Dr. Sabnis joined the United Technologies Corporation in 1992 to lead several R&D programmes in propulsion systems and turbomachinery at the Research Center. Six years later at Pratt & Whitney he assumed responsibilities for design/development of gas turbine components. As Director, Mechanical Systems, and then as Director, Aerodynamics, Dr. Sabnis led the groups in developing analytical approaches to design and analysis, implementation of novel design concepts, as well as defining technology programmes related to the respective sub-systems. In 2004, he assumed his current responsibility as Vice President and Chief, System Functional Design. He is one of the three Chief Systems Engineers at P&W, who constitute the System Design Review Board for all phases of Integrated Product Development.
Dr. Sabnis played the lead role in defining the thermodynamic cycle for the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan EngineTM as well as securing air-framer/airline acceptance of this step change in engine architecture. He also led the team responsible for the aerodynamic design of these aircraft engines, which improve fuel consumption by over 15 per cent, while simultaneously reducing the noise. This step reduction in fuel consumption and the noise by these engines enabled the launch of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries MJET, Bombardier C-Series, and Airbus A320neo aircrafts. This engine has now been selected as the sole power plant for the Gen-2 E-Jet aircrafts by EMBRAER. Thus, the engine now powers six different next generation commercial aircrafts with orders for about 3,000 engines already in place. The environmental impact of these improvements is substantial, prompting TIME to recognize the engine as “the most significant development in aviation in 2011”.
During 2012, Dr. Sabnis joined the Aerospace Engineering faculty at the Indian Institute of Science as Visiting Professor to incubate research programmes in Propulsion. He holds six patents and has authored over 20 technical publications. Dr. Sabnis is a member of the advisory board for the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power. Heis a Fellow of AIAA and of ASME.