Chief Strategy & Business Development

Brian Yutko is the Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer at Aurora Flight Sciences. In this role, he leads Aurora in building the next generation of advanced aircraft and autonomous flight systems.

Yutko is responsible for all of Aurora’s business units, with locations in Cambridge, MA; Mountain View, CA; Dayton, OH; Lucerne, Switzerland; Columbus, MS; Bridgeport, WV and Dayton, OH. In this role, he leads Aurora’s teams working on cutting edge mobility solutions, autonomous vehicles and capabilities for commercial and military markets, high endurance unmanned vehicles, and manufacturing of advanced materials, structures, and components.

Prior to his role as SVP Programs, Yutko was Aurora’s VP of Research & Development. In that role, he was responsible for the R&D business unit. The R&D organization advanced Aurora’s capabilities in the areas of autonomy, next generation air vehicle design, advanced manufacturing, electric propulsion, and operations of intelligent flight systems in the national airspace. The organization frequently collaborated with some of the world’s leading universities — notably with MIT through the collocated Cambridge, MA office.

Prior to his role as VP R&D, Yutko was the Principal Investigator and Program Manager for the D8 X-Plane Program. He was responsible for growing an engineering team in order to design and execute flight and ground test demonstrations of an unconventional, ultra-efficient commercial aircraft concept. He also held an appointment as a Research Engineer in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.

Yutko’s academic research focused on the simultaneous design and optimization of aircraft and the complex systems in which they operate. He has created fast methods for predicting aircraft performance in large-scale simulations, including using machine learning methods for real air transportation networks. Yutko contributed to the ICAO/CAEP commercial aviation fuel efficiency certification standard by providing independent analysis that spanned the aircraft component-level to the system-level.

Before joining Aurora and MIT, Yutko worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center where he led the design, fabrication, and deployment of multiple pieces of hardware and test equipment for the Space Shuttle, expendable launch vehicles, and ground support equipment.

Yutko earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He is an avid pilot, motorcycle rider, rock climber, and traveler.