Panel - Rust for Safety Critical Systems

By Jack Greenbaum and Nathan Aschbacher

Talks - Saturday, 18th July

The Rust Programming Language has a lot to offer software developers: Memory Safety, Developer Convenience, and powerful static analysis tooling. However, introducing a new programming language like Rust into a Safety Critical domain for writing software for automotive, industrial, medical, or avionics purposes requires a high level of confidence, and a lot of regulatory hurdles.

This panel will discuss what makes developing software for the safety critical industry so different from other development areas, how Rust could be an improvement to the Status Quo of safety critical software development, and potential roadblocks Rust could experience on the way to a safety critical qualification. Join engineers with experience in a number of safety critical industries including compiler design, the automotive industry, and the testing and verification industry to discuss!


Jack Greenbaum

Senior Director of Engineering, Green Hills Software

Mr Greenbaum is Senior Director of Engineering at Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, CA USA. He works in the Advanced Products Group where he is responsible for the development of safety and security critical embedded systems software in application areas such as transportation systems, industrial controls, and aerospace and defense. His background includes experience on both sides of the hardware/software divide, as well as developing both host tooling and run-time software products. His team’s work includes software engineered to global safety and security standards such as IEC 61508, ISO 26262, and ISO 21434, along with their supporting processes. He earned a BS in Computer Science and an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Nathan Aschbacher

CEO, Auxon Corporation

Nathan’s introduction to programming was through generating programs for CNC machines where overlooked edge cases resulted in mangled heaps of metal, expensive broken tools, and significant production delays. The lasting impression of catastrophic failure has driven Nathan’s decades long fascination with mission critical software & systems. Always chasing the next challenge, Nathan has been fortunate to design global distributed data platforms for Fortune 500 enterprises, critical infrastructure for global payments processing, and autonomous vehicle platform middleware. Now, through his co-founding of Auxon Corporation, Nathan is leveraging Rust to bring powerful engineering automation tools to developers of complex, highly-connected, highly-automated critical systems. Most recently Nathan has been published as a contributing author in O’Reilly’s “Chaos Engineering: System Resiliency in Practice

Nikolaos Korkakakis

Software Architect, Volvo Cars

My name is Nikolaos Korkakakis, and friends call me NiKo. I work as a system architect at Volvo and a have almost a decade of experience working in automotive products. Before Volvo I was working with software on real silicon at NXP and Dialog. When at work I have a manageable fetish about productive and useful automotive processes and an utter dislike for a waste of engineering effort. Ever since I realized that I won’t have to debug segfaults with Rust, I am eager to have more Rust in the workplace. At the moment our biggest hurdle for a wider adoption of Rust in the car is …. No spoilers! Join the talk! 😈

James Munns (Moderator)

Managing Director, Ferrous Systems

James Munns is an Embedded Engineer who has worked on systems ranging from Safety Critical Avionics to Rapidly Prototyped IoT systems. Together with members of the Rust community, he founded Ferrous Systems GmbH, a systems software focused consultancy in Berlin Germany. Ferrous Systems is leading the Sealed Rust effort, a project to qualify the Rust Programming Language for use in safety critical software development industries.