Sinds het najaar van 2020 werkt Ashrith Jain bij DEAC. Hij heeft zijn bachelor Werktuigbouwkunde in India gedaan en een master Werktuigbouwkunde gevolgd binnen de afdeling Design, Productie en Management (DPM) van de Universiteit Twente. Bij DEAC houdt hij zich bezig met onderhoud op een hoog strategisch en technisch niveau. Hieronder stelt hij zich aan u voor.


I’m Ashrith Jain, 26 years old and I live in Enschede. Apart from my studies/work, I like road biking, cooking, reading fictional books, and currently, I’m also learning Dutch, I can now confidently order myself a coffee in Dutch! I’m currently working as a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) trainee at the University of Twente and carrying out my Design project at the Dutch Electric Aviation Centre at Teuge Airport. PDEng, in general, is a two-year post-master program that focuses on practical technological design, and PDEng in Maintenance, in particular, focuses on developing efficient and effective maintenance processes from a multidisciplinary perspective, by addressing both technical and operational aspects. As a PDEng trainee, I’m also required to expand my technological knowledge by taking up maintenance-related courses.


A lot of attention is paid to the technical feasibility of a wide variety of aircraft design concepts and operational modes. However, there is a gap in the knowledge of future maintenance issues associated with electric aircraft. My research at the DEAC focuses on the design for the maintenance of hybrid/electric aircraft. The main aim is to understand the maintenance challenges arising from the transition into a hybrid-electric propulsion system and design the system for maintainability, reliability, and supportability. The emphasis is also laid on the infrastructure of the hangars and airport from the maintenance perspective, operational and maintenance training, system safety design, and Human factor ergonomics (HFE).


A design science base method is adopted for the study, using an iterative and experimentation approach. Among the three cycles, the relevance cycles bridge the contextual environment of the research project with design science activities, the rigor cycle connects the design science activities with the knowledge base of scientific foundations, experience, and expertise that informs the research project, and the central design cycle iterates between the core activities of building and evaluating the design artifacts and processes of the research.


My research is like baking a cake (here is it the aircraft), now the cake can be made lighter or heavier depending on the content you put into it. You will have an idea of how the cake would turn out based on the content, for example, by altering the amount of egg, baking soda, and butter, you would know whether the cake is going to be fluffy or harder (this is more like life prediction of aircraft structure). But after doing all the processes to make the perfect cake, if you are unable to take the cake out of the mould without breaking it, then it would make the whole process unnecessarily cumbersome (that is design for maintenance).


With the guidance and support provided by the DEAC and the University of Twente, I aim to cover as many topics as possible from the mind map that has been created by the end of my PDEng research. The expected technological design includes identifications of critical components, associated failure mechanisms and loads, and guidelines for maintenance. Also, creating a maintenance management framework for integrating an effective Reliability-centred Maintenance (RCM) process into hybrid/all-electric aircraft systems to cooperate with surrounding systems and airport ecosystems, and a structured approach to testing the design for maintenance solutions on the DEAC testbed, Cessna 337F Skymaster.