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  • CV: Principal Engineer, Design & Analysis, Liquid Propulsion

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    Personal information
    Contact information
    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:26-03-2018
     Last Modified:26-03-2018 (07:05)
    Job information
     Current job:Principal Engineer, Design & Analysis, Liquid Propulsion
     Employment Term:Permanent
     Job location:Europe only
     Date available:within 3months
     Industry:Civil Agencies/International Organizations, Satellite Manufacturers and Subcontractors, Launch Systems, Consulting/Engineering Services, Space Tourism
     Keywordshardware, propulsion, design, analysis, manufacture, additive, launch, reusability, mechanical, aerospace, engineer

    12+ years of experience in the design & development of “blank-sheet” aerospace hardware and systems, including 3 re-usable rocket engines, 3 non-re-usable rocket engines, 4 turbo-pumps & 3 launch vehicles; experienced with fatigue and fracture control, structural dynamics, design for manufacturability, additive manufacturing techniques (e.g. DMLS), and Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs); experience with leading teams in complex, evolving technical environments, defining test plans, instrumentation and analyzing test data; proficient in FEA, thermal  & CFD analyses, and various hand-calculation methods; capable of working under very tight schedules without compromising quality; good communication skills, can work in a team or independently, experienced with giving large presentations and report writing.

    Work Experience

    1) Virgin Galactic (VG)/Virgin Orbit (VO) (March 2013 – Present)

    Principal Engineer, Design & Analysis, Liquid Propulsion (March 2013 – Present)

    Primary responsibility is to mentor the Propulsion engineers towards feasible technical solutions. This includes conducting design reviews and teaching them analysis techniques, design of rocket propulsion architectures, appropriate dispositions for design non-conformances, interpretation of test data, and root cause analyses for hardware test failures

    Established VG/VO’s design methodologies related to the engines, stages and associated systems

    Established VG/VO’s design for casting & DMLS methodology

    Technical lead for VG when liaising with turbo-pump vendor for the Newton 3 & Newton 4 (N3 & N4) turbo-pump designs. Responsibilities include:

    Guiding vendor towards designs compatible with the engines that were being designed in parallel (see Manager duties below)

    Ensuring vendor’s designs met VG/VO design standards

    Technical mentor for Liquid Propulsion’s structural dynamics effort. Developed analysis & data processing methods currently used by the department

    Design & Analysis Manager, Liquid Propulsion (January 2014 – August 2015)

    Primary responsibility was to lead the analysis and design effort for 2 clean-sheet RP1/LOX rocket engines (N3 & N4) and associated stage systems. Other articles designed and built included turbo-pump and gas-generator test beds.

    Responsible for ensuring design reliability and reducing engine cost using innovative design solutions (e.g., taking advantage of additive manufacturing processes)

    Secondary responsibilities included test data analysis for design verification and identifying opportunities for further improvement

    Interfaced with other departments to identify and solve problems/remove road-blocks for the engine design team

    Mentored and guided the team towards realizing ideas & solutions in an efficient manner

    Managed hiring, time-off, conflict-resolution and other Human Resource matters related to the team


    2) Space Exploration Technologies, aka SpaceX (September 2008 – March 2013)

    Propulsion Engineer, Analysis

    Primary responsibility was to provide analysis and design expertise for clean-sheet RP1/LOX rocket engines, assemblies and components. Other responsibilities included trouble-shooting existing hardware designs and non-conformities

    Successful flight hardware designs included 2 “blank-sheet” turbo-pump assemblies (responsible for all primary stationary & rotating hardware), pintle injectors, primary structures for thrust load-paths (engine-level), engine failure containment, various valves and system components

    Led & coordinated PDR-level hardware analysis/design tasks on the predecessor to the Block 1 M1D engine. The designs developed were then carried forward to the Block 1 M1D & MVacD engines. Achievements include:

    Reduced hardware weight over the previous M1C engine designs

    Reduced hardware cost by modifying designs to take advantage of high-volume production techniques

    Improved hardware reliability by defining NDT inspections and acceptance criteria while limiting cost increases

    Developed design methodologies to enable re-usable engine hardware

    Worked on solving the “re-entry” problem for the Falcon 1 & Falcon 9 v1.0 boost stages. This was focused primarily around conceptual design solutions, analysis of flight data, and re-entry failure from a Propulsion aspect. Lessons learnt here directly led to the existing re-usable Falcon 9 boost stage.

    Provided senior/principal engineer services & mentorship with structural/thermal/fluid problems

    3) GE Energy (August 2005 - August 2008)

    Aeromechanics Engineer, Gas Turbine Compressor Airfoils

    Primary responsibilities focused on digital signal processing of dynamic sensor data to identify possible HCF modes of failure in airfoils during operating conditions. Calculated system damping, identified rotating stall/surge events seen during tests.


    4) Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Corporation (Summer 1998, Summer 1999)


    Tasks included maintenance and service of commercial aircraft, such as B767, A320 and A340. Systems worked on included air-conditioning, landing gear, powerplants, electrical, cabin, wheels and brakes.

    Engines worked on included CF6, CF56, and RB-211. Involved in assembly and disassembly, modular balancing (LPT), etc. Worked on components of fuel and oil systems, and a variety of APUs.

    Performed NDTs such as fluorescent marking and eddy current tests.


    - Proficient in ANSYS; experienced with FLUENT, CFX, StarCCM+

    - Experienced with Unigraphics; basic experience with Catia v5

    - Experienced in MATLAB, Visual Basic

    - Experienced with DSP software LMS Testlab

    - Experienced with Microsoft Office products (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc)

    - Experience working in Windows, UNIX/LINUX environments

    - Six Sigma Green Belt certified


    1) Georgia Institute of Technology (August 2003 - May 2005)

    MSc Aerospace Engineering

    Awards & Scholarships: Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)

    2) Illinois Institute of Technology (August 1999 - December 2002)

    BSc Aerospace Engineering/BSc Mechanical Engineering (Double major)

    Awards & Scholarships: International Scholarship Award; Dean's List student every semester

    3) Dubai Aviation College (September 1997 - June 1999)

    Technical Diploma (ND) Aerospace

    Awards & Scholarships: Outstanding Student Award


    Certified US Private Pilot License (PPL), certified Scuba diver, squash/racquetball, tennis


    Proficient in English, Hindi & Tamil; rudimentary skills in Spanish

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