Dr. Erik Swanson

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Erik Swanson is the founder of Xdot Engineering and Analysis and is responsible for Xdot's rotordynamic consulting projects and providing technical guidance to ongoing research and development activities. Erik has been working in the area of rotordynamics, bearings and rotating machinery since 1990 when he started his graduate work at the VA Tech Rotordynamics Laboratory under Dr. Gordon Kirk. Eight short years later, Erik ran out of courses that sounded like fun, and realized he was in danger of becoming a perpetual student. After accepting a position with Mohawk Innovative Technology, he wrote his dissertation and graduated with his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1998.

Erik spent 4-1/2 years in Albany, NY with Mohawk Innovative Technology. His duties included test rig design and qualification, data acquisition and analysis, rotor dynamic modeling, experimental modal analysis, structural modeling, software development, program management of SBIR, internal, and commercial projects, working with the marketing department to develop proposals, and supervising three other engineers. At Mohawk, Erik was also heavily involved in foil bearing testing, and became convinced the technology has a real future. Realizing that Albany winters were way too long, he headed back south. When he left, Erik was the manager for the Department of Machinery Dynamics and Tribology.

Erik has a very strong, broad analytical background, however, he also is a real hands-on engineer. Despite having a PhD, he is perfectly at home in the shop and lab with grease under his fingernails. Much of this hands-on background has centered on bearing test rigs and bearing testing. He has designed, or otherwise assisted in the development of over 20 different test rigs or test stands. He is also quite comfortable programming in Matlab and C++. He has authored numerous papers on bearings and machinery dynamics (see Publications).

Erik has performed hundreds of rotordynamic analyses on a wide range of industrial machines and unique test rigs/prototype machines over the years. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina and Virginia. He is a member of ASME, STLE, and Sigma Xi. He is a member of the API 684 Task Force.

Erik's hobbies include sailing, hang-gliding and the joys of fixing things that come with home ownership.