Michael Dello-Iacovo

PhD candidate (Mining Engineering), UNSW

Michael's current academic research is focused on developing methods to understand the internal structure and composition of asteroids, comets and other planetary bodies for the purposes resource exploration, mining and asteroid deflection. He also explores the many ethical and societal implications associated with space research.

Michael was the acting CEO of Effective Altruism Australia, a charity which seeks to effectively alleviate poverty, from September 2016 to March 2017.

Michael has a passion for science and ethics communication. He has given public lectures and appeared on TV, radio and online news outlets to discuss topics of public interest including asteroid impact risk, solar thermal energy, effective charitable programs and interventions, public health, climate change and ethics. He is currently the host of the Morality is Hard podcast, where he discusses and interviews on difficult questions on the border of ethics and science.

Current roles:
- Mining Engineering PhD candidate at UNSW (off-Earth mining & exploration using geophysics; ethics/economics of space exploration and exploitation)
- Intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Geophysics and non-profit consultant
- Host of the Morality is Hard podcast

Interests and expertise include:
- Planetary science
- Asteroid mining/deflection
- Terraforming, wild-animal suffering and the future of humanity
- Existential and catastrophic risks
- Non-profit strategy, leadership and analysis
- Ethics
- Measuring social impact

Research blog at www.michaeldello.com
Career experience at www.linkedin.com/in/michael-dello-iacovo
Morality is Hard podcast at www.michaeldello.com/podcast


  • –present
    PhD candidate (Mining Engineering), UNSW Australia


  • 2014 
    University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science (Hons)