Board of Directors

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration


Julie A. Van Kleeck
Vice President, Advanced Space and Launch Business Unit
Aerojet Rocketdyne

Julie Van Kleeck headshot

Julie Van Kleeck is Aerojet Rocketdyne’s (AJR)Vice President of the Advanced Space and Launch Business Unit. She is responsible for space and launch propulsion and power, research, technology development and product development programs. Her program and technology responsibilities include the company’s Space Launch System Propulsion (SLS), Orion propulsion, Commercial Crew propulsion and power, advanced electric propulsion, International Space System (ISS) power system, and AFRL and DARPA programs as well as AR’s additive manufacturing, advanced materials, nontoxic propellant, Bantam engine technology, modular small satellite and nuclear propulsion and power technology efforts.

Ms. Van Kleeck joined Aerojet in 1981 and was appointed to her present position in June 2013. Prior to this assignment, she was the vice president of the Space and Launch Business Unit for Aerojet responsible for all the company’s in-space and launch propulsion technology, development and production programs.

From 1994-2007, she served in a number of management positions including program director of a multi-national commercial launch vehicle project, during which she interfaced extensively with foreign launch vehicle companies (1998-2001) and affiliated governmental agencies as well as the chief engineer for the company’s key missile defense programs (1990-1992).

Ms. Van Kleeck started her career in systems engineering and later moved to rocket system product development. She has been instrumental in the development of leading-edge rocket propulsion technology and products, including a number of missile defense, launch vehicle and spacecraft propulsion systems, many of which are in production today at Aerojet Rocketdyne. She has demonstrated experience in virtually all forms of rocket propulsion technology and their applications.

Ms. Van Kleeck earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California and has extensive “hands-on” experience. She has received numerous technical awards from Aerojet Rocketdyne, GenCorp and outside organizations. She is very active in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) and Women in Aerospace outreach and advocacy efforts. She is also the executive sponsor AJR’s “Women in Network” (WIN) organization, an AIAA Associate Fellow, the Co-Chair of the AIAA Corporate Member Committee, a a Propulsion and Energy Executive Steering Committee member. a past Aerospace Museum of California board member and a current member of the European Space Propulsion board.

Ms. Van Kleeck resides in Folsom, Calif. with her husband and extended family. She is an avid skier and runner.

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