing revolutionary new antenna technology for ground, air, and space. Their innovative spherical antennas are drawing interest from a wide variety of commercial and government organizations, offering wide field of view, electronic steering, and low mass to dramatically simplify and improve satellite communications.
The company’s unique antennas for the coming 5G wireless world are unlike anything else on the market and enable high-frequency, steerable communications for Smart Cities, connected vehicles, and the Internet of Things. FreeFall was founded in Tucson as a spin-off from the University of Arizona and maintains a close connection with UA faculty and supporters.
Doug Stetson was the Manager of the Solar System Exploration Program Office in the Space and Earth Sciences Program Directorate at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He spent 25 years as an engineer and manager in the planetary program at JPL and 10 years in JPL’s Mission Design section, specializing in orbital mechanics and planetary mission design and engineering. During that time, he served as the lead mission design engineer for the Cassini mission to Saturn early in the project’s history, and was the study lead for a large number of advanced planetary concept studies.
He also founded the Space Science Consulting Group and works as a consultant specializing in innovative mission and system concepts, strategic planning, and program development for the space science community.
Bachelors of Science in Physics at Stanford University, Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics
Chris Walker has been a University of Arizona Professor in Astronomy, Optical Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering since 1991.
He also serves as a Principal Investigator for numerous NASA missions including GUSTO, the Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory, a $35-million project. This long-duration balloon mission will be launched from Antarctica in 2021. It will map portions of our galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud in terahertz lines of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.
Previously Chris was Millikan Fellow in Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
He holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering at Clemson University and an Ohio State Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also has a PhD in Astronomy at the University of Arizona, CalTech Millikan Fellow in Physics.
Marwan Krunz is the Site Co-director, NSF Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center at University of Arizona. He also is a Kenneth VonBehren Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona (UA). He also holds a joint (courtesy) appointment as a Professor in the Department of Computer Science.
From 2008 to 2013, he was the UA site director of “Connection One”, an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) that focused on RF and wireless communication systems and networks. During that period, the center included five participating sites (ASU, UA, OSU, RPI, and the University of Hawaii) and 26+ affiliates from industry and national research labs.
Dr. Krunz co-directs the Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center (BWAC), an NSF I/UCRC that includes UA (lead site), Virginia Tech, University of Notre Dame, University of Mississippi, Auburn University, and Catholic University of America. Along with NSF support, BWAC is currently funded by numerous companies and DoD labs, including Raytheon, Keysight Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, Intel, L-3 Communications, Motorola Solutions, National Instruments, ONR, and others. BWAC aims at advancing the underlying technologies and providing cost-effective and practical solutions for next-generation (5G & beyond) wireless systems, millimeter-wave communications, wireless cybersecurity, shared-spectrum access systems, full-duplex transmissions, massive MIMO techniques, and others.
Marwan holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.
Prior to joining FreeFall as CFO, Tom Brown served as CEO and CFO in private manufacturing companies and led several public education reform efforts in California. Tom was a co-founder of Beacon Education Network, later Ceiba Public Schools, in 2005 and served as its CEO until 2017, guiding the charter school organization in its mission to prepare low-income students in non-urban communities (predominantly first generation students) to graduate from four-year colleges and universities. Under Tom’s leadership, Ceiba became one of the top-performing public schools in the Monterey Bay (California) area. In 2012 Tom started the Ceiba Public Schools Foundation to provide scholarships and leadership development opportunities for students and staff from Ceiba Public Schools. Before Ceiba, Tom was Board President at Pacific Collegiate School, the top open admission public high school in California, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Tom was the also the founder and CEO of Adler Makay, a private company providing digital design, machining and fabrication services to commercial, marine and architectural millwork customers. Tom started his career in risk management and spent three decades as a turnaround, crisis management and acquisition advisor for private companies. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stefan O’Dougherty is an Optical and RF Engineer specializing in design and testing of spherical antennas and electronically steerable line feeds. He is responsible for the building, testing and system verification of the All Sky Antenna system and CubeSat applications.
With over 5 years of Terahertz and RF experience and 3 years as an optical engineer for the Osiris-Rex space mission, Stefan brings a diverse background to tackle customized antenna solutions.
Stefan’s most memorable achievement was watching the camera system that he worked on for Osiris-Rex mission launch on a rocket off towards an asteroid.
At the University of Arizona he researched spherical optical solutions. His missions include Osiris-Rex, GUSTO, Large balloon-reflector, THRUMMs, and CHaMP.
Stefan received his PhD in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona, and a BS in Astronomy from the University of Florida.
He’s the Dad of FreeFall’s adorable office dog, Yoshi.
Julie Bonner is a Marketing Director who connects partners, vendors, and investors to the FreeFall intelligent antenna . After spending over a decade working in design and marketing for brands and startups, Julie continues to love working with people to provide the solutions that will help them.
Julie has created marketing campaigns and collateral for national corporations like Mister Car Wash and Clear Channel Outdoor, to Tucson-based start-ups and non-profits. She has been awarded the Tucson AdFed Next Generation Award for making a significant impact on the advertising industry through leadership, career achievements and personal qualities, which also inspire others to excel. She is also active in the Tucson Start-Up and Local First Arizona organizations.
Julie holds a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design from Drexel University and a Masters in Business.
Juan has thirty years of experience in applied physics and materials science, working in R&D, academics and manufacturing. His expertise includes chemical sensors, electrochemistry, optics, ultrasound and microwave spectroscopy. He developed solid state electrochemical sensors.
The past 16 years he has been providing Engineering and R&D cost effective solutions to small and mid-size companies.
Juan has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires and is fluent in Spanish, English and French.
Brandon Swift is the FreeFall Engineer in charge of 5G Systems and Development. He creates and tests 5G and millimeter wave technology.
The past 7 years Brandon was developing and implementing novel sub-millimeter/Terahertz astronomical systems at University of Arizona. His research was on wide field surveys of cold interstellar gas in our Galaxy. His investigations included the SuperCam Survey and Large balloon reflector. One of Brandon’s most memorable achievements was installing the SuperCam instrument at extremely high elevation sites to survey large areas of the galaxy for cold molecular star forming gas.
He holds a Masters in Astronomy for the University of Arizona and a UC Berkeley Bachelor of Arts in Astrophysics & Physics.
Brandon is the Dad of beloved office dog, Otter.