Dr. Sanjeev Rao is currently an Assistant Professor of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and is associated with Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC) at Khalifa University. He is a senior design project coordinator at the department and provides Materials & Processing consultancy at Strata PJSC, Al Ain. He was also an adjunct faculty at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. and M.E. in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in Structures and CFD, respectively, from the University of Auckland. Before joining Khalifa University, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Composite Materials, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Dr. Rao's primary research field of interest is in the modeling and experimental testing of advanced composite structures, and manufacturing automation. His other research interests include design and manufacture of fixed wing and vertical takeoff unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for civilian applications, multi-functional lightweight materials, statistical methods to reduce process variability in production environment, application of game theory in a production environment, application of additive manufacturing in production environment, and several other new product development projects. He is jointly working with Strata PJSC, Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and Team Emirates cycling in developing capabilities to manufacture lightweight, high-performance carbon bicycles in-house. He has one monograph from his Ph.D. research work and over 50 publications in archival journals, book chapters, conference proceedings, and technical reports. He has served as principle/co-principal investigator of more than 20 projects sponsored by various industry and government agencies, domestically and internationally. Apart from research, Dr. Rao has special interest in the commercialization of R&D projects that have reached higher TRL levels.
Dr. Rao is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Chemical Society (ACS). He received the KU Research Staff Excellence Award in 2016 and been recognized at Strata for his research work on A 330/350/380 parts.