Treat everyone with respect, keeping in mind that everyone knows something you don't. Stay curious and never stop learning. Don't take the fundamentals for granted. Don't be afraid to spend just as much time trying to understand the problem as you do finding and implementing the solution.

Christopher Huie-Spence
Group Lead of Loads at Vigin Galactic

Degree(s) at UMD:

  • B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at University of Maryland College Park, 2011


Chris started working in the pioneering industry of commercial human spaceflight at Virgin Galactic in 2016 as a Loads and Simulation Engineer. Currently a part of the leadership team, Chris is a Group Lead in the Flight Sciences Department for Loads, Dynamics, Flutter, and Thermal. Before joining Virgin Galactic, Chris spent over 5 years at Bell Helicopter (now Bell Flight), as an External Loads Engineering on various rotorcraft programs including the Bell V-280 Tiltrotor, and as a Simulation Engineer developing and certifying Flight Crew Training Simulators around the world. While at UMD, Chris was in the QUEST Honors Program, the Igor Sikorsky Scholarship Program (ISSP), and also did undergraduate research in the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center as part of the LSAMP URP. As part of the ISSP, Chris also did 3 internships at Sikorsky in Mechanical Diagnostics & Prognostics and Aerodynamics. 


  • LSAMP Undergraduate Research Program 2010-2011
  • Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center  
  • Igor Sikorsky Scholarship Program (ISSP) 2008-2011
  • Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Program, Cohort 15

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