Michael Kirkpatrick

Hi! I’m Michael Kirkpatrick.
I lead technical teams in the delivery of high-quality software. Today you’ll find me at TrueNorth leading the Product and Engineering teams. I’ve been a part of building NASA’s next-generation space telescope (The James Webb), managed multimillion-dollar IT budgets, and helped create FabLab, an innovative makerspace for Northrop Grumman employees. I founded Interchange Design, a software startup focused on creating artfully designed digital menus for craft breweries, bars, and restaurants.

I’m a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. Below you’ll find my résumé and links to my side projects and hobbies.

Email Iconmichael@mekstudios.com

Home IconSan Diego, California

Pencil IconBlog

Professional Experiences


Product Operations Manager – We’re in the business of making the lives of independent owner operators better. From a software perspective, we build tools that help truckers find, book, and manage the loads they haul. We also build financial tools to pay truckers and collect from shippers and brokers. We are an end-to-end trucking carrier. Drive with us.


Software Program Manager – Leading the software teams that support our benchtop diagnostic system. Teams responsible for delivering internal tools, embedded Windows software and firmware for our instrument, and a consumer facing mobile application. Leading a team of Product Owners, software engineers, and external contractors.


Technical Project Manager – Led Agile Scrum software development teams. Developed standard project management practices and created a Project Management Office (PMO) – a first for the company. Harmonized our project management processes with our Software Development Lifecycle. Regularly partner with Product Management and Engineering to write user stories and flesh out technical architecture for our web application.

University of California, San Diego

Technical Project Manager – Led university-wide projects for the Information Technology Services department. Projects included the configuration and roll-out of SAP Activity Hubs for data analysis users on-campus, upgrading and rearchitecting multi-user IBM software, and rearchitecting and deploying updates to the campus email infrastructure including improved email security and a new SMTP relay service.

Interchange Design

Founder – Built a software company that provided artfully designed digital menus for craft breweries, bars, and restaurants. Wrote both the web application and Apple TV app from the ground up using Swift, PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.


Product Manager – Led small teams including graphic designers and software developers to deliver high quality, custom websites and apps to clients. Interfaced with clients, wrote product specifications and user stories, and managed budgets and schedules. Clients included large enterprises (Fidelity) and new startups.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

Information Technology

Information Technology Program Manager – Managed a multimillion-dollar ($12.5M) software staffing, procurement, and maintenance budget. Oversaw and led two major internal software upgrades totaling $3.1M. Served as the primary interface and IT strategy lead to a large 1,500-person internal engineering organization. Special projects included the IT components of a major staffing and de-staffing effort. Led project teams totaling 26 employees.

FabLab & Innovation

FabLab Space Design Lead – Co-led a 32-person team to design a space that allows engineers to innovate, learn, collaborate and prototype. The space provides an area for collaboration and tools to work with wood, metal, electronics, and additive manufacturing.

You’ll find me in this video for the opening of FabLab and one of the big projects FabLab executed.

Aerospace Systems (AS) Innovation – Served as deputy to the AS Innovation lead. Led the innovation community, and served as a liaison for FabLab.

Integrated Employee Experience – Collected employee feedback on workplace improvements. Developed an internal website to relay the status of workplace improvement projects and to continue to collect employee feedback.

Systems Engineering

Advanced Mission Program

Payload Systems Engineer – Managed, coordinated, and documented the interface and technical requirements for a spacecraft payload.

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

Sunshield Systems Engineer – Supported the design and development of the Sunshield. Gave a high-level deployment review to our program management, internal review team, and customer counterparts. Led a major trade study on deployment instrumentation over five months to evaluate deployment risk mitigation strategies.

Alignments Engineer – Ensured that the Sunshield met its performance requirements when deployed on-orbit. The analysis took into account manufacturing errors and the space environment. Analyzed the baseline design, interfaced with the design team, and evaluated mechanical shims for adjustability based on manufacturing tolerances and environmental effects.

Lead Mass Properties Engineer – Interfaced with each team on the program to track the mass of their hardware and forecast impacts due to design changes. Maintained a mass properties model and database of the current mass data for the Observatory. Reported the mass status, baseline changes, and margin to requirements on a monthly basis to our program management and customer counterparts. Owned and maintained the Mass Properties Verification Plan and Mass Properties Control Plan.


University of California, San Diego

Bachelor of Science
Major: Management Science
Minor: Mechanical Engineering

Side Projects & Hobbies

Catalog.beer – An open-source brewery and beer database with an accessible API. Built from scratch. Available to anyone who wants to contribute, consume, or analyze data about the brewing world.

GitHub / Visit Catalog.beer »

MEK Studios – My umbrella consulting business that provided web development, graphic design, IT networking, and IT strategy services to local small businesses.

Campus Loop – Co-founded Campus Loop, a startup business targeted at college campuses. The service was a web application for college students that centralized listings of campus events and student organizations and monetized itself through classified postings.

MEK Photography – Photography business I created that provided portrait services and sold prints. The peak of the businesses was a portrait shoot for the cover of Alpha Chi Omega’s national magazine, The Lyre, in 2013.

Convert Unix Time – There used to be a great resource out in the world at www.convert-unix-time.com that I used frequently. It was a wonderful tool. It's since disappeared so I thought I'd recreate the functionality myself.

Visit Convert Unix Time »


  • Quality Award — Northrop Grumman, Enterprise Services & Chief Strategy Office
  • Vigil Honor — Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America
  • Eagle Scout with 5 Palms — Boy Scouts of America