SANJEEV SHARMA-TECHNOLOGY PIONEER

Muse Science Magazine for Kids|May/June 2020

SANJEEV SHARMA-TECHNOLOGY PIONEER
High-speed railroad cars, rockets, and now drones—what will mechanical engineer Sanjeev Sharma do next? Sharma is currently head of vehicle engineering at Matternet, a drone company in Mountain View, California. Whatever lies ahead, he’ll probably be at the forefront of new technologies that serve others.
Peg Lopata

“The common thread through all my career has been focused on technologies that help improve lives for a wide swath of people. I believe that is ultimately the wider purpose of engineering,” says Sharma. So it’s not surprising that Sharma is involved in the emerging technology of a new transportation mode: autonomous flying robots or drones. He also likes being a technology pioneer. “I like to work on things that haven’t existed before. Full autonomous drones in our urban airspaces are just the kind of change I’d like to work for,” says Sharma.

YOU’VE WORKED ON MANY NEW TECHNOLOGIES. TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THEM.

Before joining Matternet, I worked with Elon Musk at his company called SpaceX, working on the reusable rocket. Before that I worked in design of high-speed railroad cars for Indian Rail in India, where I’m from.

SOUNDS LIKE ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION IS YOUR SPECIALTY. HOW DID ROCKET ENGINEERING LEAD YOU INTO DRONES?

During my work at SpaceX, I learned a lot about aerodynamics and the design of reliable, fully autonomous flying vehicles—drones. Drones, like self-driving cars, will open up a new world. I grew intrigued by this possibility and was excited to join Matternet in 2018, as they are pioneers in this emerging technology.

WHAT ARE DOING NOW AT MATTERNET?

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May/June 2020