KBRwyle Engineer Featured for UAS Innovations and STEM Leadership
25 Sep 2018
Ajay Sehgal, a KBRwyle chief systems engineer, is profiled in the Sept. - Oct. issue of Vertiflite, the official publication of theVertical Flight Society (VFS), formally, the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, Inc. Ajay, who joined KBRwyle in 2009, is a subject matter expert for rotorcraft and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). He is also very involved in supporting STEM initiatives for KBRwyle and VFS, which works for the advancement of vertical flight technology and its useful application worldwide.
In the Vertiflite profile, Sehgal talks about his interest as a child growing up in India in things that flew," his post-graduate studies in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech, and details his cutting-edge work for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). To follow is a brief excerpt from the Vertiflite article:
At the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) program office for Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Ajay Sehgal works with KBRwyle and NAVAIR engineers on UAS programs that include the MQ-8 Fire Scout, the Marine Air-Ground Task Force UAS Expeditionary (MUX) program and related UAS science and technology initiatives.
On NAVAIR teams at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Sehgal helped deploy the Lockheed Martin/Kaman CQ-24A K-MAX Cargo UAS to Afghanistan and arm the Northrop Grumman/Sikorsky MQ-8B Fire Scout with Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rockets. Both teams earned innovation awards from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division commander.
Among his other responsibilities, Sehgal is now helping NAVAIR plan future UAS improvements. He explained, "A little over 15 years ago, when we started the MQ-8B Fire Scout program, it was a very basic machine integrating the Schweizer 333 helicopter with different avionics and payloads. Since then, we have integrated more sophisticated payloads and developed the MQ-8C Endurance Upgrade with an airframe from Bell Model 407. Similarly, we're looking in to the future, five to 10 years from now. The road-mapping effort is not only looking at newer systems we will install on the aircraft but also at newer technology, newer challenges."
Sehgal also plays a key role in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives for VFS and KBRwyle. Currently, he chairs VFS's Unmanned Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Technical Committee. Under his leadership, the committee hosted the 6th Annual Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge this May in Phoenix, Arizona. Students from around the globe teamed up to design, build and fly a remote-controlled or fully autonomous micro-air vehicle to complete an assigned mission.
As the chair, Sehgal also recently organized an interactive panel for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL 2018 in Denver, Colorado. This panel's innovation leaders from the world's leading VTOL aircraft companies discussed the future of autonomous flight.
Sehgal brings his passion for STEM educational opportunities into his work for KBRwyle. He supports local science fairs and student robotic competitions on behalf of KBRwyle, and serves as the vice president on the board of directors for The Patuxent Partnership (TPP). This non-profit fosters collaboration among academia, industry, and government from technology to STEM initiatives in Southern Maryland and beyond to promote sustainable economic vitality and enhanced quality of life.
Additionally, Sehgal's team hires seven to 10 interns each year.
"We try to find the right match for [these interns] working with NAVAIR in their areas of interest," Sehgal told VFS. "What I'm finding is these students are so self-directed, they want to come back again, and in many cases, we are able to place them with NAVAIR full-time after graduation."
To read the full VFS article about Sehgal's contributions to the UAS community, go tohttps://vtol.org/files/dmfile/leadershipprofileajaysehgal.pdf.
KBRwyle's Ajay Sehgal, third from left, stands with the moderator and panelists from the "Autonomous Flight for Tomorrow - Technology Leaders in Vertical Flight" panel. Sehgal organized the interactive panel for the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018 in Denver, Colorado.
Ajay Sehgal honors Vaughn College's UAV Club as the winner of the "Best Remote Target Search" during the 6th Annual Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge this May in Phoenix, Arizona. Sehgal chairs the committee that hosted this global competition. Photo by VFS Publications
Ajay Sehgal, a KBRwyle chief systems engineer"