DOUGLAS MACKENZIE:
 
JASON BIERKLE




 
 
 
 
 
President and Founder, Mobile Intelligence Corp. of Livonia. Since founding Mobile Intelligence, MacKenzie has been awarded more than $2.5 million in research project funding. These projects have advanced robot architectures, robot mission planning, and distributed software. MacKenzie continues to experiment with robotic platforms, the latest using jumping to extend the terrain reachable by wheeled vehicles. While studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he created the MissionLab toolset and the graphical configuration editor, which brought visual programming to robotics. In usability tests, MissionLab allowed people unable to write programs in traditional computer languages to program complex missions with only 30 minutes of training. MacKenzie is particularly interested in empowering people who are not computer programmers to use advanced computer packages in ways that traditionally require programming skills. MacKenzie received his bachelorís degree in electrical engineering and his masterís degree in computer science from Michigan Technological University. He received his doctorate in computer science at Georgia Tech.


WHERE BORN: "Hastings, Michigan. I grew up in Woodland."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "First, my parents. I grew up on a farm and saw the entrepreneurial side of the world. My parents farmed full-time and made a living without working for someone else. And then Paul Quigley, my high school teacher, who introduced me to computers and engineering and changed my course into computers and programming."

LAST BOOK READ: "The Art of War by Sun Tzu."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Dependable, solid, someone you can count on."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "The autonomous vehicle and robotics world up to this point has been an academic world, with people doing various proof-of-concept studies. Where the field is headed is toward full systems actually operating in the real world. My job is getting it out of the lab and into the real world."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "The iPod Nano; itís probably been the most fun."

FAVORITE PLACE: "The Upper Peninsula; and Atlanta, Georgia, as a city to visit."

FAVORITE HOBBY: "Playing with robotics."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Mexican food. Iím addicted."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Downhill skiing is probably something most people donít know about."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a good father and as a good husband, a good friend, someone you can count on who would do what needed to be done."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.