Xdot Engineering Consultants and Staff

We strive to be a company that we would want to work with.

Xdot Bearing Technologies is a Virginia-based engineering and technology company specializing in foil bearings, rotordynamics consulting, and related research and development. We deliver customized solutions or near off-the-shelf bearings, as well as patented products to meet your toughest challenges. With concept, design, in-house testing, consulting, and intellectual property licensing options, we are ready to support your product journey. We thrive on difficult, unusual, and challenging jobs.

Xdot focuses on providing accurate, honest, timely, cost effective results to its clients while actively maintaining internal research projects to develop new tools and capabilities and explore new ideas.

Our Team:

Dr. Erik Swanson


President/Founder

Erik formed Xdot in 2003 and he currently serves as the President and Chief Engineer.  He brings his broad analytical background, combined with considerable hands-on time in the test lab, to provide overall technical and business leadership for the team at Xdot.  Erik leads the ongoing effort to develop Xdot’s foil bearing technology and bearing design portfolio. As a registered professional engineer in Virginia and North Carolina, he is the licensed professional in charge of the rotordynamics consulting effort and performs a range of consulting services for clients. At Xdot, he has served as principal investigator on four Phase I SBIR/STTR projects and three Phase II efforts. Over the course of his career, he has been the technical lead on over 30 bearing test rigs and testing projects. Erik’s areas of expertise include: rotordynamics; compliant foil bearing design, development and testing; hydrodynamic bearing design and development; active magnetic bearings and backup bearings; bearing test rigs; and software development.  Erik’s professional highlights include:

  • Co-invented Xdot's proprietary "wing foil" compliant bearing configuration
  • Performed rotordynamics evaluations for 100s of machines for clients
  • Authored 35 papers on bearings and machinery dynamics
  • Served as the technical lead on over 30 bearing test rigs and testing projects
  • Co-taught  Xdot's rotordynamics short course since 2012

Erik is a former member of the API 683 3rd Edition Task Force as well as a current member of ASME, STLE, and Sigma Xi.  Erik has been delivering rotordynamics, hydrodynamic bearings, and testing solutions to customers around the world since the 1990s. Erik completed his graduate work at Virginia Tech in Dr. Gordon Kirk's rotordynamics lab, receiving MS and PhD (1998) degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to founding Xdot, Erik worked for Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. from 1997 until 2002.  He was the manager for the Department of Machinery Dynamics and Tribology and was heavily involved with foil bearing testing. 

When not solving Xdot customers’ toughest project challenges, Erik spends his free time designing and building projects with his son as well as performing long form improvisational comedy.

Susan Thompson


Office Manager

Susan joined Xdot in July 2010, bringing 20+ years of experience managing offices across various industries and experience as co-owner of a residential construction company while living in Montana. 

Susan manages daily operations at Xdot, serves as key liaison for Xdot customers, leads project estimating and management, and manages project billing and reporting.  

During her time away from Xdot, Susan enjoys gardening, traveling, fishing and enjoying life with her Havanese baby, Miss Aspen.  

Photo of Miss Aspen

Charlie Bishop


Mechanical Technician

Charlie joined Xdot in April 2017 as a mechanical journeyman with a strong background in HVAC. Charlie is an expert in mechanical repair, installation, and maintenance, having spent 30+ years in the mechanical contracting industry. Charlie assembles, operates, and maintains Xdot's test rigs and support equipment.

Our Team Partners Foster Integrated Engineering Solutions

With extensive experience in developing curated engineering solutions for our clients, the in-house Xdot Team understands the importance of collaboration with partners to deliver integrated solutions to complete engineering projects.

The Xdot team is adaptable and comfortable working alongside your own internal team and outside partners, and we can also bring our own trusted partners to a project as needed. Our clients benefit from our years of experience working with various teams, as we maintain strong working relationships with a network of proven suppliers and vetted partners who work alongside the Xdot team to deliver seamless end-to-end solutions to complement Xdot solutions when needed. Here are a few of our key trusted partners.

 

Kelly Garrett

Kelly Garrett

Technical Writer

Kelly has partnered with Xdot since 2019 as a technical writer, where she has been key in our proposal and report writing efforts.  Since 2006, she has been an independent contractor serving companies with her writing and instructional design expertise.  With a BA from William and Mary and an MEd from Penn State, Kelly has a passion for education and making difficult concepts easy to understand.  

Outside of work, her favorite thing to do is travel with her family. On a normal day when that’s not possible, Kelly can be found baking sourdough, cheering on her teenagers at sports events, or volunteering with the treatment team at the Wildlife Center.

Jennifer Shultz

Jennifer Shultz

Engineer/Designer

Jennifer has partnered with Xdot since 2020 as an engineer, where she uses her SolidWorks expertise to design bearings and test fixtures.  She graduated from Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering and has worked on fun projects such as crashing helicopters, shocking ships, burning rockets, and electrifying cars.

Jennifer lives in Albemarle County with her husband and two kids. She enjoys gardening, home improvement, and hiking the Blue Ridge. Her secret talent is identifying wildflower species at 55 mph.

Turbo Solutions Engineering

Turbo Solutions Engineering provides high-quality turbomachinery design and development services with a focus on customer service and support. The team at Turbo Solutions has extensive experience working closely with new equipment and aftermarket suppliers; government agencies; entrepreneurs; and aerospace, industrial, and process clients.

Rodyn Vibration Analysis, Inc.

Since 1978, Rodyn has been in the forefront of rotor dynamics research and engineering support. Rodyn was founded by Dr. Edgar J. Gunter, professor emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and and founder of the Rotordynamics Lab at the University of Virginia.  Rodyn sells and supports the Dyrobes software suite, designed for engineers who need a powerful tool for the complete analysis of the dynamics of rotating turbomachinery. Dyrobes was created by Dr. Wen Jeng Chen, whose achievements have spanned a broad spectrum of topics in the field of rotordynamics.

Veivos

Veivos delivers excellent website services to keep sites running smoothly and efficiently. The Veivos team understands the importance of a website that’s well designed and error-free. From on-page optimization to design and layout, they pride themselves on keeping their clients’ websites fresh, compelling, and accessible to the public. Veivos has managed the Xdot website for years, ensuring it runs at peak performance every day. Keeping the website healthy allows Xdot’s site to be readily available and easily navigable anytime a potential client finds it.