Head of Simulation Research and Development
He has recently joined Weta Digital as the Head of Simulation Research and Development to lead the company’s continuing advancement of simulation software for FX and creatures. This includes effects like water, fire, muscle systems, hair and cloth– vital components of any visual effects film.
Ken is well known as the inventor and principal developer of OpenVDB, software that allows for high-resolution volumetric visual effects using limited computing resources. In 2015, Ken earned the industry’s higher honour, a Technical Academy Award® for the development of OpenVDB.
Prior to joining Weta Digital, Ken worked at DreamWorks Animation for eight years focusing on FX and Creature FX, and at Digital Domain for three years. He was a full tenured professor in computer graphics at Linkoping University for five years, and a senior research scientist and faculty member at Caltech for five years where he switched from quantum physics to computer science. He also worked at NASA's JPL on trajectory design for the Genesis Space Mission, and continues to work part-time for SpaceX on a large computational fluid dynamics simulation of the new Raptor rocket engine powering the main stage of the Interplanetary Transport System for human settlements on Mars.
Ken holds a PhD in quantum dynamics from Copenhagen University.