Our Company

Crean & Associates was founded in 2002 and is a Woman Owned Small Business with highly accomplished senior aerospace engineers, scientists, and managers with specialties in Satellite & Space Systems, Launch Systems, & Aviation. Our team provides technical & managerial support services to our Fortune 100 and Fortune 2000 clients in these key areas: Technical Subject Matter Expertise, Production Operations & Logistics Optimization, Program, Project, & Supply Chain Management, Mission Assurance, and Business Development.  We are headquartered in Austin, TX.

Every one of our Space, Launch, Ground and Aviation SME’s has over 20 years of specialized technical experience.  We fill critical client personnel technical and programmatic gaps.  Our broad SME skill mix helps our clients design, analyze, test, and deliver complex products, perform studies, develop reports, mentor, perform design reviews, and more. We provide clients flexibility that lowers their cost and increases their depth with periodic support or extended engagement either on-site or off-site.

We use proven improvement methodologies and technologies to deliver measurable rapid improvement. We have tied into our proven improvement methodologies Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices which monitor, collect, exchange, analyze and deliver valuable insights.  This further helps quality control, sustainability practices, supply chain traceability and efficiency which ultimately cut operating costs and improves the bottom line. We cut client cycle times by at least 20%, double capacity through productivity gains, improve underperforming suppliers and improve operating margins by double digits.

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Jennifer Crean

Co-Founder, CEO / CFO

Mrs. Jennifer Crean is an aerospace executive with decades of experience supporting the growth and development of companies ranging from Fortune 100 to aerospace start-ups. She co-founded Crean & Associates in 2002 after nearly two decades of financial, operational, and program office experience in aerospace and other industries. Her program office experience includes Program Office integrated master scheduling for major government programs such as the NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System which provides high bandwidth data, voice, and video communication to the International Space Station. She also provided Program Office project planning & management support to the GOES N,O,P weather satellite system.

Mrs. Crean worked with numerous large and small companies to create integrated technology development plans and project management plans for large scale government and commercial satellite systems. She also has extensive experience in new business development, proposal creation, and project scheduling and financial planning in support of earned value management systems. Her extensive aerospace experience includes work for Hughes Aircraft Company, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, AMPAC, and providing leading roles in financial management and execution to small businesses seeking to grow and expand their markets. She also assisted in the development of a new government payroll system.

Mrs. Crean has extensive background in developing and maintaining business operations systems, human resources, record keeping procedures, payroll systems, government regulatory compliance, and tax compliance procedures. Jennifer Crean is a graduate from Brock University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

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James Crean

Co-Founder, President / Chief Technology Officer

Mr. James Crean co-founded Crean & Associates in 2002 after nearly 20 years at Hughes Aircraft Company / Hughes Space & Communications / Boeing Satellite Systems where he was a program manager, deputly business unit leader, systems engineer, and operations manager for Lean & Six Sigma. His experience began as an intern and corporate rotator where he performed diverse roles including IT asset management system software development, engineering analysis application support and development, and spacecraft & unit vibration testing. As a systems engineer, he and less than a handful of engineers designed the first DirecTV satellite system and later helped developed other leading edge mobile and fixed satellite communication systems. He qualified numerous novel complex antenna, power, and satellite systems. He performed requirements analysis and flowdow for multiple weather, earth observation, and communication satellite systems including development of extensive databases which he used to perform flawless customer sell-offs of multiple spacecraft to NASA. He was the Flight 1 NASA Tracking & Data Relay Satellite System Program Manager which was a $550M program with hundreds of team members. He has extensive operations experience including standing up the Lean Enterprise Office for Hughes where he and his team performed over 100 Lean improvement engagements. He created the role of Supplier Program Manager (SPM) and managed the SPM group for the Boeing propulsion systems department. His engineering analysis experience includes structural dynamics, thermal systems, mass properties, satellite pointing, power balance & budgets, RF internal loss and link budgets, and more.

Mr. Crean founded Crean & Associates in 2002. Over the next 14 plus years, C&A has grown to a team of nearly 200 highly experienced engineers and managers with a wide ranging client list from Fortune 100 companies to family owned aerospace suppliers. He has gathered in C&A arguably the most talented team of consulting engineers and managers anywhere in the industry, each with decades of hands-on experience before they joined Crean & Associates. Mr. Crean has his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. He also has a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California and holds a B.S. from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Engineering. He is married with 3 children.

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Gary Gawlas

VP Associate Relations and Support

Mr. Gary Gawlas is an aerospace executive with over 30 years of aerospace line and project management experience in payload architecture, antenna subsystems, passive microwave hardware, and communications systems integration and test.  He holds 3 patents for novel antenna microwave technologies.  Additionally, he spent over 12 years developing new satellite systems business opportunities.  He used his outstanding interpersonal skills over his career to lead teams in excess of 500 people and developed operations with budgets in excess of $150M.

Mr. Gawlas spent over 20 years leading Boeing Satellite Systems and Hughes Space & Communications microwave communications projects from early development through on-time, on-budget system delivery.  He has used his deep technical experience to develop highly complex communication and other microwave systems for government classified, government unclassified, and leading edge commercial customers.  His management experience includes developing and utilizing risk & opportunity management systems, gated processes, giver / receiver tracking, critical path scheduling, financial earned value management, organizational behavior methods, and team building / morale enhancing functions.  He has also developed novel analysis, design, fabrication, and test processes throughout his career.  He is an outstanding subcontracts negotiator and supplier program manager working to develop mutually beneficial solutions to difficult problems when they arise.

Mr. Gawlas’ work in research and development includes development of technology development roadmaps and creating funding profile plans to support growth in existing markets and development of new markets.  He has led multiple technology develop projects and new business initiatives to implement and open new market opportunities.

Mr. Gawlas has an MS in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento.  Furthermore he completed the Boeing Executive Training Program, the Hughes Program Management training program and the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management Executive Development Program.

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Pete Woll

VP Client Relations and Support

Mr. Pete Woll has over 25 years of experience in the space & launch industry with deep technical expertise in propulsion, mechanisms, and thermal control as well 10 years in business development focusing on future technology implementations.  Mr. Woll is a true rocket scientist having provided project managment, design, analysis, test and/or manufacturing support on the propulsion systems on the Space Shuttle, Ares, International Space Station, Orbcomm, Galileo and other programs during his work at Marquardt, Aeroject, NEA, Ampac and Moog.  His propulsion expertise includes monopropellant, bi-propellant, green propellant, and electric propulsion components, subsystems, and systems.  Among his many leadership roles, Mr. Woll led the development, qualification, and flight performance phases for numerous thruster developments as well as thermal protection systems for rockets on reusable space launch vehicles and was instrumental in the thermal and nozzle design and test of scramjet propulsion systems.

In addition to his propulsion experience, Mr. Woll’s mechanism experience includes non-pyrotechnic hold down and release mechanisms, linear and rotary actuators, and Li-ion battery isolation relays.  His career has also included many years supporting customers in developing product strategies, vetting technology readiness, and building supplier teams that created new opportunities for numerous businesses.  He brings significant skill for proposal writing, customer intimacy, and teaming to both customers and supplier partners alike, building high performance teams focused on successful program execution.

Mr. Woll graduated from UCLA with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and holds a patent for the HiPAT High Performance Bi-Propellant Apogee Engine used on hundreds of satellites on orbit.

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Steve Burdette

VP Operations

Mr. Steve Burdette has over 28+ years of experience in aerospace bus systems and management at Hughes and Boeing. He has been responsible for the overall management of various bus space systems and units including Mechanisms, Sensors, Batteries and Propulsion. This includes leadership of engineering and product development and operations as well as all component/unit procurement, product build, test and delivery. Included in his Battery responsibilities were the development, integration, test and delivery of NiH2 battery cells to EADs for their space applications (located in Toulouse, France). He led the program management team and was responsible for all aspects from initial contract negotiations to final delivery of the cells to this customer while ensuring the product met all customer performance and quality requirements. Also, during his leadership of the space Battery group, he was responsible for the successful development and delivery of the first Lithium Ion battery system for Boeing spacecraft. His experience in Mechanisms, Sensors and Propulsion included numerous unit/product developments for complex products. This included mechanical antenna gimbal positioners, earth/star sensors, gyros, reaction wheels, Ni-Cad batteries, Li-Ion batteries, and propulsion thruster systems for all satellite applications.  His most recent position with Boeing was deputy director of spacecraft products co-leading over 300 engineers/scientists.

Prior to his aerospace experience, he had 10 years of experience in the automotive field at Ford Motor where he worked on steering systems which included supplier management and product development. He gained valuable experience associated with the automotive assembly line processes as well.

Mr. Burdette has an MS In Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan. He also has completed the UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Development Program, the Boeing Executive Training Program and MBA courses at Cal State Northridge University

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