Anita Sengupta

CEO/Founder, Hydroplane Ltd.

Anita Sengupta

Dr. Anita Sengupta is an aerospace engineer, commercial pilot, rocket scientist and veteran of the space program. She has developed technologies that have enabled the exploration of Mars, asteroids and deep space for 20 years. Her career began with launch vehicles and communication satellites at Boeing Space and Communications. She then worked for NASA for 16 years where her engineering projects included her PhD research on developing the ion propulsion system for the Dawn Mission (currently in the main asteroid belt), the supersonic parachute that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars, and the Cold Atom Laboratory an atomic physics facility on the International Space Station.

After leaving NASA, she moved into the high-tech transportation sector and led the development of the Hyperloop as Senior Vice President of Systems Engineering at Virgin Hyperloop, a ground based transportation system that operates under vacuum and at jet aircraft speeds.

Her most recent entrepreneurial venture is as CEO of Hydroplane Ltd. which she founded in 2020. Hydroplane Ltd. is developing hydrogen fuel cell power plant technology for carbon emission free aviation and mobile energy transport. Hydroplane has been awarded two prestigious US Air Force Agility Prime contracts and a California Energy Commission grant to develop the novel hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for a range of commercial and governmental transport use cases, and a Navy SBIR to develop in for ground power. In 2023 she was awarded the Stinson Trophy by the National Aeronautics Association for her contributions to the fields of aerospace. Hydroplane was also named innovation company of the year by the US Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency in 2023.

Sengupta is also Research Professor of Astronautical engineering at the University of Southern California were she specializes in technologies for the human exploration of Mars, earth re-entry vehicles and boom-less supersonic flight.

Sengupta received her MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. In her spare time, she is active in emergency service operations as a Captain and Mission Transport Pilot in the US Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. She is also a member of the Caltech flying club, a sport motorcyclist, advanced open water scuba diver, mountain biker, professional public speaker, and science communicator.


The Hydrogen Horizon: From H2 to Net Zero
Wednesday, 29 May 2024
13:00 – 14:00

Going the Extra Mile – Will Intermodal Transportation Expand Business Aviation?
Thursday, 30 May 2024
11:30 – 12:30