Mike Lopez is a technical expert with over 18 years of research and development experience. An entrepreneur at heart, Mike designed the Young Person’s Guide to Arduino to spark the love of engineering in young people.


Mike designed the Avocado Beginner Board and wrote the Young Person’s Guide to Arduino in 2013 after seeing how difficult it would be for his young children to learn computer programming with microcontrollers. More interactive than programming on the screen, he wanted them to see how computer programs can affect things in the real world, like make lights shine and buzzers sound. Filled with entrepreneurial spirit, Mike submitted the Young Person’s Guide to Arduino project twice before it was funded. He produced and shipped the first lot by Christmas 2013, as promised to his Kickstarter backers. Since then, Mike has continued to sell the Young Person’s Guide to Arduino and build other interesting devices.


Mike is an expert in the management of high hazard research and development. Working at a world-class science facility, he gained ten years of experience in the scientific, engineering, and operational activities necessary to operate small, medium, and large scale research laboratories. He has a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and BS in Physics.


In addition to technical expertise, Dr. Lopez is experienced in practicing resilient and reliable management of hazardous technical operations using the principles of Lean, Human Performance Improvement, and High Reliability Organizations.

Mike is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Leading a production system for complex physics targets, he used Lean Six Sigma and project management to reduce costs and increase transparency of the system. He also served as the technical professional responsible for two large contracts (approx. $35M in total value).

Mike coaches students and professionals on Lean Engineering principles and how to apply them to diverse work environments.

“Lean is not just about making cars. With a little imagination, it can be applied to any product, any industry, and any stage of development, even basic research.”

Relevant Training

  • AAAS/SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute
  • Advanced Corporate Coaching Program Graduate
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Program Graduate
  • University of Michigan Toyota Kata Course
  • Lean Learning Center Lean Experience
  • Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) Practitioner