Longtime NASA employee Anita Sengupta has moved on from the government entity and is focused on her current leadership role as a senior vice president at Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One.
The Indian American aerospace engineer, a graduate in aerospace and mechanical engineering of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, began her career at Boeing Space and Communications, serving as an engineer from 1998 to 2001 before starting at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
At NASA, Sengupta rose up the ranks, starting as a staff aerospace engineer, then graduating to roles such as senior engineer/task manager, senior mechanical engineer, Mars EDL system engineer, Venus entry system phase lead, senior systems engineer and her last role senior project manager, which she held from 2012 until her move to Hyperloop One in September 2017.
A native of Glasgow, U.K., Sengupta worked on NASA's physics experiment to create the coldest spot in the universe within the Cold Atom Laboratory.
Of her time at JPL, she said: "It has been the greatest personal growth of my career to become a project manager. It has also been the coolest; we are going to make the coldest spot in the universe on board the ISS.”
Now, Sengupta leads Hyperloop One's Systems Engineering team, which is responsible for systems architecture, product development, structural analysis, aerodynamic and fluid analysis, requirements and safety.
Hyperloop One is a project that's working on ferrying people or cargo from spot A to B at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel. The team is working on achieving a target speed 50 percent faster than airplanes.
Sengupta received her doctorate in aerospace engineering working on Ion Thrusters from USC and was a NASA Astronaut Finalist candidate in 2017. Additionally, she is also a certified private pilot, advanced SCUBA diver and motorcyclist.