Associate Dean Mark Golkowski Joins the Space Force

April 28, 2022

Although global conflicts, including the tragic war in Ukraine and instability in other areas of the world, are geographically distant, service members right here in Colorado play an active and critical role. Joining them is College of Engineering, Design and Computing Associate Dean Mark Golkowski, who in March was inducted into the Space Force as an Honorary Commander of Space Delta 4.  

Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora hosts Space Delta 4, whose mission includes actively monitoring missile and rocket launches worldwide. Created in 2019, the Space Force’s essential mission is to make sure that space is safe and accessible to the U.S. and international partners. Access to space, which was not so long ago a fantasy, is now a critical service. “Any time you open any app on your smartphone, you are connecting to space,” says Space Delta 4 Commander Colonel Miguel Cruz, referring to the fact that GPS signals from distant satellites provide the location and timing information that enables all modern communications and financial transactions. The Space Delta 4 mission also includes contributing to missile defense, space domain awareness, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence. This mission is accomplished using a cutting-edge array of satellites and radars. The unique capabilities of the Space Force are aptly captured with their Latin motto videmus mundum, “we see the world.”  

In his new role, Golkowski, PhD, joins other civic leaders in Colorado to help foster relationships between the Space Force and the local community in the Denver metro area. In particular, Golkowski will connect Space Delta 4 to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students and researchers at CU Denver. This partnership with one of the most high-tech branches of the Department of Defense aligns in exciting ways with the university’s and college’s strategic plans to become an innovation hub and foster partnerships that serve the state. CEDC Dean Martin Dunn noted, “We are especially excited by the potential of this partnership as Dr. Golkowski’s research expertise is in near-Earth space sciences, many CU Denver graduates enter careers in Colorado’s thriving aerospace industry, and many of our faculty have expertise in topics of central importance to space including communications, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing.” 

Golkowski said of his new venture: “An exciting vision for the new CU Denver engineering building is to make it a place where academia, local industry, and the Space Force form a synergistic ecosystem powering the local economy and serving the nation.  I look forward to inviting Colonel Cruz to visit CU Denver next semester and also enabling CU Denver students to visit Buckley Space Force Base.” As an Honorary Commander, Golkowski will have access to Buckley Space Force Base and participate in Space Delta 4 events for the next two years.