David Wait

VP, Research and Development
David Wait
David Wait is SolarReserve’s Vice President of Engineering, responsible for Research and Development and New Product Development, incorporating next-generation technology into the company’s future multi-scale solar energy projects.

In 2014, SolarReserve strategically acquired Aerojet Rocketdyne’s solar thermal energy business, including full ownership of the intellectual property rights related to their molten salt technology for solar thermal power and electricity storage applications, as well as heliostat designs and collector field control systems. The industry’s top solar thermal technology experts from Rocketdyne transitioned to SolarReserve as well, including David Wait who brought his knowledge and experience in the design of the 565 MWt central receiver and heliostat field control system for the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant with thermal energy storage.  He was a key member of the team that performed the first operational check-out tests at the company’s flagship Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. As the Principal Investigator for a recently completed Department of Energy SunShot award, Wait developed the design for a high temperature solar receiver and new solar absorbing coating capable of operating above 800°C.

During his 35 years at Rocketdyne, Wait was a key contributor in the design, development, testing, and demonstration of some of the world’s first-of-a-kind energy systems. By virtue of a history that spanned several owners (North American Aviation, Rockwell International Energy Systems Group, Boeing Power and Propulsion Division, United Technologies, and Aerojet) he was fortunate to have played key roles in the development of many new energy technologies ranging from space-based nuclear and electrical power to terrestrial-based power systems. Among his many accomplishments were key roles in the design and operation of the world’s largest liquid metal test facilities for the U.S. breeder reactor program, design and testing of solar-thermal space propulsion systems, design and testing of the electrical power and thermal control systems for International Space Station, and development and testing of the Kalina thermodynamic cycle. 

Wait holds a B.S. degree in Physics and a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA. He is co-inventor on six patents and has authored several papers in peer-reviewed journals.