Dr. Slade H. Gardner

Operating Partner

Dr. Slade H. Gardner is an Operating Partner with Catalyze Dallas, where he serves as a member of the executive team that drives significant returns in innovative technology solutions. Gardner simultaneously serves as Chief Technical Advisor for Alpine Advanced Materials, the producer of best-in-class thermoplastic nanocomposites and other advanced nanocomposite formulas. He is also the founder of Big Metal Additive, which, since 2016, has been pioneering large-scale metal hybrid additive manufacturing.

For nearly two decades, Gardner was a Fellow at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in the Advanced Technology Center and at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in the Skunk Works division. His duties included developing and implementing next-generation solutions for complex molded hardware in the aerospace and aeronautical industries.

Recognized as a leading expert in advanced materials, manufacturing, and processes for high-criticality industries, Gardner has advised corporations, institutes, national laboratories and the U.S. government on strategy, priorities and development needs with regard to industrial application of advanced manufacturing and materials.

His technical background includes materials development, equipment configuration, and engineering requirements for thermoplastic composites, nanomaterials, large-scale additive manufacturing, and aerospace composite structures. His innovative solutions have been used in spacecraft, aircraft, and sophisticated ground systems, as well as, more recently, in industrial hardware, sporting goods, and motorsports.

Gardner holds several patents for fiber materials manufacturing and deployment, and he has published extensively on ceramic and thermoplastic manufacturing processes and products.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College, Gardner obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he held a fellowship from the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for High-Performance Polymers and Composites.

His personal interests include traveling and dining with his wife and all seasons of mountain sports. He is also an avid motorcycle enthusiast.