Tim Pickens has dedicated his career to developing and delivering aerospace hardware solutions to facilitate affordable and responsive space access. He is an inventor, serial entrepreneur, innovator, designer, and educator, primarily focused on firm fixed price aerospace solutions. Pickens is known for applying a lean philosophy to develop creative solutions and innovative partnerships to provide responsive, low-cost products and services. His 25-plus years of experience in the aerospace industry, specializing in the design, fabrication and testing of propulsion hardware systems, has earned him a reputation as one of the industry’s leaders in these areas. He has led development of liquid and hybrid rocket motors ranging from five to 375,000 pounds of thrust.
Pickens is the founder, CEO, and CTO of Pickens Innovations in Madison, Alabama. His latest endeavor is not a launch vehicle company, but an affordable supplier and partner with a very focused and proven business charter. Pickens has created tangible corporate value since 2013, leading to the sale of two divisions of his company to two different buyers over the last four years.
The Pickens Innovations charter is to provide amazing aerospace fluid components at cost points that are not achievable within the constructs of larger heritage companies which are stuck in overhead rates that now are exponentially driving their costs up. Pickens Innovations is making R&D new product investments to ultimately "sell shovels to the New Space miners."
Products and services include high voltage exciters that offer software/hardware defined operation parameter tuning with diagnostic options. Specialties include torch igniters, roll control systems (RCS), hybrid and liquid propulsion, and related fluid systems. From fluid component development to conception to AS9100 production using competitive manufacturing partners to optimize product cost, Pickens Innovations also specializes in ground support equipment, i.e., test stands and fluid systems.
Tim founded Orion Propulsion, a Huntsville aerospace company, in 2004, and sold it to Dynetics in 2009 after growing it to 40 employees and $6.4 million. Orion received multiple Small Business awards and became AS9100-certified to build man-rated flight hardware. Before founding Orion, Tim was lead propulsion engineer on SpaceShipOne, the $10 million Ansari X Prize winner, and worked for hardware-rich aerospace companies. He has led multiple amateur rocket design efforts.