Dr. Ajay Kothari is President and Founder of Astrox Corporation, an Aerospace R&D company located in suburban Washington DC. His PhD and MS in Aerospace Engineering are from University of Maryland. He has been Principal Investigator or Program Manager on more than 30 contracts from Air Force, Navy, DARPA and NASA, focused on rocket and hypersonic vehicle designs, system level analysis and studies which have led to his innovative hypersonic vehicle design for the Air Force. He has been a pioneer in developing the Inward Turning Hypersonic Vehicles traveling up to Mach 10 for which a patent was granted, and which will be able to go to Low Earth Orbit more efficiently using his version of the Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) concept. He is currently working on reusable rocket transportation which would be more efficient, flexible and more cost effective. He has over 48 professional publications in peer reviewed AIAA (American Institute of aeronautics and Astronautics) journals and various AIAA, International Spaceplanes and Hypersonics, CRASTE (Commercial and Government Reusable Access to Space Technology Exchange) and JANNAF (Joint Army Navy NASA and Air Force) conferences in aerospace field.
He was President of his high school, was recipient of the "Best Student of the School" award for scholarship and extracurricular activities, and was also awarded National Merit Scholarship. He was conferred “ASEI-NCC Emerging Technologist Award” by ASEI (American Society of Engineers of Indian origin) in 1997, awarded the "Pride of India Gold Award" by International NRI Institute in 2007, "Engineer of the Year" award by ASEI in 2011 and was the president of ASEI National Capital Chapter in 2014 & 2015. He has been invited to speak on aerospace subjects by many entities, interviewed on television shows and his articles on space related topics have been published by various newspapers and web portals. He is a Life Member and Associate Fellow of AIAA. He is also the first Indian-American member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for Washington-Baltimore region. He is also an artist and one of his paintings was selected by the Office of the Governor of Maryland to exhibit at Baltimore-Washington International airport.