Don Platt Named Director of Spaceport Graduate Center

Florida Tech Grad Has Distinguished Career
in Private Sector, Academia

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Don Platt, an aerospace entrepreneur, assistant professor and longtime director of the Space Systems Master’s Programs at Florida Tech’s School of Extended Graduate Studies, has been named director of the university’s Spaceport Graduate Center.

The Titusville site, located adjacent to the gate to Kennedy Space Center, offers 11 in-demand master’s degrees, including space systems, logistics management and commercial enterprise in space. It has graduated directors of information technology, NASA astronauts, high-ranking military officials, NASA program directors and executives from some of the nation’s largest employers, including FedEx and United Launch Alliance.

Platt, who has a Ph.D. in human-centered design engineering and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering and space systems, all from Florida Tech, sees growth ahead at the Spaceport site because it offers programs that align so well with the needs of industry.

“The current growth in the commercial space industry here along the Space Coast offers us the ability to serve a growing and changing space industry,” he said.

Since 1998, Platt has served as faculty member and program director at the Spaceport site.

He also remains involved in the private sector.

He founded the aerospace company Micro Aerospace Solutions Inc. in 2002 and continues to be involved in the Melbourne-based operation. He spent three years as lead software engineer at Bionetics Corporation at Kennedy Space Center, where he designed and coded embedded systems used on space shuttles, among other duties. And he worked as a systems engineer for Boeing Corporation at KSC.

Platt also has extensive experience in the world of academia, including jobs at what is now Eastern Florida State College and at Western Connecticut State University and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Platt has published journal articles on astronomy, space science, human-centered design and human-machine interaction. He has also served as consulting editor at McGraw-Hill.

“We are excited about serving both students who are located at the space center as well as those who are coming to the area to utilize our programs,” Platt said. “The quality of our faculty and curriculum and the value of our degrees to the professions and careers of our students are second to none.”

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