Akshay Kothakonda

Akshay Kothakonda is a PhD candidate whose research bridges aerospace, mechanical, biomedical, and chemical engineering to create next-generation planetary spacesuits with terrestrial applications in biomedical technology. Specifically, he is investigating advancements in the mechanical counter pressure spacesuit concept using computational modeling, advanced materials, and textiles. As a MathWorks Fellow, Akshay has already developed novel finite element analysis models for fabrics and a thermomechanical model for shape memory polymers (SMP). He is now working on an innovative technique to implement these models on 2-D manifolds using spatial Fourier transform as boundary conditions that correspond to suited movements. The overarching objectives include developing, validating, and using these models to determine the optimum fabric pattern that would adequately pressurize the astronaut’s body using SMP and would minimize the suit’s stiffness during movements. Terrestrial applications of this work, such as medical compression garments, are also being explored. MATLAB is a key component of Akshay’s work pairing innovative experimental design and rigorous computational analysis. His research represents a valuable contribution and holds significant potential to improve human lives, both in space and on Earth.



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