Michael Vergalla


Robotics, Digital Manufacturing

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Areas of Expertise

Space-Industry  •  Robotics

About Michael

Mike most recently was the Project Executive of Monark, an Airbus initiative focusing on advancing weather analytics to improve the operational efficiency and environmental performance of flying commercial platforms. Dedicated to designing a sustainable future for life on Earth and beyond, Mike previously spent six years as a member of the first private team that attempted to soft land on the lunar surface as the second employee at Moon Express. He also founded the Free Flight Research Lab, a non-profit research institute aimed at creating positive global impact through the application of exponential technologies in materials, sensors, robotics and communication. He has helped multiple startups raise over 60 Million dollars. Mike holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology. He enjoys racing sailboats and paragliding, and holds Basic and Tandem flight instructor ratings.

Mike Vergalla of Moon Express Inc. at Western's Space Day

Speaking Topics

  • What Happens When Computers Become Designers

    How Generative Design will Empower the Future Creatives of the World
    As we use low-cost, distributed sensors to connect this world, our ability to generate insights and solutions for highly complex problems escapes our capacity to do it alone.

    We will continue to build larger, interactive, responsive structures with millions of constraints and variables that balance human needs with design, engineering, and business requirements (think: space stations, factories, sustainable cities, weather etc.) How, then, can we build a scalable, efficient system, capable of handling large amounts of data, while reducing the time complexity involved in coming up with a solution, or solution spaces?

    The answer lies in the new field of “generative design”.

    This emerging design methodology leverages the convergence of digital design tools with low-cost distributed computation. Today it’s possible to auto-generate design models and build complex structures with efficient integration and higher level of granularity in increasingly short periods. This has a direct impact on the not only the final product but the team building and iterating through the design process.

    Michael Vergalla explores the future of generative design, where computers will collaborate with humans to build intricate models, and how we’re close to a future where intelligent systems could soon acquire the creative abilities to build sophisticated design models.

    In this talk, you will:
    – Explore real-life implementations of generative design, and get a view into the latest tools that are currently used for creative computational modeling
    – Capture insights on how to utilize computational collaboration, and work alongside an intelligent, creative digital team-mate
    – Discover long-term implications of trends in generative design
    – Analyze the future risks, opportunities, and challenges in generative design.

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