Wurst brings engineering, business and military experience to his new job at TECT Aerospace, which makes components for the aerospace industry.

"I was just searching for a company that had this type of growth potential, and TECT really fit the bill," he said.

Wurst, 55, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in aeronautics from the U.S. Air Force Academy and California Institute of Technology. He served as a command/instructor pilot in the Air Force and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 2005, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Since entering the private sector, he has worked for Rockwell International and other aerospace companies and founded two of his own _ Space Access, which designed and built a high-speed and high-altitude propulsion system, and the Hydrogen Generation, a hydrogen producer. Most recently he was a consultant for Lockheed Martin on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

At TECT he will oversee a team responsible for the North American commercial, military and defense markets and the entire European market. Wurst said the key to growing that business is offering customers more "integrated solutions."

"That includes design, manufacturing and assembly, as one supplier, as opposed to (a customer) going to three suppliers to do those things," he said.

Wichita-based TECT is a privately held company with nine facilities, including locations in Park City and Wellington.

Wurst and his wife, Toni, are relocating here from Indiana. Despite his background, Wurst said he enjoys a more down-to-earth form of travel as well.

"We like biking," he said. "I'm looking forward to using the bike trails around the city."