Mark DeSantis, CEO
Mark is an experienced technology entrepreneur. Most recently, he cofounded and was Executive Chairman of kWantix, an energy hedge fund (acquired by Moody Aldrich Hedge Fund). He also cofounded and was CEO of kWantera, a GE Ventures backed energy predictive analytics company. Previously, Mark was CEO of Think Through Learning, a venture-backed online tutoring company (acquired by Imagine Learning) and US Managing Director of ANGLE Technology, PLC, a UK-based venture capital firm and consultancy. Mark co-founded and serves as a director to several other venture-backed tech firms.
In a prior career, Mark was the Director of Government Relations for Texas Instruments and earlier served in policy positions in Washington, DC including as a Senior Policy Analyst in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Commerce, both in the Administration of George H. W. Bush. He previously served on the staffs of the late U.S. Senator John Heinz. Previously, he was also a management consultant with Booz Allen.
Mark is currently an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and has lectured at Princeton University and Dartmouth College. He was previously an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. Mark holds a BA and MBA from the University of Dayton, an MS in Technology Management from The American University and a PhD in Public Policy from George Mason University. Mark is active in Pennsylvania including serving on the boards of several non-profits.
Courtney Ehrlichman, CCO
Courtney believes the transportation industry that we know today will be disrupted and transformed by intelligent deployment and integration of technology solutions. She is currently sharing time as the Deputy Executive Director of the Traffic 21 Institute and T-SET, the National USDOT University Transportation Center for Safety at Carnegie Mellon University, which focuses on deploying transportation research and technology in the community. She works with public and private partners to use Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania as a smart transportation test bed.
Courtney is a thought leader in the emerging intelligent transportation industry and serves on the boards of the Intelligent Transportation Society of PA and the Womens Transportation Seminar Pittsburgh Chapter. Courtney’s previous roles include: Director of Experiments at cityLAB, an urban do tank, not a think tank; Creator and Director of the Flight School Fellowship, a business development program for creatives; Creative Industries Researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, Real Estate Development Director at Friendship Development Associates, a non-profit real estate development firm, and Director of Operations at Red Star Ironworks, an artisan ironwork shop; all based in Pittsburgh, PA. She holds a Masters of Public Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University and B.A. in Urban and Architectural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
Benjamin Schmidt, CTO
Ben Schmidt is passionate about using technology to solve real world challenges. Ben has been involved in everything from front-end web technologies to server and cloud infrastructures to real time big data analytics in a diverse array of application fields.
Prior to Roadbotics, Ben was Chief Technology Officer of kWantera, a Pittsburgh-based venture backed startup that focuses on energy market forecasting and analytics. After moving from data scientist to CTO, he led the team on the technical due diligence that landed General Electric as a venture capital investor and subsequently scaled the team and the architecture to be able to compute thousands of pricing forecasts seamlessly on a cloud infrastructure and deliver them on a web-based platform to energy customers.
Ben started his career with nearly a decade of work in bioengineering applying an array of advanced image and signal processing techniques. This was initially applied to stem cell therapies and then transitioned to non-invasive brain imaging and network characterization and prediction while he was pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
Christoph MERTZ, Chief Scientist
Christoph believes that we are on the cusp of an automation and artificial intelligence revolution that will have a major impact on our transportation system, from autonomous vehicles, smart infrastructure to intelligent personal travel assistants. He is a principal project scientist at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute currently responsible for research projects sponsored by the US Department of Transportation, Army Research Lab, and National Science Foundation. There he developed surround sensing and object detection systems for intelligent vehicles and search and rescue robots.
He has also been working on a system that is based on vehicle mounted smartphones and is able to determine the weather and inventory and assess road infrastructure. Prior to that, Christoph was involved in nuclear physics research, probing the inner shape of the proton at the Bates Linear Accelerator. He holds a Masters and PhD in physics from the Arizona State University.