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Raymond J. Drago, PE, Chief Engineer

Drive Systems Technology, Inc.

Mechanical Power Transmission Consultants

24 Marlborough Lane

Glen Mills, PA 19342-1519

V: 610-358-0785 F: 610-358-2776 Web: www.gear-doc.com; E-Mail: GearDoctor@Verizon.net


Raymond J. Drago is Chief Engineer of Drive Systems Technology, Inc., a Mechanical Power Transmission Consulting Organization that he founded in 1976. Mr. Drago holds a Master of Structural Engineering degree from Drexel University (1980), a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree from The City University of New York (1967), a Master of Engineering degree from The Pennsylvania State University (1973), and is a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Pennsylvania and Minnesota.


He also served as Senior Technical Fellow[1] - Gear Technology of The Boeing Company - Helicopters Division until his retirement from Boeing after 37 years of service. Mr. Drago's primary interests at Boeing were in the areas of applied mathematics, kinematics, analytical gear system design and synthesis, finite element analysis, and computer programming. He was also responsible for the continued development and operation of the company's computer aided gear design systems as well as many related computer programs, including a complete Gear Finite Element Method Analysis System.


Mr. Drago has been and is currently involved in the analysis, design, manufacture, assembly, and test of many gear systems ranging from small wind tunnel model drives, through dedicated research test specimens, to full scale helicopter and marine hardware and a very wide variety of industrial gear/bearing systems. This involvement includes application of computer-aided design, development, supervision of assembly, and testing. He has also been Project Engineer and Principal Investigator on many drive system related research programs ranging from theoretical investigation of nongeared speed reduction concepts to the development of new gear tooth forms.


Mr. Drago is an active participant in the American Helicopter Society (AHS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), and the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers (AISE). Within the framework of these activities, he has published over one hundred twenty technical reports, society technical papers, and magazine articles. AGMA has presented Mr. Drago with the Technical Division Executive Committee Award "...for his outstanding contributions to the art of Gear Design and Utilization." The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has also presented him with two awards for his development of a NASTRAN Analysis System for Spiral Bevel Gears and his work on determining the Influence of Contact Ratio And Tooth Form on Gearbox Noise, noting that his "...innovation as an item of potential utility and value to others beyond the aerospace field is a significant contribution to the benefits accruing to the Nation from our national aerospace programs." He has also been awarded two patents "High Profile Contact Ratio, Non-Involute Gear Tooth Form and Method" (4,640,149) defining a new and unique gear tooth form and “High Ratio, Reduced Size Epicyclic Gear Transmission for Rotary Wing Aircraft With Improved Safety and Noise Reduction” (6,966,865) defining a unique High Ratio, Ultra Safe, High Contact Ratio, Staggered & Intermeshed Planet, Double Helical Epicyclic Gear System that provides a redundant load path for increased safety and reduced operating noise level.


In his role as Chief Engineer of Drive Systems Technology, Inc. Mr. Drago is active in all areas of mechanical power transmission. These activities include the design and analysis of drive systems for such diverse areas as large, high speed paper, printing and cardboard machinery, commercial marine drives, heart pumps, large oil field valves, high speed cable climbing devices, high speed gas turbine/generator sets, special automotive racing gearboxes, artificial limbs, mine shaft hoists, air and water cooled condensers, miniature gear motors (120 IN-OZ Torque range), automatic bolt torquing devices, very large mining & mill gears, municipal & industrial water and waste water processing system drives and small private helicopter conversions (piston to turbine engines). He has also provided consulting services aimed at cost and noise reductions for many consumer products such as electric drills, home mixers, vacuum cleaners, and ice crushers. Mr. Drago has provided consulting services in field failure analysis and patent and trade secret litigation by detailing the State-of-the-Art in mechanical power transmission systems and interpreting technical information for the legal staff. He has also served as an expert witness in Federal Court. He has provided design and trouble shooting services for large mixing and aeration equipment drives, very large (40 foot diameter) steel, aluminum, and minerals processing mill drives, automotive transmissions, and precision tool positioning tables, among a host of others. Over three hundred clients, across the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Australia, have been served by Drive Systems Technology, Inc.


He has also prepared and delivered almost two hundred seminars dealing with various aspects of gear design and analysis, served as a Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering (at the University of Delaware & University of Pisa, Italy). Mr. Drago was selected to author the Gear Drive Section of the Bureau of Mines Hoist Specification, The Helical Gear Section of the New McGraw-Hill Handbook of Machine Design, the Basic Gear Geometry section of the Second Edition of the McGraw-Hill Gear Handbook, Chapters 8 & 15 of the SAE Gear Design - Manufacturing and Inspection Manual, Chapter 4 Helical Gears of McGraw-Hill's GEARING, A Mechanical Designer's Workbook. He has also published a book based on his seminar notes entitled Fundamentals of Gear Design (Butterworth Publishers). Mr. Drago also authored the Gears and Work, Power, & Machines Chapters for the New Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia published by GROLIER, Inc, Hawleyville, CT.


In 2009, Mr. Drago was the first recipient of the American Gear Manufacturers Association “Distinguished Service Award.” This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of gear technology and has also provided service to the gear community in the form of extensive educational efforts.

[1] According to the citation issued by Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Shrontz, his appointment as a Technical Fellow of The Boeing Company is in recognition of his "...exceptional judgment and competence...not only at Boeing but throughout industry."