Meet Our Team

Dr. Thomas W. Murphey

Dr. Murphey is an accomplished leader, scientist, and innovator in the space structures industry with 20 years of experience and an impressive technology commercialization record. Many of his patents and developments have been licensed and are currently used in space or are part of current spaceflight programs. His pioneering work serves as the foundation for the high-strain composites industry through 12 patents and over 70 publications. He has served as a structures subject matter expert on numerous AFRL, DARPA, NASA, and NSF programs, is an AIAA Associate Fellow, and has received numerous senior scientific and technical achievement awards. Dr. Murphey founded Opterus R&D, Inc. to focus on:

  1. Rapid innovation in industries requiring advanced structures
  2. The fabrication of high-strain composites for folding structures

Credentials and Accomplishments

  • M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering; University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Founder of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s R&D program for deployable structures
  • Key founder of high-strain composite laminates for large deployable space architectures
  • 12 patents and over 70 publications
  • Invented deployable solar sails, solar arrays, RF antennas, phased array antennas, booms, trusses, and telescope structures
  • His areas of expertise include structural mechanics, composites manufacturing, tensioned membrane mechanics, and advanced structural analysis methods