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Carl Dietrich
Founder, Jump Aero

Carl is the founder of a new urban air mobility venture that is currently operating under the radar. Previously, he was the co-founder/CEO/CTO of Terrafugia.

Carl earned his SB ‘99, SM ‘03, & Ph.D. ’07 from MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. During Carl’s 11 years at MIT, he won four design competitions and founded the MIT Rocket Team to develop a novel rocket engine that he invented. In 2000, he was recognized by the MIT Aero/Astro Department as the youngest of sixteen alumni who have shown “extraordinary accomplishment.” He was honored with the most prestigious Teaching Assistant position in the department.

He is the author or co-author on three issued patents and multiple pending patents. In 2006, he won the $30K Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Invention. Carl has been recognized with “40 under 40” awards from the Boston Business Journal and Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine. His technical background includes aircraft design, fabrication, maintenance, and operation, rocket propulsion, as well as plasma physics & fusion energy. He has been a private pilot and small aircraft designer since high school. He has also worked as an assistant aircraft mechanic and an assistant machinist. He credits his practical “hands-on” background in combination with his focus on customer value as the root of his success.

As an aerospace industry entrepreneur, Carl led Terrafugia as CEO/CTO from inception through acquisition. He raised all the development capital and spearheaded the successful construction and flight testing of two airworthy prototype “flying cars”. He built a $30 million order backlog for the company’s launch product and secured the company’s production finances via sale to the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent company of Volvo Cars, Lotus and many other global brands. After the acquisition, Carl established an ran a world-class 20-person R&D Center for Terrafugia focused on the development of novel eVTOL configurations for the emerging Urban Air Mobility market.

In addition to his work at Terrafugia, Carl helped develop the certification standards for light sport aircraft and general aviation aircraft on ASTM committees F37 and F44 respectively. He is the Chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association subcommittee on Simplified Vehicle Operations.
Carl’s professional mission is to enhance individual freedom through the more effective utilization of personal aviation. He lives with his wife and two children in Petaluma, California.