Phil Koopman Personal Information

My Home Page | Publications| Presentations

Prof. Philip Koopman is an internationally recognized expert on Autonomous Vehicle (AV) safety whose work in that area spans over 25 years. He is also actively involved with AV policy and standards as well as more general embedded system design and software quality. His pioneering research work includes software robustness testing and run time monitoring of autonomous systems to identify how they break and how to fix them. He has extensive experience in software safety and software quality across numerous transportation, industrial, and defense application domains including conventional automotive software and hardware systems. He was the principal technical contributor to the UL 4600 standard for autonomous system safety issued in 2020. He is a faculty member of the Carnegie Mellon University ECE department where he teaches software skills for mission-critical systems. In 2018 he was awarded the highly selective IEEE-SSIT Carl Barus Award for outstanding service in the public interest for his work in promoting automotive computer-based system safety. In 2022 he was named to the National Safety Council's Mobility Safety Advisory Group. He is the author of the books: Better Embedded System Software (2010), How Safe is Safe Enough: measuring and predicting autonomous vehicle safety (2022), and The UL 4600 Guidebook (2022).

Hi-res photo


Philip Koopman is an Associate Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Koopman received a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989 and both a M.Eng. and B.S. in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1982.

From 1982 to 1987, he was a U.S. Navy submarine officer. He completed a Pacific Fleet sea and shipyard tour aboard the USS Haddock (nuclear-powered fast attack submarine: | Welcome Aboard Pamphlet) as Sonar and Weapons officer and is qualified in submarine warfare (gold dolphins). He earned the Naval Expeditionary Medal for participation in the Cold War, a Naval Achievement Medal, and Sea Service ribbon with star. He was then stationed in Newport, RI at the Trident Command and Control Systems Maintenance Activity (TRICCSMA), which performed system integration and lifecycle support for Trident submarine tactical computer systems.

From 1986 to 1991, he was a partner in WISC Technologies, which designed and manufactured Forth-based stack computers. The patents for the technology were licensed to Harris Semiconductor. He then became a Senior Scientist at Harris Semiconductor, in charge of embedded processor architecture from 1989 to 1991. He was the architect of the Harris RTX-4000 32-bit processor.

From 1991 to 1995, he was a Principal Research Engineer at United Technologies Research Center. There, he worked with embedded computer applications for Otis (elevators), Pratt & Whitney (jet engines), Norden (RADARs and SONARs), Carrier (HVAC equipment), UT Automotive (input control electronics and vehicle security), and Sikorsky (helicopters). He also conducted research on system design methodologies and embedded CAD tools.

In 1996, Koopman joined the Carnegie Mellon University Engineering Design Research Center (which changed name to ICES) as a Visiting Senior Research Engineer. In 1997 he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department as a tenure-track Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2001, and was awarded tenure in July 2002. He has received additional courtesy appointments at the Software and Society Systems Department (formerly ISR), and also the Robotics Institute, including significant research projects at the National Robotics Engineering Center on autonomous vehicle stress testing.

Koopman has testified in unintended acceleration cases, including both Class Action and death/injury cases. In 2018 he was awarded the highly selective IEEE-SSIT Carl Barus Award for outstanding service in the public interest for his work in promoting automotive safety, including an extensive tour of technical case study talks about this area.

Koopman has conducted hundreds of industry design reviews on a variety of embedded systems spanning domains such as vehicle controls, electric power & grid systems, plug-in power supplies, data center infrastructure, industrial controls, process flow, climate control, maintenance support, embedded computing boards, consumer electronics, medical support equipment, inspection systems, point-of-sale food preparation, telecommunications, power tools, laboratory equipment, network protocols, vertical transportation, and building automation.

Koopman was the principal author of ANSI/UL 4600 Standard for Safety for the Evaluation of Autonomous Products, a standard for autonomous passenger vehicle safety, issued in April 2020.

Koopman has written five books, and is a named inventor on a couple dozen U.S. patents in areas such as embedded CPU design, embedded communications, vehicle security, location-aware services, and autonomous vehicles. He is a member of IFIP WG 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance, a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Senior Member of the ACM, and a member of SAE.

Gradual school is where you go to school and you gradually find out you don't want to go to school anymore.
          -- T.S. Garp


Philip Koopman: {email}