Advisory Board

Wil McCarthy

Wil McCarthy is a science fiction novelist, President of The Programmable Matter Corporation, and the science columnist for the Sci Fi Channel (United States) where his popular Lab Notes column has been running since 1999.
Wil invented the Wellstone, or Programmable matter concept: Programmable Matter&8482; smart material is any bulk substance whose physical properties can be adjusted in real time through the application of light, voltage, electric or magnetic fields, etc. Primitive forms may allow only limited adjustment of one or two traits (e.g., the “photodarkening” or “photochromic” materials found in light-sensitive sunglasses), but there are theoretical forms which, using known principles of electronics, should be capable of emulating a broad range of naturally occurring materials, or of exhibiting unnatural properties which cannot be produced by other means.
He authored Crash Test Cities, Ultimate Alchemy, Bloom, To Crush the Moon, The Collapsium, Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms (also available as a free download!), The Wellstone (also available as a free audio book!), Lost in Transmission, Aggressor Six, The Monarchs of Sol, Murder in the Solid State, The Fall of Sirius, Flies from the Amber, and coedited Once Upon a Galaxy.
Previously a flight controller for Lockheed Martin Space Launch Systems and later an engineering manager for Omnitech Robotics and CTO of Galileo Shipyards (an aerospace research laboratory), Wil is currently the president of The Programmable Matter Corporation, in Lakewood, CO. His patents include Fiber incorporating quantum dots as programmable dopants, Layered composite film incorporating quantum dots as programmable dopants, and Layered composite film incorporating a quantum dot shift register.
Wil earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988 and also completed some graduate coursework in astrodynamics. He is fluent in English and knows conversational German, Japanese, and Esperanto. He earned PADI Rescue Diver certification (44 logged dives, 24:00 hours TBT) and is experienced in underwater assembly, search and recovery, navigation, etc.
Listen to Wil on IT Conversations. Read his interview in Nanotechnology Now. Read the interview It Takes a Rocket Scientist: Interviews Wil McCarthy. Watch the animation of the runaway nanotech replication event, or “bloom”, from his book Bloom.