ECR's team includes some of the world's top experts on robustness testing in robotics, autonomous vehicles, and consumer electronics.
Philip Koopman, PhD
Chief Technologist and Co-Founder
Dr. Koopman is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University with appointments in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Institute for Software Research, and the Robotics Institute. His background includes time as a submarine officer for the US Navy, a principal in a several startups, an embedded CPU architect for Harris Semiconductor, and an embedded system architect for United Technologies Research Center. At Carnegie Mellon he has worked in the broad areas of wearable computers, software robustness, embedded networking, dependable embedded computer systems, and autonomous vehicle safety.
Dr. Koopman was the leader of the Ballista project at Carnegie Mellon, and has 20 years of experience with applying robustness testing to real-world systems. He has learned what it takes to get embedded software right over the course of more than 150 industry design reviews, and currently teaches embedded systems to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Additionally, he serves as the testifying expert on software safety in the ongoing Toyota Unintended Acceleration cases. He is the author of the book Better Embedded System Software, which distills this experience into a set of lessons learned that broadly apply across the entire embedded software industry. He holds 27 issued US patents and has well over 100 publications.
CEO and Co-Founder
Michael has sixteen years of experience developing advanced robotic systems for industry, the Department of Defense, and NASA. Since 2006 his work has focused on building safer robots and researching ways for evaluating whether we are justified in trusting autonomous technologies. He was the project manager of the Automated Stress Testing for Autonomy Architectures (ASTAA) project, and served as the system-safety lead on the Autonomous Platform Demonstrator (APD) vehicle, both at Carnegie Mellon. He has played key technical roles on several robotics start-ups. In 2000 he was awarded an Antarctica Service Medal for his field work demonstrating a robot able to perform autonomous geology.
Jennifer Black, PhD
Jennifer specializes in embedded system safety and dependability, with experience in automotive, aviation, rail, and consumer products. She completed her PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University where she was a member of the General Motors Collaborative Research Lab. Her thesis research focused on approaches for defining safety requirements for sub-systems in complex composite systems. Prior to obtaining her PhD she worked in system test, installation and support in the telecommunication software industry.
Aaron Kane, PhD
Aaron received his PhD in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 2015. His thesis work dealt with structured safety cases for run-time assurance architectures, a technology that is thoroughly relevant to the proposed work. His work at Edge Case Research has also involved stress testing safety-critical, complex software. Prior to graduation he worked on the “Automated Stress Testing for Autonomy Architectures” (ASTAA) project at Carnegie Mellon, and served as a Visiting Scientist at the General Motors R&D center in Warren, MI.
Ryan has a very diverse programming background; working on mobile app, web app, IoT and embedded systems projects. Coming from a development agency in Seattle, he has been able to hone his development skills and gain experience with XP, TDD and pair programming. Having spent several years at commercial and startup companies Ryan has become the "process guru" ensuring code quality and development best practices to guarantee Edge Case provides the best long-term service to its customers. Ryan received his MS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013.
Justin Ray, PhD
As technology becomes more and more integrated into our lives, we interact with computers and software systems in new ways every day. Technology brings new opportunities, but also new risks. The rapid growth of robotics, autonomy, and the Internet of Things is outstripping the industry's ability to deploy systems that are safe. I work on projects that make systems safer through better design and software better through more effective testing. Justin received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 2013.
Jacob received his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 2016. While there, he focused on the design and testing of embedded systems and the Internet of Things. He sees the world's growing dependence on technology as creating a need for greater focus on sound software design principles and rigorous, meaningful testing.
Zachary first became interested in building and testing dependable embedded systems while earning his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. The current proliferation of smart devices and autonomous systems promises to make our lives easier, but also makes us more exposed to software vulnerabilities. It became clear to him that discovering and fixing those vulnerabilities before deployment through improved design processes and testing is the best way to mitigate those vulnerabilities. Zachary’s additional experience with the Automated Stress Testing for Autonomy Architectures (ASTAA) project at Carnegie Mellon brings robustness testing expertise on top of his expert embedded systems knowledge.
Sam received an MS in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016. He was a member of the Field Robotics Center, and, as part of his thesis research, developed a system for localizing a rover within a barren desert using only a pair of stereo cameras. He has experience with computer vision and machine learning systems, having previously worked on automated science analysis of stromatolite fossils and reliably identifying rocks in the desert. These problems have given Sam insight into how difficult it can be to make a truly robust perception system. At Edge Case Research, he works toward solving this fundamental challenge.
Brendon, officially ECR’s Marketing Director, acts as business manager and jack-of-all-trades, with responsibilities in marketing, operations, business development, HR, and finance. He brings prior experience with startups as well as work in to corporate world to the team, working in a variety of industries and locations. Like the rest of the team, he is dedicated to ensuring that the software-dominated future of technology, from simple automation to safety-critical applications, is safe and secure. Brendon earned his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2005.