Concise | Full
United States (Washington)

I love solving high-impact problems with software-driven hardware. I'm interested in all of robotics, computer systems and networking, avionics and control systems, RF, and systems engineering.

mckenna-cisler MckennaCisler Flickr Devpost Resume


Software Engineer


1 year (ongoing) Started Sep 2020

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft, including the new Starlink internet constellation.

  • Working on flight software for Starlink internet satellites
Graduate Flight Software Intern

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

2 months Started Jun 2020

JPL is the leading U.S. NASA center for robotic exploration of the solar system, and has various spacecraft and instruments carrying out planetary, Earth science and space-based astronomy missions.

  • Developed flight software module in C for Psyche mission to a metal asteroid
Avionics Intern

Boom Supersonic

3 months Started May 2019

Boom is a series B supersonic airliner startup valued at $141M. They're currently developing a single-seater Mach 2.2 demonstrator aircraft.

  • Led clean-sheet design of mission-critical aircraft-tracking telemetry ground station, including requirement definition, critical design review, component integration, and C++ controller & user interface, for 5% of the cost of the commercial alternative ($3,000 vs. $60,000)
  • Developed a software tool to automate requirement verification based on software unit test results. Will be used to enable rapid flight software deployment during flight testing
Software Engineering Intern

The MITRE Corporation

3 months Started Jun 2018

MITRE is non-profit which operates seven federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) spanning defense, aviation, healthcare, security, judiciary practice, and civil systems.

  • Built Android app to automate radio network and power consumption testing. The app used UI automation to control components of a client app in order to produce realistic simulated user interaction and network traffic
  • Integrated system with an existing control server for centralized test configuration and synchronized execution
  • Enabled execution of a 250-node radio test by eliminating the need for human participants to operate phones
Technical Lead / Flight Software Engineer

Brown Space Engineering

4 years Started Sep 2016

Brown Space Engineering is a student team at Brown University dedicated to making spaceflight more accessible by designing and building CubeSats from scratch. It has demonstrated this by successfully launching and operating the fully open-source CubeSat "EQUiSat" on July 13, 2018. EQUiSat is built entirely from commercial off-the-shelf parts and is capable of being reproduced for ~$3600 in under a year.

  • Led all technical projects as co-president of 75+ student team which designs and flies open-source CubeSats from scratch, including on-orbit satellite maintenance, preliminary design and grant writing for the team’s next satellite, and high-altitude balloon launches
  • Worked on systems engineering and software for radio link, tracking, and data processing systems of EQUiSat ground station network; performed telemetry analysis research
  • Designed RTOS-based satellite OS components in C which have operated continuously in space for > 2 years, including critical control logic, data transmission, hardware interfacing, and bootloader to correct program memory from radiation-safe backup. Performed final satellite configuration before launch
Robotics Technician

Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative

2 years Started Sep 2016

HCRI is an interdisciplinary coalition at Brown University dedicated to researching and developing humanity-centered robotics. I work as a technician on robots involved in research, development projects, and demonstrations. I also work on pilot projects in humanity-centered robot design.

  • Designed and built hardware and software of drivetrain and control system for "Walkerbot" elderly assistive robot (C++, ROS)
  • Built analytics logging API and database for studying user interaction with an assistive toy for diabetic children (Node, C#, MongoDB)
  • Wrote software frontend for 5-camera research study recording system; automated recording and post-processing tasks (Python, PointGrey)
  • Prototyped ultrasonic object localization system to help the elderly find household objects (Atmel MCU, Node)
  • Prototyped universal video conferencing and teleoperation web platform for telepresence robots (Node, P2P, ROS)
  • Responsible for hardware interfacing, voice communication, and user interaction design for "Tablebot" – a novel mobile telepresence robot designed to resemble furniture (C++, Python, ROS)
  • Designed wireless trash can monitoring system for Brown University Facilities Department; ran two successful one-week trials (Node)
Teaching Assistant

Brown University

4 months Started Aug 2018

Teaching Assistant in Brown Computer Science and Engineering departments

  • Graded, held office hours, and developed educational materials and projects
  • For CSCI 0330: Introduction to Computer Systems, ENGN 1630: Digital Electronics Systems Design, and ENGN 1640: Design of Computing Systems
Educational Resource Developer & Instructor

White Mountain Science, Inc.

3 years Started Jan 2015

A company interested in promoting STEM learning through instructional camps and development of educational resources. I worked as a developer of various tools and demos for use in our camps and to be sold to local teachers and schools, and also as an instructor for instructional children's camps.

  • Built ATtiny85-based “paper circuit” controller to be sold to educators, including documentation, manufacturing, and marketing materials; shipped 10 prototypes to local school. See blog post
  • Designed High Altitude Balloon (HAB) systems and procedures to enable high schools with minimal resources to easily launch experiments to near-space
  • Developed, assembled and demoed educational tools and resources, IoT devices, ScratchX extensions, Javascript & Scratch tutorials, wireless 3D printing tools, and a Raspberry Pi-based Sphero programming interface
  • Planned and ran week-long STEAM workshops for 3rd – 9th graders


Careway Walker

Patent-pending actuated walker to prevent falls among the elderly

11 months Started Oct 2019
ROS Raspberry Pi Python C++ Brushless DC motor control Intel RealSense


Webapp interface for the Wikipedia Game

2 months Started Mar 2017
  • Repository
  • Introduction to Software Engineering Term Project (team)
  • Co-designed websocket communication protocols to provide simple interface for frontend developers; solved race conditions and multithreading issues
  • Implemented backend game state and player coordination system; wrote oracle and AI players to play games randomly in order to test game mechanics and fairness systems
  • Implemented algorithms for dynamic and fault-tolerant generation of page pairs ("games") using recursive web scraping
  • Designed Wikipedia page link caching system to speed up page crawling and game generation
  • Assisted in deploying to Heroku; decreased server memory usage by 60% to use with limited resources
Java Javascript SQLite Wikipedia Heroku

Citation Converter (individual)

One-of-a-kind webapp for converting between competing academic citation formats

7 years (ongoing) Started Jul 2014
  • Deployed at
  • 1000+ weekly visitors
  • Wrote Python-based citation conversion engine; ported to Javascript for use on web frontend
  • Currently working on interfacing conversion engine with the Citation Style Language (CSL) to support 8000+ additional citation styles
  • Wrote Apache/PHP backend, including bug reporting and recording system
Javascript Bootstrap jQuery Python Apache PHP

Q-Learning Checkers AI

Basic Q-Learning checkers AI opponent built with TensorFlow

1 day Started Feb 2018
  • For Hack@Brown team
  • Implemented checkers game for compatibility with Q-learning
  • Assisted in designing neural network structure for Q function
Python TensorFlow

Hubway Maps

Visualization of socioeconomic data on Hubway stations in Cambridge, MA

1 day Started Mar 2017
  • Repository
  • For Brown Datathon (team)
  • Implemented scatter plot and assisted in implementing map to investigate possible correlations between wealth and presence of Hubway stations in neighborhoods
D3.js Node

The Social Playlist

Music queue web app for crowd-sourced playlists

1 day Started Jan 2017
  • For Hack@Brown hackathon (team) - check out on devpost
  • Integrated with YouTube to search for and play any song
  • Added persistent user authentication
  • Linked playlists and "lobby" list to backend database for persistence
Meteor Bootstrap YouTube API

AlarmPi (individual)

Raspberry Pi-based alarm clock with configuration interface

1 year Started Mar 2016
  • Wrote Python Tornado backend for responsive configuration & alarm-setting via a web interface
  • Wrote alarm monitoring daemon with sleep-cycle alignment algorithm
  • 3D printed case and various custom electronics for physical user interface
Raspberry Pi Python Tornado


Brown University
Sep 6 2016 — May 24 2020
Bachelors (Sc.B. Computer Science and B.A. Engineering)
GPA 3.88
  • CSCI 0190 - Advanced Introduction to Computer Science
  • CSCI 0320 - Introduction to Software Engineering
  • CSCI 0220 - Introduction to Discrete Structures and Probability
  • CSCI 0330 - Introduction to Computer Systems
  • ENGN 1630 - Digital Electronics Systems Design
  • ENGN 0520 - Electrical Circuits and Systems
  • CSCI 1420 - Machine Learning
  • CSCI 1380 - Distributed Computing Systems
  • CSCI 1570 - Algorithms
  • ENGN 1570 - Linear Systems Analysis
  • CSCI 1670 & CSCI 1690 - Operating Systems
  • ENGN 1640 - Design of Computing Systems
  • CSCI 2951K - Collaborative Robotics
  • CSCI 1680 - Computer Networks
  • ENGN 2911Q - Advanced Digital Design
  • CSCI 1950Y - Logic for Systems
  • ENGN 1580 - Communication Systems
  • ENGN 1931Y - Control Systems Engineering


Software Development
Java Python C C++ Linux Go Android OpenCV
Web Development
HTML/CSS Javascript React Node Bootstrap jQuery Python Tornado
CAD & Rapid Prototyping
AutoDesk Inventor OnShape 3D Printing Laser Cutting Manual CNC Lathe
Robotics, Computer & Embedded Engineering
Raspberry Pi Real-time operating systems (FreeRTOS) Atmel MCUs Arduino Digital/analog components and circuits Verilog CPLDs/FPGAs (minimal) GNU Radio Licensed Amateur Radio Operator (callsign KC1ICW) FIRST Robotics Competition Alum
Graphic Design & Media
Blender Adobe Premier GIMP Adobe Photoshop Inkscape


Native speaker