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Dr. Venke Sankaran, a member of the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives, is Senior Scientist for Rocket Propulsion, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. He serves as the Senior Research Scientist and Independent Researcher in the field of modeling and simulations for the field of rocket propulsion. He initiates, plans, coordinates and evaluates research and development activities that increase the Air Force capabilities in this critical technology area. He supports the director in technical reviews and assessment of programs and new study areas, and interacts with other Air Force and government agencies in matters related to modeling and simulation of rocket-propulsion technologies. Dr. Sankaran mentors and guides the development of dedicated technical staff to respond to Air Force near- and long-term R&D needs. He also provides expert technical consultation to Air Force organizations, DoD and other government agencies, and to universities and industry.

Dr. Sankaran joined the Propulsion Directorate in October 2011 as a senior scientist. Prior to joining the Air Force, he was at the U.S. Army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center at Ames Research Center, where he served as the architect and technical lead of the Helios rotorcraft simulation software platform. He has also served as research faculty at Penn State University's Propulsion Engineering Research Center, University of Tennessee Space Institute, Purdue University's Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, NASA Ames Research Center and University of California Santa Cruz's University Affiliated Research Center. During his years in academia, Dr. Sankaran has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses and mentored graduate students.

The author of over 100 technical papers, Dr. Sankaran has been actively involved in several funded programs involving rocket propulsion, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and plasmas. His research has been instrumental in the development of preconditioning algorithms for extending computational fluid dynamics methods to all flow regimes, including all Mach numbers, viscous-dominated regions, unsteady flows, generalized equations of state and multiphase flows. His current research focuses on liquid rocket combustion instability prediction and on the development of advanced physical modeling and computational methodologies for solid, liquid and electric propulsion systems.

1984 Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, Madurai Kamraj University, India
1988 Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Penn State University, University Park
1990 Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering, Penn State University, University Park

1. 1990 - 1998, Senior Research Associate, Penn State University, University Park
2. 1998 - 2003, Research Professor, University of Tennessee Space Institute, Tullahoma
3. 2003 - 2006, Senior Researcher, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
4. 2006 - 2008, Senior Scientist, University of California Santa Cruz, Moffett Field
5. 2008 - 2011, Aerospace Engineer, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, Moffett Field
6. 2011 - 2012, Senior Scientist for Rocket Propulsion, Propulsion Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards AFB, California
7. 2012 - present, Senior Scientist for Rocket Propulsion, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards AFB, California

1992 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Outstanding Paper Award
1995 - 2003, Visiting Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
2000 NASA Group Achievement Award
2008 NASA Group Achievement Award
2010 DoD CREATE Program Outstanding Technical Innovation Award
2010 DoD CREATE Program Outstanding Technical Paper Award

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - AIAA
American Society of Mechanical Engineers - ASME
American Helicopter Society

(Current as of June 2013)


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