Later this month, GE Research mechanical engineer Dhanushkodi Mariappan will join 83 other hand-selected early career engineers for the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering 2022 Symposium.
The four themes of the symposium are: 1) microbes: the good, the bad, and the ugly; 2) conversational artificial intelligence; 3) technology and racial justice and equity; and 4) hydrogen: a new “universal” energy carrier for the carbon-free future.
“I’m excited to meet with this group from industry, academia, and government,” said Dhanush. “Of the four themes, hydrogen is of particular interest to me and some of my work at GE. I look forward to the talks, learning about what problems people are working on, and exploring and creating opportunities for partnerships.”
Dhanush completed a summer internship at GE via the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI); he joined GE Research full time in 2004 after receiving a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at MIT in his home country of India. He spent two years at Research working on electromechanical systems design and product development.
A self-starter, Dhanush’s next move was entrepreneurship. He and a team formed an engineering product company with focus on creating mechatronics and software solutions for product performance, durability testing, virtual prototyping, and vibration analysis for the automotive and aerospace industries.
In 2015, after a successful exit from his startup, Dhanush returned to MIT to work on his doctoral thesis, then rejoined GE Research in Niskayuna in 2019 upon completion of his PhD. Today, Dhanush works in the Materials & Mechanical Systems organization as part of the Mechanical Components & Systems team. His recent/current work focuses on three technologies/programs:
- Superconducting generator: GE Research is incorporating superconducting magnets – typically used in particle accelerators for fundamental physics studies and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners – into offshore wind turbine generators. These magnets promise more power in a smaller, lighter package. Find out how it works. Dhanush worked on different aspects of the mechanical design of the field coil assembly to meet structural, thermal, and electromagnetics specifications.
- Hydrogen-powered aircraft – Dhanush is using his expertise to tackle the design of a viable on-aircraft hydrogen storage solution. He’s excited to further explore the world of hydrogen at the NAE symposium as GE’s work in this area progresses.
- Printed electronics – Dhanush is part of GE’s effort to advance the design and manufacturing of 2D and 3D-printed electronics (sensors) to aid in the inspection and preventative maintenance of critical assets. He is involved in the design and testing of sensors with focus on the mechanical aspects of sensor design, including detection parameters, materials selection, adhesion, performance, durability test protocols, and so on.
“The ability to envision what is not yet possible, to create solutions to today’s problems that benefit all of society in the future, and to be open, inclusive, and diverse in our thinking and the abilities of ourselves and others — these are the hallmarks of outstanding engineers,” NAE President John L. Anderson said in the NAE press release. “The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Symposium helps foster this collaborative spirit in young U.S.-based engineers by bringing a diverse group together from different technical areas and work sectors to spark innovation, broaden their perspectives on new approaches to engineering problems, and develop long-term relationships that are critical in advancing our nation’s future.”
Participants for the upcoming NAE symposium were hand-selected based on nominations by fellow engineers or organizations. Congratulations, Dhanush!
In addition to The Grainger Foundation, sponsors for the 2022 U.S.-based symposium include Amazon, National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and Cummins. Read more.