Makani Team

Makani’s depth of experience in the wind and aerospace industries is complemented by a range of diverse expertise.


Our Team

Our team is a community of curious, data-driven people working on unsolved problems in a fast-paced team environment. Balance is imperative to our success—we value both precise and big picture thinkers; deep specialists and broad generalists; and we work hard and have fun. We believe our best work is done when we are serious about the work, but don't take ourselves too seriously in the process.

Curious, data-driven pioneers

Care for our planet

We are engineers, sailors, physicists, pilots, artists, tinkerers, and more, but what brings us together is our belief that we can be part of a long-term solution that eliminates the need for carbon in energy production. We are actively focused on designing, building and testing energy kites in response to our ever-changing world.

Care for our planet

Strong foundations

Makani was founded in 2006 by Corwin Hardham, Don Montague and Saul Griffith with the goal of developing a low-cost renewable energy solution using kite technology. Initial funding came from as part of its RE<C program. Makani joined X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, in 2013, and became an independent company within Alphabet in 2019.

Strong foundations

Airborne wind pioneers

Dr. Fort Felker
Dr. Fort Felker leads Makani’s efforts to advance airborne wind technology. Formerly at the National Wind Technology Center and NASA, he brings 30 years of aero-mechanical expertise. Dr. Felker earned his B.S. in Aero/Astro at M.I.T. and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.
Dr. Paula Echeverri
Chief Engineer
Dr. Paula Echeverri leads product development of Makani’s M600 model. With a decade of experience testing energy kites, she focuses on operating in real winds and iterating quickly. Dr. Echeverri earned her B.S. in Aero/Astro and M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering from M.I.T.
Ruth Heffernan Marsh
Systems & Product Lead
Ruth Heffernan Marsh leads techno-economic modeling, product development, and certification for Makani’s energy kite system. She was formerly a principal engineer at DNV GL and conducted rotorcraft research at NASA. Marsh earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at M.I.T. and her M.S. in Aero/Astro at Stanford University.
Neal Rickner
Neal Rickner leads a multidisciplinary team across Makani. These efforts include corporate strategy, project development, finance, legal, policy, communications, supply chain, and facilities to move energy kites toward commercialization. A former F/A-18 pilot, Rickner has more than 20 years of operational experience. He earned his MBA from Columbia Business School.
Darren Woulfe
Darren Woulfe leads Makani’s finance team and is responsible for investor reporting, accounting compliance, and financial planning. He has 10 years of experience in renewables working in finance, development, and procurement and has worked on commercial transactions totaling over 1 billion dollars. Woulfe earned his B.S in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and his MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Charlie Nordstrom, PE
Head of Offshore
Charlie Nordstrom brings his expertise in floating wind turbines to Makani. Licensed as a Professional Engineer, he has 15 years of experience in renewable energy development with a focus on bringing offshore technology to market. Nordstrom earned his M.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Makani is advancing the global adoption of renewable energy by developing airborne wind power technology that can unlock the power of floating offshore wind.

Join us

Join us

We're looking for teammates who are highly motivated to keep accelerating Makani’s technology into the real world, so that more people around the globe can have access to clean, renewable power. Interested? Contact

To apply for open roles at Makani, click here.