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Our Leadership

Youping Gao, PhD

Chief Scientist & EVP of Technology

Dr. Youping Gao founded Castheon, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA in 2016 after a twenty-year career at Aerojet Rocketdyne, the last ten years of which were as lead of the additive manufacturing team.  Since its founding, Castheon has proven its excellence in additively manufacturing using many materials (aluminum, titanium, copper, Ni-base superalloys, and refractory alloys), with components ranging from concepts for rocket thrusters to concepts for refractory-metal hypersonic leading edges.

Dr. Gao is a hands on researcher that identified many process fundamentals, gained comprehensive understanding, theorized them and reduced them to a successful practice that made Castheon’s advancement in AM a robust, high quality, first time through manufacturing process.

Dr. Gao developed the now widely used “Gao Block”. This physical metallurgy-based AM development object enables rapid and robust AM parameter development. It not only rapidly optimizes AM process parameters, but it is also used to optimize microstructure for the best material properties. A successful build of a Gao block, with no distortion, is a clear indicator of a successful set of build parameters for the alloy in question.

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