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Mike Virnelson

Technology Leader

Machine Learning/AI Trailblazer

With degrees in psychology, engineering, and machine learning, Mike’s professional path has never been a straight line; however, several common themes have surfaced that define his career: lifelong learning, innovation, love of data, pride of work, systems development, and dedication to the advancement of technology.

While in the aerospace industry, Mike honed his knowledge and skills regarding robotics, controls, MES, engineering, and software development. It was there that he first saw the ‘writing on the wall’ for the emergence of data analytics and machine learning.

“With my background in AI, I’m heavily into Scrum methodologies. At Apperture, we’re in the process leveraging cross-functional teams to take advantage of all that an agile project management methodology offers.”

Originally hired to be a part of R.E. Mason’s Enterprise Application Development team and later promoted to lead the entire IT department, Mike was in charge of not only implementing, but also building some of the systems being deployed by the company. Now, as the Lead Technologist for Apperture, he heads up two teams: Software Development and Data Enablement, where he is not only implementing, but also augmenting, the technologies that Apperture uses to solve customer challenges. While many of these solutions are off-the-shelf software packages, they usually require customization and the development of additional modules or algorithms to fit a particular need, especially in highly regulated industries. Some examples of his team’s efforts include focusing on creating dashboards so that operators can make informed decisions more quickly, or data mining process analytics to improve yield. Regardless of the application, his ability to bring math and science to the forefront results in the best possible solution for his customers, setting him apart.

Based on Mike’s experience in software development, it is no surprise that he develops his own software during his free time. In fact, he has created a home management app, called KinHub, that combines that best of childcare, pet tracking, and home asset management tools—in a unified solution.

Mike comments, “At Apperture, I’m really excited to get back into the predictive analytics space—combining the art and science of AI—and seeing the amazing outcomes for our customers.”


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