Dr. Anita Sengupta is a rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, professor, and instrument rated pilot who for over 20 years has been developing technologies that have enabled the exploration of Mars, Asteroids, and Deep Space. She started her career working on the launch vehicles and communications satellites at Boeing Space and Communications. Next her journey took her to the forefront of the US space program. At NASA her doctoral research focused the developing the ion engines that powered the Dawn spacecraft to reach Vesta and Ceres in the main asteroid belt launched in 2006. Next she worked on the supersonic parachute system and skycrane that was integral to the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars in 2012. From 2012 to 2017 she led the development of the Cold Atom Laboratory, a laser-cooling quantum physics facility which is now on board the International Space Station.
Her next engineering role took her to the private sector as a senior executive leading the development of an in-vacuum, magnetically levitating, electrically propelled high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop. She led the product planning, systems architecture, regulatory compliance, and human safety certification as Senior Vice President of Systems Engineering at Virgin Hyperloop.
Her current venture is leading the development of hydrogen fuel cell powered aircraft as CEO and founder of Hydroplane Ltd. As an aviation entrepreneur Dr. Sengupta is putting her space program skills to help solve challenges here at home. With her companies novel hydrogen-based powerplant technology, the path to decarbonize aviation can happen within the decade.
Dr. Sengupta is also a Research Associate Professor at the University of Southern California. She teaches the only Entry Descent and Landing class on the West Coast for Graduate students in the Astronautics and Space Technology Department.
She is also a professional public speaker and STEM outreach advocate. She keynotes events around the world sharing with audiences her personal and professional experiences of Engineering the Red Planet and From Flying Cars to Humans on Mars.
In her spare time she is an avid commercial pilot, motorcyclist, snow boarder, bicyclist, and science fiction enthusiast. If you would like to request a speaking engagement please contact her below.