PSAT BYRD SCHOOL OF NEUROROBOTICS & APPLIED ENGINEERING (NORAE) 

“We’re creating a community of societal engineers and tech innovators”
Mickie Byrd, NORAE Program Director

There has never been a better time to be getting into neurorobotics, a career even most adults don’t know about. Neurobotics is the combined study of neuroscience, robotics and artificial intelligence. It is the science and technology of embodied autonomous neural systems. Neurorobots are robots whose control has been modeled after some aspect of the brain. Since the brain is so closely coupled to the body and situated in the environment, Neurorobots can be a powerful tool for studying neural function in a holistic fashion. It may also be a means to develop autonomous systems that have some level of biological intelligence.

Applied engineering prepares graduates to apply mathematical, scientific,technology and engineering principles and methods to manage business functions. Includes instruction in engineering management, project management, production and operations management, systems integration and quality control, management of technical personnel and application of system design, execution of new product designs, improvement of manufacturing processes. Mechantronics is a branch of engineering that focuses on the integration of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics engineering and software engineering.

High School students that choose this immersion traction will expand their cognitive storehouse with engineering management, industrial distribution and supply chain courses. Information Technology Service Management includes courses in strategic planning, utilization, and monitoring of technology to achieve business goals, increase efficiency, and enhance competitiveness. Industrial distribution applies mathematics, science, engineering technology, business, data processing, communications, quality, and supply chain management to the wholesaling and distribution of technological products.

STEM ALUMNI UNITE TO PRODUCE THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEERS, TECH INNOVATORS & STEM PROFESSIONALS

NORAE IMMERSION PROGRAM (36 CREDITS)

PSAT Byrd School of Neurorobotics & Applied Engineering (NORAE) was formed to provide innovative 7th-12th grade preparation for future STEM careers and collegiate opportunities. The high-potency measure of the NORAE Immersion Program effectiveness will be the program’s ability to cultivate student aquisition of real-life Foundational and Applied Engineering and NeuroRobotics STEM skillsets from our professional engineers and scientists. Our goal is to teach, mentor, and inspire cognitive energy transfer. 

NORAE is an immersive 4-6 year STEM program within PSAT Academy, a private school founded with a vision to bridge the gap between traditional education and the demands of the future innovators, entrepreneurs, professional scientist, professional engineers, and inventors. Recognizing the increasing importance of relevant applied STEM education, we set out to create a unique career learning environment that combines cognitive learning with relevant hands-on real-world projects. Our team of professional engineers and scientists, who are passionate about teaching and mentoring, bring their expertise to our programs, ensuring a high-quality educational experience for our students. Professional aerospace, chemical, mechanical, architectural, civil, software, electrical engineers, and robotics engineers, working in collaboration with supply chain specialist, neuroscientist and neuro-diagnostic specialist, will work side by side in-person and virtually to teach, enrich and mentor career-inspired youth. 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR & SENIOR ENGINEER

Mr. Mickie Byrd is a seasoned electronics engineer, entrepreneur, and educator with a passion for STEM. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he holds a degree in Electronics Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. 

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Byrd has dedicated his career to teaching STEM, fostering a love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in countless students. His commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as evidenced by his entrepreneurial ventures.

Mr. Byrd is the founder and president of Byrd EDU, a non-profit organization committed to ensuring STEM equity. Recognizing the importance of early exposure to STEM fields, Mickie also established Byrd Academy, an institution designed to provide all children with the opportunity to explore and engage with STEM subjects. 

In addition to his work in education, Mickie is a successful entrepreneur with several businesses under his belt. One of his most notable ventures is Byrd Innovation, a product development firm that has created innovative products for both small businesses and large global corporations. This work has led to Mickie holding several patents, further solidifying his status as a leader in the field of product engineering.

Mickie’s dedication to education and entrepreneurship has not gone unnoticed. He has been recognized for his efforts in keeping learning fun and engaging for students, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to their mission. 

With a career marked by innovation, leadership, and a deep commitment to education, Mickie Byrd continues to strive for STEM equity, inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

SENIOR ENGINEER

Professor Xuesu Xiao (George Mason University) earned his Ph.D. (Computer Science, 2019) from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. He earned his Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering) from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics Engineering, Dual-Degree, 2013) from Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R. China FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Aachen, NRW, Germany

Academia

  • Learning Agents Research Group (LARG), The University of Texas at Austin (08/2019-current) Director: Peter Stone
  • Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR), Texas A&M University (08/2015-08/2019) Director: Robin Murphy
  • Biorobotics Lab, Carnegie Mellon University (08/2014-05/2015) Director: Howie Choset
  • Field Robotics Center, Carnegie Mellon University (09/2013-11/2014) Director: William (Red) L. Whittaker

Industry

  • Roboticist @ X, The Moonshot Factory, Mountain View, CA (06/2021-current)
  • Research Intern @ Facebook Reality Labs, Sausalito, CA (05/2018-08/2018)
  • Research Intern @ Microsoft Research Labs, Redmond, WA (05/2017-08/2017)
  • Praktikant & Bachelor Thesis Author @ PHOENIX CONTACT GmbH & Co. KG, Blomberg, Germany (02/2013-06/2013)
  • Advanced Intern @ DELPHI China Technical Center, Shanghai, China (06/2012-08/2012)
  • Assistant Engineer @ Siemens Industrial Automation Ltd., Shanghai, China (05/2011-09/2011)

SENIOR ENGINEER

Madison Jones, an engineer and founder at Additive at Scale and Additive Engineering LLC, has over 10 years of experience commercializing intellectual property, developing new technologies, and advanced scale-up manufacturing. Throughout the course of his experience, he has gained ample knowledge and skills in various traditional and additive manufacturing processes, CAD/CAE software programs, metrology, reverse engineering, industrial IoT, rapid prototyping, and bridge tooling.

Jones is a recognized leader in Additive Manufacturing, passionate about accelerating standardization and the adoption of 3D Printing, he has spoken at national industry conferences, taught children, young adults, and business owners how to apply the various technologies and is focused on solving industry 5.0 challenges. Jones graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering ’14 and lives in College Station with his wife and two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys riding motorcycles, playing golf, and has plans to 3D print residential and commercial buildings.

SENIOR ENGINEER

Michael Townsend is currently an Additive Engineer for Additive at Scale where he leverages rapid manufacturing tools to streamline the NPD process for projects primarily in the public safety and defense sectors. He’s earned his Masters in Engineering Technology with a focus on Advanced Manufacturing and his Bachelors in Mechatronics Engineering, both from Texas A&M University.

While at Texas A&M, Michael taught a course on Product Development and worked in an integrated solutions lab where he had the opportunity to work on several projects for NASA, some of which have flown in space. Michael has also developed curriculum to teach high school students the fundamentals and principles of Robotics.

In his free time, Michael enjoys golfing, trading stocks, and going to trivia nights with friends.

SENIOR ENGINEER 

Daniyal Ansari brings almost eight years of teaching experience, specializing in systems prototyping and autonomous robotics. His journey in robotics spans nearly a decade, encompassing a broad spectrum of skills—from software development to electronics assembly and leveraging CAD and rapid prototyping techniques.

His notable contributions include work on projects supporting NASA’s lunar exploration and building robots designed for urban navigation and human interaction, showcasing an understanding of practical robotics applications. 

Beyond robotics, Daniyal has expertise in developing IoT systems, streamlining industrial processes, and simplifying everyday tasks through intelligent solutions. He shares his knowledge through workshops covering various tech disciplines, striving to make STEM education approachable for all.

Beginning his journey at Texas A&M’s Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory, Daniyal gained invaluable experience in prototyping systems and catering to diverse client needs. He strongly advocates for open-source learning in STEM fields, aiming to make knowledge more accessible.

With a genuine passion for space and robotics, Daniyal envisions a future where technology seamlessly integrates into daily life, fostering seamless human-robot interaction.

Currently employed as a research engineer in robotics, Daniyal dedicates his leisure time to personal projects, nurturing his innate creativity and contributing to the realm of innovation in robotics.

SENIOR ENGINEER 

Herbert Baumgartner specializes in mechanical design of dynamic assemblies. With an extensive record of innovative organic designs, each of his new tools are materialized with the forethought of manufacturing. He studies the forward and inverse kinematics of mechanically timed systems to mathematically tune new designs.

German printing presses, specifically Heidelberg presses grew his early attention to mechanical timing. After he earned a degree in Mechanical/ Manufacturing Engineering and Technology, from Texas A&M ’09, Herbert went on to patent various tools and assemblies. He’s designed, engineered and led manufacturing of tools and assemblies for oilfiled and space industry leaders.

Herbert’s company ATG Mobile Electric Systems has collaborated with Texas A&M and NASA to deliver variants of his A.S.E.P. rover prototypes. These are four wheeled passive articulating mobile platforms or rovers.

To have fun, he likes to read or fish or do jeep things.