About Us

About Us

A small team originating from the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas came together inspired to build something radically new.

TerraCraft Motors Inc. is comprised of extraordinary individuals. TerraCraft team members have worked on the world's largest vacuum chamber for NASA spacecraft testing, have designed avionics and electronic intelligence equipment for the US Air Force U-2 spy plane, have helped design the docking module for the International Space Station, have worked on NASA's Mission Control, have negotiated spaceflight procedures between the United States and Russia and have facilitated multi-billion dollar aerospace projects between Boeing, Lockheed and the U.S. Federal Government.

Early in our design phase, a motorcycle enthusiast said to us, "Great idea guys...but the problem of creating a bionic, leaning motorized trike has been challenging automotive teams for 80 years. Do you think you can really solve an 80 year old problem where other teams have failed?" Wes Abbott, the TerraCraft founder simply replied, "Can we solve an impossible problem? {laughs} We are all from NASA...of course we can."

A year and a half later, the patent applications have been filed and the TC1 technology demonstrator has been built, tested and on the road.

Problem solved.

Our Team

James (Wes) Abbott

Founder

Wes is an accomplished business management professional with twenty years demonstrated experience overseeing all phases of the business process, including financial, operations, scheduling, acquisitions, estimating, project management, and analysis. Skilled at leading process improvement initiatives to enhance operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency to impact the bottom-line.  Wes was instrumental in the contract administration of the $100 million upgrade and modernization of world's largest deep space simulator at the NASA Johnson Space Center.  That chamber is being used to test the James Webb Space Telescope to replace the aging Hubble. Wes is a respected leader, team player, and solution provider with over 30 years of motorsport fabrication, restoration and modification. Wes possesses an uncanny purpose and drive to lead innovation, solve problems and work with the learning challenged to unvail their God given attributes.

Andy Thomson

Co-Founder

Andy has more than twenty five years of professional experience in both domestic and international program contracting and performed end-to-end supply chain management involving both commercial and government products and services. He has work predominantly in the aerospace industry and done import/export and operations management. Some employers include industry leaders like Mitsubishi International Corporation and NASA contractors Rockwell International Corporation and United Space Alliance (a Boeing/Lockheed Martin company) supporting the Space Shuttle and International Space Station operations. Andy holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations; Commerce and Economics, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an International Business Masters Certificate from the University of Central Florida.

Hank Jones

Chief Electrical Engineer

Hank spent his career developing avionics and electronic intelligence (ELINT) equipment for the US Air Force U-2 spy plane and other intelligence programs. In 2004 Hank moved to the Houston area and joined NASA providing designs for a number of products for the International Space Station and next generation spacecraft, including the Autonomous Extravehicular Activity Robotic Camera (AERCam), a gyroscopically controlled free flying robot, and the Low Impact Docking System (LIDS), an advanced electronically controlled mechanism for spacecraft docking operations. Hank holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Optical Signal Processing from Texas Tech University.

Christopher Leslie

External Relations

Chris is a NASA Mission Control and International Space Station program veteran of nineteen years. Chris spent the early part of his NASA career as a technical liaison to Moscow, Russia and spent over 5000 hours in Mission Control planning the complex operations of the International Space Station. He led a research and development team to build patented advanced human spaceflight mission planning technologies, consulted to Lockheed in the development of the Orion spacecraft and most recently as one of the commercial directors of the Astronaut Office. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Concordia University Texas, a Master of Science degree in Strategic Planning/Future Studies from the University of Houston and a Masters degree in Aeronautic Science from Embry Riddle.

Eric Kuehnel

Chief Mechanical Engineer

Eric has over thirty five years of experience supporting the Johnson Space Center. Eric started as an associate engineer and worked his way up holding positions as lead engineer, Project Manager and section manager before becoming a chief engineer. Eric has designed a wide variety of hardware ranging from packaging of miniature electronic systems to spacecraft docking systems and large scale structural installations. Eric is knowledgeable in the areas of stress analysis, thermal analysis, materials and electromechanical assemblies. . Eric has been recognized in publications for NASA Tech Briefs as well as patent applications. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the University of Houston.

Thomas Haaland

Founding Partner

Thomas Haaland is a 4th generation international commerce magnate with family history in the industry since 1915. He is now the owner and managing director of Stanley Tankers Pte Ltd., previously a subsidiary to Brøvig-Gezina, a successful private equity investment firm. He is also partner at Stanley LNG Carriers, is a member of the Norwegian Business Association in Singapore, the Singapore Shipping Association and the Freemasons. He has received awards from the Norwegian Navy and Odfjell SE, and has spoken at various industry conferences world wide. Thomas graduated from The Universitetet I Agder with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has attended Harvard Business School where he completed studies in Strategic Negotiations.

Mike Hamm

Advisor

Mike Hamm brings a vast knowledge of the manufacturing world from beginning to end. 19 years at Saturn Corporation/GM Spring Hill Manufacturing supplied Mike with the unique experience of manufacturing from plant start-up to complete facility retooling. The Saturn vehicle was completely assembled in one facility with innovative technologies from engine, to stamping, to polymer molding, to paint, to name just a few. Mike brings the skills of manufacturing that he has learned to apply not only on a large scale but also to the prototype stage as well. During the last four years, when not working on the space program, he has spent a great deal of time assisting both industry and the entrepreneur in making prototypes. This is the innovative spirit that Mike brings to TerraCraft Motors.

Tom Rubenak

Advisor

Tom is a seasoned business professional with over 25 years experience helping executive teams in F1000 companies address their most challenging financial, technology, supply chain and marketing initiatives. Tom works for Ernst and Young LLP where he oversees various strategic business development efforts for the Financial Accounting Advisory Services team. Tom's experience also includes working with Gartner and Forrester, two of the world's leading technology research think tanks, where he oversaw the growth efforts for the firm serving CIO's, CFO's and lastly with private equity, venture capital and investment banking clients seeking superior technology investments. Tom started his career as a business analyst and then sales director with Dun & Bradstreet, where he helped helping clients leverage risk information to make better business decisions and also served in the US Army reserves. Tom has served in a variety of non profit Boards including The Society of Information Management, TexChange and Westminster Academy and has been active in a variety of organizations at Rice University and The University of Houston. Tom is a graduate of UT in San Antonio.