Michael Simon has been at the forefront of energy and transportation technology for more than 35 years. From the late 1970s through the early 1990s, Mr. Simon worked as an aerospace engineer and project manager, and became one of the earliest prominent advocates of a commercial space launch industry. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Simon made a career transition and became a leading innovator in the development of energy efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation systems using advanced battery-electric and hybrid-electric vehicle technologies. For the past decade, he has also been actively involved in development of advanced renewable energy technologies.
Mr. Simon brought his passion for advanced transportation and energy technologies to TransPower as its principal founder in September 2010. As TransPower’s CEO, he has helped organize and lead a dynamic team of innovators who are working to transform the way the world powers large vehicles and manages electrical energy in the 21st Century. Before founding TransPower, Mr. Simon worked for four years at General Atomics, where he was a Director of Commercial Business Development for the company’s Electromagnetic Systems Division. In this capacity, Mr. Simon was co-originator of a novel linear motor-based transportation concept and contributed to the design of advanced wind turbines and nuclear reactors.
From 1995 until 2005, Mr. Simon was Chairman of the Board and Co-CEO of ISE Corporation, a company he co-founded in 1995 which became a leading manufacturer of advanced hybrid-electric and fuel cell systems for large transit buses. While at ISE, Mr. Simon directed all company financial, business development, and administrative matters, leading ISE to ten consecutive years of revenue growth. Mr. Simon also played a leading role in conceiving and designing ISE’s most innovative products, co-inventing ISE’s gasoline hybrid and fuel cell hybrid drive systems.
ISE was an offshoot of International Space Enterprises, a small commercial space company Mr. Simon co-founded in 1992, which organized a joint venture with major Russian aerospace firms to undertake commercial space missions to the Moon and Mars. When International Space Enterprises was unable to secure NASA support for this initiative, it focused on performing innovative space missions for commercial clients, including the successful launch of a facsimile of a Pepsi can to Russia’s “Mir” space station, which was videotaped during a cosmonaut space walk in 1996.
From 1982 to 1993, Mr. Simon was an engineer and project manager at General Dynamics (GD) Space Systems Division, where he managed numerous NASA studies relating to lunar and Mars exploration, advanced concepts for the Space Station, Space Shuttle improvements, and future space transportation systems. Mr. Simon was a key contributor to the formation of GD’s Commercial Atlas program, for which he received the company’s Extraordinary Achievement Award. In 1981-82, Mr. Simon worked at NASA Headquarters, where he participated in early planning for NASA’s Space Station program. Mr. Simon received his M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems (now the Department of Management Science and Engineering) from Stanford University in 1981, following completion of a multi-disciplinary undergraduate program at Stanford combining engineering, economics, and political science.