Gregory Falco is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and the Institute for Assured Autonomy, where he holds an appointment at the Applied Physics Laboratory in the Asymmetric Operations Sector. He is also a member of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Falco is known for his research in autonomous mission resilience. He builds cybersecure and trustworthy AI-enabled systems to accomplish high-criticality objectives. Aerospace, public safety, transportation and energy are his primary application domains.
His team focuses on designing and developing next-gen technology and policy guidance that has immediate real-world impact. Falco’s work in space system cybersecurity has been adopted in national standards and policy and he has co-founded and exited technology companies based on his research. Falco invents and holds patents for security and resilience-enabling technology for terrestrial and space autonomous and control systems.
His lab, the Autonomy OWL (Observatory, Workshop & Laboratory) is an aerospace playground with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a cubesat, optical and radio communication systems, and a supercomputer. The laboratory functions as a stress-testing environment to develop and break autonomous mission systems, ultimately improving their resilience to attack or natural failures. The Autonomy OWL is a highly interactive and demo-friendly environment.
Falco is a member of the Applied Physics Laboratory’s QNI group. There, he designs and develops space vehicle defense systems and contributes to smart city security thought leadership for government. He is also an active member of the professional associations the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) where he publishes his research.
A 2021 NSF-Fulbright Scholar in Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, Falco has also been a recipient of fellowships, including Harvard University’s Science Technology and Public Policy Fellowship for his work on space system security and Columbia University’s Collaboratory Fellowship for his interdisciplinary teaching in public policy and machine learning. In 2018, he was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 for Enterprise Technology for his blockchain security company.
He holds appointments as a non-resident cyber research fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and as a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Prior to academia, Falco was an executive at Accenture where he co-founded and led their Smart Cities division.
Falco received his BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, an MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, and PhD in Cybersecurity, Urban Science and Infrastructure Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He completed postdoctoral work at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).