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Who's Who: Gopa Padmanabhan

Spring 2024

Gopakumar Padmanabhan (Gopa) is a software engineer on the GSL Verification team. His primary role is team lead for the group that evaluates and migrates to the next-generation database platforms.  Gopa previously served GSL in the role of architect developing solar X-ray-image (SXI) displays and related software.

Before joining the GSL verification team, Gopa worked at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center as a software architect, for IBM and Informix as team lead, and Burmair Research as software architect.

Gopa hails from Kerala, a state located in the southwest corner of India. He did his undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, India.  He started his career with the Indian Space Research Organization, primarily focused on the design and development of its polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).  He then did a short stint in Bahrain with Intergraph Corporation before moving to the USA and joining the IBM database development group. While working at IBM, he earned his Masters in Computer Science from the  University of Denver.

Academically, Gopa’s favorite subject is physics and he loves to mentor high school and undergrad level students in physics-related studies.  He also has a keen interest in eastern philosophy and this, along with a life-changing journey to the Himalayas while he was in India, inspired him to convert to being a vegetarian.

A keen interest in eastern philosophy and a a life-changing journey to the Himalayas inspired him to become a vegetarian.

Gopa lives in Highlands Ranch, CO, with his wife and two sons.  His elder son did his undergraduate studies in Aerospace Engineering at CU Boulder and currently works for a software company. His younger son is just finishing his undergraduate studies in Computer Engineering at University of Washington.

Gopa has always loved the outdoors and while in India hiked a couple of Himalian peaks (not Everest, though).  So Gopa naturally fell in love with the Colorado outdoors and loves to organize and hike Colorado’s 14-ers.  He has summited Longs Peak, La Plata, Elbert and a few others and is looking forward to adding more to his portfolio.

Gopa hiking Machu Picchu

Gopa’s other hobbies are woodworking and motorcycling.  His cars have never had the luxury of being inside his garage, since that space is taken up by tools and motorcycles. He feels that Colorado is such an awesome place to be, and every year he loves being here more and more.  Working for NOAA in weather research ties in with Gopa’s interests on many levels, his love for nature, his interest in science and many others. 

Gopa's garage and his toys