All Courses

Uncertainty: Learned Lessons from Moonshot Projects

Beginner | Duration: 44:50


“It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand.  Exploration is not a choice really, it’s an imperative.” - Michael Collins (Apollo 11 astronaut). Meet John Saiz, the former Chief Technology Officer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and learn about the challenges and uncertainty of “moon-shot” projects. Or, as many call these types of projects today - disruptive innovation, quantum leap, or radical innovation. John’s 25+ years at NASA spanned the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Orion Programs. John is currently a Principal and Innovation Management Black Belt™ who collaborates with organizations to cultivate, foster, and lead innovation. In this mini course, John will share his insights and lessons learned dealing with the challenges of complex technological projects while managing risk and uncertainly.

Prerequisites and audience

For all people dealing with uncertainty; no specific prerequisite is needed.


No certificate



John Saiz

John Saiz, Principal at Innovation 360 Group, is formerly the Chief Technology Officer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Mr. Saiz works with manufacturing and technology-intensive companies worldwide to enhance their capabilities across the core elements of innovation and technology management.

Since 2014, he has led collaborations with a number of multinational commercial organizations, including AstraZeneca, FMC Technologies, GE Global Research, GE Oil & Gas, Halliburton, Oxiteno, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Schlumberger, and Subsea 7. Mr. Saiz has also supported industry consortia and academia, including the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, BioPhorum, OrthoWorx, Purdue University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Maine.

While at NASA, Mr. Saiz directed a number of technology and flight development projects that spanned the full spectrum of technology readiness levels, from initial proof-of-concept laboratory demonstrations through long-term spaceflight operations on the Space Shuttle, Russian Mir, and International Space Station.  He managed a portfolio of nearly 200 internal research and technology development activities during his CTO tenure at the Johnson Space Center. His industry experience includes engineering and technology management roles at Halliburton, ILC Space Systems (now Oceaneering), and Honeywell Defense Systems. He also worked a brief stint as a “mud logger” with Integrated Drilling and Logging, Inc. in the Texas and Louisiana oilfields.

Mr. Saiz maintains an appointment as a Principal Industrial Fellow with the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge.


Jon Abad

Great course!! I recommend it, very useful