Chris Koehler

Associate Faculty Director, Space Minor


My background is in Aerospace and Mechanical engineering. I have worked at Ball Aerospace and Lockheed Martin and have worked with NASA on many different missions. I have helped launch thousands of high-altitude balloon experiments, hundreds of sounding rocket missions, and 11 low-earth satellites. I have been the Principle Investigator (PI) on 30+ missions to space. Additionally, I have worked with thousands of college students across the country on hands-on projects that eventually went into space. Through all of these experiences, I have been instructing students. I love to learn new things however I cannot learn from all teachers. For me, how I am taught is just as important as what I am being taught or what I am trying to learn. As I have been teaching students since 1996, I know for a fact I am not the only one that has this issue when it comes to learning. This understanding is my core of everything I do when teaching. It is what drives me to teach in the ways I do. I know that students in my “classroom” typically want to learn, and my goal is not only to teach them but also to reach them. Teach them what I know and to make sure I am teaching them in such a way that what they learn is absorbed, retained, and ready to apply in their lives or at least the next lesson. When I walk into a classroom, I know that my emotions and energy will determine the learning environment for that day. So, I walk in (sometimes fly in) with excitement about what we are about to learn together. I love seeing the lights come on in a student’s eyes. I love seeing them connect the dots and having an “aha moment.” I love seeing them years later successfully making the world a better place for all of us.