David Larkin ’79

Vice President of Engineering
Engineering goes beyond the nitty gritty, according to David Larkin ’79, and George School helped him get there.

How did your education at George School affect your professional life?

The values that George School instills—they’re not just moral. Treating everyone with respect, thinking clearly, and believing in something bigger than yourself: they’re the things that work best if you’re trying to make an engineering team. Everyone on the team has to be very comfortable with being “wrong.” That’s really the heart of rapid iteration because it creates the emotional outlook that lets people move on to something better. I call it “being wrong often”—you’re constantly adapting, looking clearly at the evidence in front of you, looking for something better than our last idea. I’m just always trying to think of a better way to do something. If I see a problem, I’m thinking immediately how to make it better. It’s almost instinctive.

More about David:

Shortly after grad school, David worked for Adept Technology, creating robots for all sorts of industries and purposes. After starting his own company with friends, he joined another startup, Intuitive Surgical, where he ran a group developing a minimally invasive surgical robot. In 2014 RefleXion Medical wooed David, and, after fourteen years at Intuitive Surgical, he felt it was time to move on. The idea behind RefleXion technology is to use PET (positron emission tomography) scans to guide high-intensity x-rays to kill cancer cells. Currently, David is the Vice President of Engineering at RefleXion Medical.