Helping make space dreams real...

Consensus-Space is the online presence for Jim MacConnell, a lifelong aerospace engineer with experience across the aerospace system spectrum. I’ve spent my career learning and advising on how to do engineering right for those involved in activities from national collaborative technology development efforts to very early stage startups. Consensus Space is my way of continuing to contribute while enabling the work life balance I want at this stage in my career.

Quick Thoughts

I'm a lifelong aerospace engineer. I started at Boeing and stayed for just shy of 20 years.  I started my career in space  and worked a variety of programs (e.g., the IUS - Inertial/Interim Upper Stage) and progressed to leading advanced structures R&D teams and national collaborative technology development efforts. After I left Boeing (we can talk about the Boeing- McDonnell Douglas merger if you like but I'd rather not), I became an independent consultant and led collaborative R&D programs for the Air Force and NASA primarily focussing on Integrated System Health Management (ISHM)... another really cool technical arena. After a hiatus, I re-entered the aerospace engineering world and worked at one of the world's leading aerospace parts manufacturers, first as the lead of a nascent R&D organization and then as an independent contributor in industrial systems (think quality and business systems). After realizing I wanted to get back into space, I left and joined the "new space" community. I started as a program manager for multiple government SBIR efforts at Tethers Unlimited (my official title was Business Unit Manager) and, a few years later, I was Chief Technology Officer and Chief Engineer at ThinkOrbital. After leaving ThinkOrbital, Im trying to find a way to continue my engagement. My current focus and passion is on in-space servicing, recycling and robotics and the infrastructure (both hardware and human) required to get us to be a truly spacefaring race.

Space is hard. That's the saying but in reality it's just that space is complicated. That complexity is invigorating and I love thinking through all the bits and pieces. There's nothing quite like talking through a grand vision and turning it into achievable steps to make one feel accomplishment. We can take that journey together. 

Initial conversations are always free. If, through those conversations, we decide there are reasons to keep the conversation going and I believe I can make a positive contribution (Yes that matters) then we can discuss an ongoing relationship. My basic rate is $200/hr and I find minimum practical engagements to be roughly 4 hrs/wk. Less doesn't allow me to dive into the depth I need to understand your particular issues, while more implies definite discrete tasks that are being worked on . That turns into roughly $3-4k/month. That's our starting point. Retainer engagements are a possibility on a case-by-case basis and would start at $2.5k/month. Smaller investments are possible but would preclude intense activities such as proposal prep, etc. which take concentrated effort over a short duration. In all cases, agreements are flexible. Let's talk

Initial conversations are always free. If, through those conversations, we decide there are reasons to keep conversations going and I believe I can make a positive contribution (Yes that matters) then we can discuss an ongoing relationship. My basic rate is $200/hr and I find engagements to be 8 hrs/wk more or less if they are to be worthwhile for both of us. That turns into roughly $6k/month. That's our starting point. Retainer engagements are a possibility on a case-by-case basis and would start at $5k/month. Smaller investments are possible but would preclude intense activities such as proposal prep, etc. which take concentrated effort over a short duration. In all cases, agreements are flexible. Let's talk. 

I work remotely unless you happen to be in the Seattle, WA area, in which case, I'm happy to meet in person. Even in leadership positions, I have found that being effective does not rely on physical presence.
Communication is key to everything we do and it forms the core of my approach to everything I do. Whether its one-on-one discussions or group/team meetings, assuming everyone just "gets it" is a path to disaster and I work very hard not to let that happen.  We need clarity in who is doing what, when even if the discussion is just conceptual. Not only that but, to get the best out of  everyone, you need to share... the vision, the challenges, the what needs to be done and, more importantly, the why.  With everyone in tune, magic happens.

CONTACT ME either through the form below, by booking a meeting at my Calendly or  via email/phone if we've connected that way. After an initial conversation we will want to do a few things (usually):
1. Get NDAs in place. This is more for comfort than anything else. I do not share information across client boundaries but having the details in writing is important so....
2. Get a consulting agreement in place. These can take many forms but the minimum needs to include our names, effective date of engagement, initial rates and billing info, some king of duration and all the usual legal things (IP protection, etc.)
3. Get financial things in place. As an independent contractor, I need to file a W-9 with you so you can include me in your "system".  This step depends on your financial systems more than mine. If I'm a W9 contractor, you will report my income to the IRS on a 1099-MISC and it will make sure I'm honest. NOTE: This is actually a sign of transitioning from base start-up to reality when you need to consider the details of personnel, etc. No longer are financial transactions simply, here's some $, please do this.

Reach out and I'll be in contact with you shortly

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