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Meet a NASA Glenn Employee: Manan Vyas
June 13, 2013

Thousands of talented, dedicated and passionate people work at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. They are rocket scientists and engineers. They are researchers and physicists and chemists. They are aviation specialists, public affairs officers, administrative assistants, security officers, logistics managers and more. With countless specializations in myriad fields, the people of Glenn share one goal: working for the public in support of NASA's mission.

The diverse Glenn workforce is comprised of civil servants and on-site support contractors. Workers perform a large variety of different jobs at NASA Glenn. "My Job at NASA Glenn" is a series that introduces some of these workers. Learn about different employees and the interesting jobs they perform, and how their education prepared them to make unique and important contributions to NASA.

Manan Vyas

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Job Title:
Research Engineer (Propulsion Flow Dynamics)

What that means:
Research and development of aerospace engine aerodynamics.

What I do:
I investigate new engine designs and components using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and conduct wind tunnel experiments.

The most interesting part of my job is:
I like to do both simulations and experiments. Computer-aided design models are created and simulations are performed to analyze performance and optimize a design. Next, a scaled model is manufactured and tested in a wind tunnel to acquire experimental data. Experimental data are also used to validate and improve future simulations. This gives me a unique opportunity to see technology mature from a piece of paper to a built component.

My favorite project that I have worked, or that I am working on, is:
Part of working for NASA means that every project is unique and has its challenges. So it is very hard for me to pick a favorite project. But I can certainly describe my last project, for which I performed CFD simulations of X-51 Flight 2. The X-51 is a scramjet hypersonic flight demonstrator program of the U.S. Air Force designed to accelerate up to six times the speed of sound (or 3600+ mph).

The accomplishment that I am most proud of is:
Working for NASA.

A Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education helped me by:
A lot of people don't realize the role STEM plays in their everyday life. STEM education helped me to think critically, which allowed me to appreciate technology but perhaps more importantly how to improve the present technology. It is the "how" factor which led me down my educational path.

Good advice for students, including STEM students, is:
Ask a lot of questions. Don't settle for "it just is," but seek the why and how. If you can drive your teachers or professors crazy with the why and how then you are doing something right!

How do you "dream big?"
I wear magnifying glasses when I go to bed. That's obviously a joke, but I dream big by having plenty of role models. They are like magnetic poles, always helpful in pointing me in the right direction.

What do you do to inspire others to "dream big?"
Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-American astronaut. She is someone I could identify with and was the proof that everything is possible with hard work.

What do you do to inspire others to "dream big?"
I like to help with NASA's education and outreach activities. I love working with kids because it always amazes me how creative they are. It is just a matter of nudging them in the right direction. Developing the next generation of scientists, engineers and educators should be our national priority.
 

Meet More NASA Glenn Employees

 

 

-Edited by Nancy Smith Kilkenny, SGT Inc.
NASA's Glenn Research Center

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Manan Vyas, Research Engineer (Propulsion Flow Dynamics) at GRC
Manan Vyas
Image Credit: 
NASA
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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: Kelly Heidman