Meeting of the Minds Speaker

Karl Iagnemma

Co-Founder & CEO


A world-renowned expert in robotics and automotive research, Karl Iagnemma is CEO of nuTonomy, the leading developer of state-of-the-art software for self-driving cars, which he co-founded in 2013.

As CEO, Karl has established nuTonomy’s US and Singapore offices, spearheaded nuTonomy’s fundraising efforts, and led the recruitment of a world-class 50+ person technical team.

Karl was previously a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directed the Institute’s Robotic Mobility Group. His research has resulted in more than 150 technical papers and 19 issued or filed patents, and has found application in passenger vehicle safety systems, robotic surgery, and Mars surface exploration, among other domains. His technical work has been cited nearly 7,000 times in the robotics and automotive research literature. He is author of Mobile Robots in Rough Terrain: Estimation, Planning and Control with Application to Planetary Rovers and co-editor of volumes on the DARPA Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge autonomous vehicle races.

Karl’s primary research interests lie in the areas of design, sensing, motion planning, and control of mobile robots and intelligent vehicles. He has conducted collaborative research with private companies and federal government agencies, including Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Company, NASA Mars Program Office, DARPA, the U.S. Army, and Samsung Electronics, among others.

Karl was selected as one of 16 people who “Redefined Science in 2003” by SEED magazine, and was a 2005 nominee for a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. His technical works have received a numerous best paper awards at prominent international conferences.

Karl holds a BS degree from the University of Michigan, where he graduated first in his class, and MS and PhD degrees from MIT, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He has performed postdoctoral research at MIT, and been a visiting researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Technical University of Athens (Greece).

Karl is the author of the 2007 fiction novel, The Expeditions, and a collection of short stories, On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction. His short story by the same name won the Paris Review Discovery Prize in 2000. He is the recipient of numerous major awards including those from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His fiction has been translated into seven languages.

He currently resides in Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.