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TEAM STORIES

A.S.

AM Vehicle Development Dep./Power Group/Battery & BMS Team

Battery & BMS Team, Power Group, Air Mobility Vehicle Development Department

Graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2017. After graduation, he worked both as a consultant and full-time employee at Ford where he managed a team based in India supporting software development for their Battery Management Systems and Lighting systems. Originally coming from an Automotive background, this is his first time in the Aerospace industry where he is working on Battery Management Systems at SkyDrive. During his free time, he enjoys various hobbies include studying Japanese, playing guitar, and Weightlifting.

Navigating the Skies at SkyDrive

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Background:
Meet A.S., a first-generation American born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago to Indian parents. After completing two years at a local community college, his journey started off with a career in automotive at Ford before he was able to embrace his passion of aviation when he joined SkyDrive, a leading electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) Japanese company specializing in global urban air mobility (UAM) solutions.

Career Transition:
During his five-year stint at Ford where he worked on battery management systems (BMS), he immersed himself in self-studying Japanese, fueled by his fascination with the culture and love of the language. This interest persisted prompting him to make a career change after discovering SkyDrive on LinkedIn. He had found the perfect match—a Japanese company working on aerospace solutions that required his expertise.
Role at SkyDrive:
He is now part of the Power Team at SkyDrive, focusing on BMS. His journey within the company has been marked by strong support from his team, enabling him to take charge of design decisions. Despite a steep initial learning curve, he adeptly coordinates discussions with suppliers in the U.S. and internal teams, involving himself in specification documents.

Challenges and Successes:
Navigating the transition from automotive to aerospace, he faces the challenge of stringent aviation regulations. Despite the differences between both industries, collaborative efforts within the company with external suppliers and regulatory bodies ease the process. His multifaceted role involves testing physical cells, liaising with suppliers, and collaborating on cooling management for aircraft among many things. Being the only non-Japanese member in his team poses occasional communication challenges, mostly with nuances. However, his Japanese language skills, and nearby interpreters facilitate effective communication. The other challenge was to differentiate between the automotive and the much more stringent aerospace industry regulations. This was a good challenge to take head on.

Goals and Future Plans:
His short-term goals include mastering aerospace regulations, refining his knowledge of battery management systems, and improving his fluency in Japanese. Long-term, he envisions continued work in the aerospace industry, aspiring to master all aspects of developing eVTOL aircraft and make a positive impact on Japanese society

Life in Japan:
Having joined SkyDrive in June 2023, he enjoys exploring Tokyo and other major cities of Japan using the Shinkansen while immersing himself in Japanese culture. He emphasizes the enjoyable aspects of settling into a new place, playing guitar, discovering local restaurants, and building friendships.

Future Message:
For those considering SkyDrive, he suggests embracing the culture, learning basic Japanese beforehand, and appreciating the unique environment of a fast-paced startup. He highlights the richness of Japanese traditions, the welcoming atmosphere at SkyDrive, and the potential for robust aerospace experience. Despite challenges, he encourages an open mind, emphasizing the support of an amazing team and the exciting journey of contributing to the future of air mobility.