SBIR/STTR Program Director, National Science Foundation
Murali S. Nair is a program director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program. He is currently responsible for the following topic areas: robotics technology, wireless technology, Internet of Things, and space technology. Prior to joining NSF in January 2003, he was the founder and CEO of a wireless product company. In this capacity, he raised equity capital for worldwide operations in China, India, and the U.S. He designed, planned, and implemented the product development cycle, and managed the marketing strategy, strategic alliances, and business development processes. Before that, Murali was a senior systems engineer at Storm Control Systems, where he provided strategic advice to the executive vice president for a complete re-plan of the Hughes contract for real-time, embedded ground control software for the PanAmSat communications satellite. Prior to joining Storm, he was a Mission Planner at Motorola Iridium, where he was involved in all aspects of satellite operations, including orbit determination, generating guidance targets, and orbital slot placement. Before joining Iridium, Murali was a faculty member at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he developed an entire Space Systems Design Lab from concept inception to fully operational mode and national prominence, and supervised five space system designs, three of which were winners in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA)/Loral Design Competition. He is a recipient of a number of awards including the President’s Innovation Award for Space Systems Design Courses. In 2009, Murali received the NSF Meritorious Award, the second-highest award from the National Science Foundation.