Dr. Fort Felker

Project Lead, Makani
Fort joined X in 2015 and leads Makani – an effort to develop “energy kites” that can produce electricity by harnessing energy efficiently from the wind. Before X, Fort was the Director of the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. He has been leading aerospace and wind energy research and product development teams for over 30 years, including pioneering work on variable-speed wind turbines at Kenetech Windpower and tiltrotor aircraft at NASA's Ames Research Center. Fort has founded and led multiple startups and authored more than 30 scientific publications, and several patents. He holds a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Fort was awarded both the James Means and Luis de Florez prizes at MIT, and the Dryden Science Fellowship while at NASA. Today he lives in Alameda, California, and is an avid blue-water sailor, backgammon expert, and Ultimate Frisbee player.