Mike Mortensen, Carroll University faculty

Michael Mortensen

Director of Aviation Science Program, Clinical Professor, Graphic Design Get Contact Info


Aviation Science Graphic Design Video Game Design


Mike Mortensen is an accomplished programmer, remote sensing systems designer, multimedia designer, creative director, Part 107 certified unmanned aircraft pilot and cinematographer.  
Mike earned his MS degree at the University of Houston, where he studied Aerospace Architecture in the SICSA program.  The SICSA program was created to educate students on extreme environments.  During his studies, he was selected to join Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and was also selected as a research assistant for the Manned Mars NASA team located at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  
After receiving his MS degree, he returned to Wisconsin to work as a designer for GRAEF  Engineering.  Layered with several skillsets and real-world experience, Mortensen began teaching at Carroll University in 2008.
Recently, Mike and six other members started a drone security company named Terra Vigilis Security Group.  Terra Vigilis specializes in counter drone systems and environmental studies using drone and sensor technologies.  While working at Terra Vigilis, Mike was selected as the lead Unmanned Aircraft Systems safety representative for the FAA safety team.  Mike is responsible for managing a safety team that is tasked to educate commercial drone pilots and drone hobbyists about current FAA rules and regulations.
Mike has extensive Unmanned Aircraft Systems experience with law enforcement agencies where he has been involved with search and recoveries, hostage rescue training, unmanned aircraft systems, forensics, emergency responders, and surveillance detection.  As part of his training, he has been certified in Incident Command Systems (ICS).  He has presented drone technologies at the annual Wisconsin Police Chiefs association meetings and has demonstrated drone technologies to local law enforcement jurisdictions in Southeastern Wisconsin.  As a member of the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN).  He is a trusted with sensitive but unclassified information between Federal, State, Local, Territorial, Tribal, International and private sector partners.
Mike is currently leading the second Annual High School drone competition, Aerospace Jam, on behalf of Carroll University.  Aerospace Jam was created by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium which Carroll University is a member.  The event is a partnership between NASA and the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team.  High schools from around Wisconsin come to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee to compete in a remote sensing and drone event.  He also serves as a technical co-chair for the SkillsUSA Wisconsin regional drone competition and as the instructor for the Carroll University drone racing team.


  • University of Houston, M.Arch.
  • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, B.Arch.

Areas of Specialization

Digital Media including Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Modo 3D, Flash, After Effects, Final Cut, IOS Apple Developer, GUI Design and Implementation, Software Prototype Development, Digital Space: Mobile Applications, 3D Design and Animation, Cinematography and Video Editing.

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

Group Involvement

Member of Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society, October 4, 1991

Mitchell Park Horticultural Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Board Member, 1998 – 2003

University Space Research Assistant (USRA), August 1990 – May 1992


Energy Laboratories publication 1991, SEED (Solar Energy Emplacement Developer)

Service to Carroll University and Profession

Institutional Service

  • Carroll University Annual Electronic Christmas Cards
  • Carroll University Day of Service Graphic Design and Animation
  • Participated in Faculty Art Show

Professional Service

  • Created a historical video documentary about the Mitchell Park Domes
  • March of Dimes Video - "Signature Chefs Auction"

Honors and Awards

  • President’s award 1997, Graef, Anhalt, Schloemer & Associates, Inc.
  • Sasakawa International Center for Aerospace Architecture Scholarship, August 1991 – May 1992
  • International Design Competition for Crit Magazine, Interactive Space Design, 1992
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