Jeffrey Kelley currently serves as the chief engineer for the Space Systems Research Laboratory. In this role, he works with subsystem leads and management staff to reduce risk on the new satellite bus under development (SLU-05). He provides risk management insight during system-level planning, independently performs quality assurance checks on new hardware, and verifies testing procedures for all subsystem flight components.     

Kelley’s career with the Laboratory began with the propulsion group for Rascal-1 (SLU-04), where he participated in the effort to design and build a Sealed Container System (SCS). After three months, he began work with the Systems group for Rascal-1 in addition to his work with the SCS group. During his time with the systems group, he helped solve problems relating to camera performance and the configuration of electronics within the spacecraft.

Before taking on the role of chief engineer, Kelley served as a deputy program manager, where he assisted the program manager with various tasks to help the lab run smoothly. Kelley participated in system-level planning for SLU-05 and organized new-member recruiting efforts in this position.     

    Kelley has been quality-testing designs since approximately age eight, when he learned to test the structural integrity of his Lego warplanes by throwing metal balls at them. He was raised in Prairieville, Louisiana and attended Catholic High School of Baton Rouge, where he was a state champion distance track runner and a section leader in marching band. He plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Urban Poverty Studies from Saint Louis University in 2020.