Richard Eric Rasmussen

Richard Eric Rasmussen, BSME

Senior Adjunct Faculty Member


Richard Eric Rasmussen has served as an adjunct professor of Physics at California Lutheran University from September 2012. Mr. Rasmussen continues to serve as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Guidance Dynamics Corporation (GDC), a manufacturer of space flight motion testbeds and related components since its inception in March of 1989.

Under his leadership, and supported by his technical expertise in pneumatics and electromechanical analysis, design and manufacturing,  GDC has become a leader in the development of custom multi-axis, air bearing based, space flight emulation.  Under contract to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology and Renselaer Polytechnic Institute, GDC has delivered and installed multiple 5 and 6 degree of freedom robotic testbeds capable of independent frictionless motion provided by closed-loop control of GDC designed cold-gas thrusters, reaction wheels and variable speed, control moment gyros.

During the 1990’s, GDC testbeds supported development of the Air Force and Navy Light Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) and Air Force Brilliant Pebbles (BP and Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) programs.  GDC also provided air bearing flotation tables to NASA Goddard, the Naval Research Laboratory and Honeywell, as well as high performance cold-gas thrusters and regulators to Hughes Missile Systems and Boeing’s Space Systems Division.

GDC also served numerous developing commercial space programs during the 2000’s, providing technical support and thruster development to the American Rocket Company, Kistler Aerospace, the Rotary Rocket Company and Blue Origin.  Sophisticated 3 degree-of-freedom air bearing testbeds were developed and delivered to the Naval Postgraduate School and 240-pound cold-gas flight control thrusters were developed for Blue Origin.

Prior to founding Guidance Dynamics Corporation, Mr. Rasmussen served as Program Manager and Project Engineer at Space Vector Corporation (SVC).  During the ten years at Space Vector Corporation, Mr. Rasmussen analyzed, tested, and provided field support for flight cold-gas attitude control systems, stage separation systems, payload recovery systems and electro-pneumatic components for research sounding rockets. He supported dozens of successful launch programs for the Air Force, NASA.  Mr. Rasmussen supported sounding rocket launches at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and Natal, Brazil.

Mr. Rasmussen has published numerous scientific and technical papers.

He earned a B.S. degree in engineering with a minor in material science from the University of California, Davis and completed advance course work in spacecraft control systems at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mr. Rasmussen has served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 642, Simi Valley since 2001, and is the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, District Award of Merit and District Scoutmaster of the Year three times.  He also regularly mentors underserved high school students as an instructor with “StudySmart Tutors”.



BS in Agricultural Engineering (Mechanical Engineering Department), minor in Material Science, University of California, Davis

Post Graduate Courses in Spacecraft Control Systems, UC, Los Angeles



  • Founded, then led Guidance Dynamics Corporation for 22 years.  Continues to serve as      President and Chairman of the Board.
  • Provided mechanical and pneumatics engineering oversight for nearly all of the company’s projects.  Current detailed and specialized knowledge of pneumatic control systems, including thruster, actuator, reaction wheel and control moment gyro design,      fabrication, assembly, system integration, testing, and installation.
  • Served as Program Manager for over 300 successful firm-fixed-price hardware and software development programs and proposals for customers including the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, Honeywell, NASA GSFC/WFF, Naval Research Laboratory, the Canadian Space Agency and numerous university laboratories. Successfully completed $2.5 million Formation Control Testbed contract for JPL in 2009.
  • Generated and submitted all company technical and cost proposals and quotations to commercial, government and government prime customers, and negotiated all resultant company contracts.
  • Held security clearance and served as facility Security Officer, 1990s.
  • Works closely with CNC machine shops and specialized processing houses, including software and electronics development, electromagnetic coil winding, surface grinding, chemical finishing and electroplating, bonding and heat treating.
  • Proficient in SolidWorks, MS Project, MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Deneba Canvas, Mac OS X, Windows Vista. Maintains a practical working knowledge of AutoCAD, MatLab, Basic and C programming, finite element analysis.
  • Exceptional youth motivational skills acquired over eighteen years coaching and mentoring over a hundred Boy Scouts, aged 10 through 18.
  • Currently applying Active Learning teaching skills as Physics Laboratory Professor at California Lutheran University
  • Self-driven and motivated, through owning and successfully leading an aerospace product development company for twenty-four years.
  • Successfully completed all Boy Scouts of America Training, including Youth Protection, Health & Safety, Trainer’s Edge, and Wood Badge




Tathagata Acharya, Jordan Falgoust, Michael James Martin, and Richard Eric Rasmussen. "Measurement of Continuum Breakdown During Disk Spindown in Low-Pressure Air", Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Vol. 29, No. 2 (2015), pp. 281-290.

Tathagata Acharya, Jordan Falgoust, Michael J. Martin and Richard E. Rasmussen, “Experimental Characterization of Flow Regimes for a Rotating Disc Over a Range of Gas Pressures”, ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition,Volume 7A: Fluids Engineering Systems and Technologies, San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013

Gallardo, D., Bevilacqua, R., Rasmussen, R. E., "Advances on a 6 Degrees of Freedom Testbed for Autonomous Satellites Operations", AIAA-2011-6591 paper, AIAA Guidance, Dynamics and Control Conference 2011, Portland, OR.

Agrawal, B. and Rasmussen, R. E., “Air Bearing Based Satellite Attitude Dynamics Simulator for Control Software Research and Development", in Proceedings of the SPIE Conference on Technologies for Synthetic Environments: Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing VI, (Orlando, Florida), pp. 204-214, April 16-18- 2001.

Bailey, R., Rasmussen, R. E., “Single Unit Integration of Inertial Instrumentation, Data Processing, & Input/Output Devices for Control of Sounding Rockets”, ESA SP-317 paper, 10th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Mandelieu-Cannes, France, May 27-31, 1991

Rasmussen, E., “A Family of Delta Velocity Systems for Payload Deployment”, AIAA CP 8611, paper, AIAA 7th Conference on Sounding Rockets, Balloons and related Space Systems, pp. 130-133, Ocean City, Maryland, October 28-30, 1986