Google top engineer dies on Everest

Everest_North_Face_toward_Base_Camp_Tibet_Luca_Galuzzi_2006One of the high profile casualties from the appalling Nepal earthquake was top Google engineer Dan Fredinburg.

Fredinburg was the lead engineer who worked on many of Google’s most exciting projects during his eight years with the company.

He was killed by an avalanche on Mount Everest triggered by Nepal’s devastating earthquake, he apparently suffered a major head injury.

The 33-year-old Google engineer had been documenting his Mount Everest Climb on Twitter and Instagram.

Fredinburg was a key player behind many of Google’s more interesting products his job at Google was entrepreneurial product and program management expert. Specifically he was dedicated to using data science and connected devices like drones, smart appliances, and wearables to protect and improve the environment and human rights.

He had most recently worked on Google [x], the company’s semi-secret futuristic lab and his Instagram tagline reads: “I want everyone to think like Google [x] and have the heart of an adventurer.”

Fredinburg worked on projects such as Google Loon, the company’s balloon-based Internet access effort and self-driving car. He also was involved in Google Street View Everest, leading expeditions to gather imagery of the Khumbu region around Mt. Everest.

Lawrence You, Google’s head of privacy, broke the news about Fredinburg’s death to colleagues. “Sadly, we lost one of our own in this tragedy.  Dan Fredinburg a long-time member of the Privacy organization in Mountain View, was in Nepal with three other Googlers, hiking Mount Everest. He has passed away. The other three Googlers with him are safe and we are working to get them home quickly.”

Google.org is committing $1 million to the Nepal crisis response team.