Meet Jason Dupuis, who joined Draper just over nine months ago.
His diverse experience as an Army Ranger and acquisitions officer, a member of the West Point Military Academy's staff and faculty, program manager at the Missile Defense Agency, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and then program director for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle with Keshik Systems has led him to his current role as the Huntsville campus lead and senior program manager.
Q | What are you currently responsible for?
I am currently responsible for the growth of the Huntsville campus and increasing the number of qualified innovation opportunities that come to Draper. Additionally, I am also focused on improving execution through effective management and streamlining customer communication.
Q | How do you think your prior roles prepared you for your new role?
My prior roles taught me to effectively manage multiple stakeholders through engaged leadership, to have a concise vision, and to facilitate open communication that enables successful execution.
Throughout my experience, I have maintained balance across functions through properly tailored processes, necessary funding, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
It's also important to have mutual respect to ensure a collegial atmosphere where ideas can flourish, even in the necessary chaos. All of that said, the most important thing I carry is the genuine concern, care, and respect for others I work with.
Q | Can you describe the history, mission, and capabilities of the Huntsville campus? Have they evolved?
Draper's commitment to national defense led to the establishment of a Huntsville Office in 2007. The strategic decision to open the Huntsville campus supporting NASA, the Missile Defense Agency and other sponsors was enabled through Marshall Space Flight Center Ares Launch Vehicle Design activities where Draper was a member of the NASA Design Team since 2006.
The office opened with 15 full-time Draper staff members in Huntsville and currently sits at 17 full-time Draper staff members. We are located onsite at NASA, onsite at the MDA, and in our office on Odyssey Drive in Research Park. Our five-year vision aims to grow our staff to 100+ with the capability to support government and industry with a highly specialized technical staff.
Q | What do you think the future of the campus will look like?
We want Huntsville to evolve into a source for GN&C, rad-hard, microelectronics, and system integration where the government, industry, and academia will come for insight, innovation application of concepts, and concept to productized applications. Huntsville will have a high-bay facility complete with test equipment capabilities that nobody else has but everyone needs.
Draper will increase the pace of transition of ideas and concepts to developmental and operational testing scenarios. Draper will grow as a highly sought after teammate on development teams for critical systems. Last, Draper developed technology will see growth into new and existing systems by, with, and through the Huntsville campus working in close harmony with Cambridge and our fellow campuses.
Q | How will the Huntsville campus enable Draper to reach new heights?
We will become the best listeners in Huntsville for both the government and our industry teammates (big and small). We will be a protective entity where small business can work and grow with us and conversely, a trusted team to our bigger teammates.
To do this, we need to invest in a scaled approach of our Huntsville technical infrastructure where we maintain the capability to test and qualify inertial measurement systems and subsystems in addition to other critical technology.
For example, two rate tables with additional test equipment would position Draper to execute critical component surveillance programs that also would serve to support prototype development for additional customers. Further, we must develop pockets of subject matter expertise to complement Cambridge.
The key will be deliberate and measured steps that are consistently assessed to show progress as stated.