Philip Ferguson (Director)

Philip Ferguson

NSERC / Magellan Aerospace Industrial Research Chair in Satellite Engineering

Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Price Faculty of Engineering
University of Manitoba
E1-546 Engineering and Information Technology Centre (EITC)
Office: (204) 474-8652
Lab: (204) 474-6527


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003 – 2006)

Master’s of Science (SM)Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2000 – 2003)

Bachelor’s of Applied Science (BASc) – University of Toronto (1995 – 2000)

Work Experience

Vice President, Product Development – PrecisionHawk (2014 – 2017)

  • Overhauled the PrecisionHawk UAV product line, making PrecisionHawk a leader in the UAV industry
  • Led UAV engineering and production teams to four consecutive quarters of target-exceeding revenue
  • Established a continuous improvement production system that reduced shipped product defects by 75%
  • Led a multi-disciplinary team of engineering, production and quality managers (21 reports)

Engineering Manager – Magellan Aerospace (2014 – 2014)

  • Achieved on-schedule and on-budget project performance through earned value management
  • Led a team of 20 electrical and software engineers to success in several different projects

Space Research Program Manager – Magellan Aerospace (2011 – 2014)

  • Wrote winning research proposals, amounting to over $3M in contracted work
  • Spearheaded collaborative work between academia and Magellan
  • Industrial advisor for local space projects such as the UofM T-SAT team

Space Business Development Manager – Magellan Aerospace (2011 – 2014)

  • Contributed over $110M worth of new space business over three years.
  • Forged new business relationships with space companies world-wide
  • Briefed the Magellan-Winnipeg engineering staff and management of new opportunities being pursued

Senior Space Systems Analyst – Magellan Aerospace (2011 – 2014)

  • Led a team of electrical, mechanical and software engineers to a successful prototype build and test program for the Power Control Unit (PCU) for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission ($7M work package)
  • Led a team of subcontractors to on-time and on-budget performance, developing the power subsystem for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission satellites ($10M work package)

Engineering Manager – Microsat Systems Canada Inc. (2008 – 2011)

  • Reduced the manufacture and test time of MSCI’s reaction wheels by an order of magnitude
  • Designed new model of a miniature reaction wheel for use in high radiation environments
  • Designed and executed a radiation up-screening program for COTS electronic components

Spacecraft Dynamics / Controls Analyst – Dynacon Inc. (2006 – 2008)

  • Developed, analyzed and simulated the successful attitude control system for the NEOSSat microsatellite and the Canadian Space Agency’s Multi-Mission Microsatellite Bus
  • Performed optical analysis of the NEOSSat telescope to ensure it will meet the engineering requirements

Integration and Test Analyst– MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) (2000)

  • Developed and implemented test procedures for the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) (a robot manipulator for the International Space Station)
  • Evaluated Force Moment Accommodation (FMA) and end effector performance
  • Designed and oversaw fabrication of custom electronic and mechanical test fixtures

Industrial Researcher – Spar Aerospace (1998 – 1999)

  • Aided in the development of SPDM Ground Testbed (GT)
  • Aided in the design and test of FMA for the SPDM

Program Manager – Microsoft Corporation (1997)

  • Designed and tested new features for Microsoft Office 2000