The researchers, engineers, and technologists at GE Research who help see, move, and create the future come from varying backgrounds with varying experiences. While no two paths are the same, there is one common thread – a love for science. Why Science? explores where our employees’ paths began – when and how their love for science was born. For some it was a favorite teacher; for others science runs in the family. The stories told are fun, insightful, and may even inspire the next generation of scientists!
This Why Science? features Naveenan Thiagarajan, a lead engineer with GE Research’s Thermosciences team in Niskayuna, NY. Naveenan has spent the last 8 years with GE Research working on developing thermal management technologies for GE’s aviation systems, healthcare, and renewable energy businesses. Currently, he is leading and working on government-funded projects in the renewable energy and power spaces. The mechanical engineer specializes in thermal management of electronics and electrical machines with a background in developing phase change cooling techniques for terrestrial and space environments.
Among his current projects, Naveenan is working on a DOE-funded project aimed at advancing future applications in concentrated solar power to enable collected solar energy to be efficiently converted into electricity with a turbine that runs on supercritical CO2 fluid. Supercritical CO2 can operate at super-high temperatures (exceeding 700°C), which means a newly designed heat exchanger is required to safely and effectively deliver the heat to the supercritical CO2 for the turbine. Naveenan and his team is applying 3D design and printing processes to design a more advanced, high temperature heat exchanger to help enable this new, more efficient application.
Hey Naveenan… Why Science?
“I grew up in an environment where many members of my family and extended family had successful careers in science, medicine, and engineering. Their accomplishments and motivation have always been a positive influence in my childhood, as I gravitated towards science. Also, at the turn of the century, as I was stepping into high school, I witnessed the economic upswing in India triggered by growth in the engineering and technology sectors, presenting countless career opportunities in STEM fields. This further influenced my decision to pursue a career in engineering.
I strongly believe that every facet of our lives is constantly being shaped and enhanced by science and the technologies we interact with. I cannot think of a better place to experience this firsthand, than working here at GE Research, as we imagine and shape the technologies of the future.”