I spent my childhood in Rajkot, an industrial city in India. It is a manufacturing hub for automotive components. It was then famous for diesel engines and enjoyed approximately triple quarter Indian market share. My regular Sunday visit to my uncle’s casting factory molded my interests pertaining to manufacturing processes. In 2006 unfortunately, many diesel engine industrial plants and their vendors failed. This paralsed families employees-financially and emotionally, hurting secondary dependent businesses, and total disorder in this manufacturing sector. A diagnosis of decline reveals the typical suspects: stiff competition from computer-technology leveraged players of other states & countries and inefficiency in operation & faster turnaround to the clients. This was a period when any form of computer-aided design, visualization, quality control and ERP systems were alien concepts, firms instead solely counted upon on experiences.
“The best problems to work on are often the ones nobody else even tries to solve.”
? Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
I would like to pursue a Master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering. My broad interests are Technology and Engineering Management, Operations and Analytics, and Financial Analytics. The childhood experiences fascinated me to pursue Mechanical Engineering and thorough my hard work, I go admitted to Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.
For a purpose to bring technological change in metal casting, the process I had observed numerous times on shop floor. I started working on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a pioneering technology for future metal casting die making. Based on my project work in sophomore year coupled with my enthusiasm I was offered the Summer Undergraduate Research Grant for Excellence (SURGE), given by Dean of Resource & Alumni. I worked on the complex thermo-fluidic modeling of small transient melt pool during the irradiation of powder layer in the Selective Laser Melting (SLM), a type of metal 3D printing. I was further motivated when my work was accepted in 6th International Conference on ‘Additive Manufacturing Technologies-AM 2016 at Bangalore. The experience helped me cultivate the skill of developing pragmatic models and simulations from scientific queries and hypotheses.
After the summer program, I progressed to develop 3D models with moving lasers and incorporated cooling of the melt pool. The related work was awarded Research Paper Award at 3rd International Conference on Materials Science, Metal & Manufacturing (M3 2016) held in Singapore. I also worked on thermo-mechanical simulation to infer failure stress of 3D printed parts. The knowledge gained proved extremely vital for the study of various modeling techniques used in simulating processes.
My penchant for understanding underlying phenomena in the field of mechanical engineering secured me a chance to work at Unilever India (Hindustan Unilever Ltd.). During my internship, I worked on technology up-gradation for packaging lines for BRU Coffee brand. Examined current challenges in packing technology & sourcing plan w.r.t productivity, future demand & powder plant constraints. The machines were less productive and manpower intensive even after upgrading major components to the latest. Formulated Do Nothing Scenario (DNS) case to quantify the urgency of the technology up gradation. Proposed new primary packing technology and End of Line solution for 15K tonnes, developed new sourcing and production plans for 30% of the whole coffee portfolio. I also optimized the logistics of coffee powder and finished product between production plant and packaging factories using linear optimization model. I also coordinated with the manufacturing, supply chain, finance and quality teams for de-bottlenecking current packaging lines. Reduced Man-hour per tonne (MHPT) from 20.2 to 6.4 and increased capacity/shift per machine from 2.0 to 3.4 tons leading to consolidated augment in annual capacity by 2300 tonnes. I developed investment roadmap of $4.5M with the Internal rate of return (IRR) of 49% and a payback period of 2.1 years. Through this internship, I developed an understanding of the supply chain management, optimization algorithms, and data-driven decision making. I also learned concepts of corporate finance while studying cash flows and the time value of money. Apart from the technological scope, this experience aided me in honing my skills pertaining to leadership and teamwork.
My research and industrial experience motivated me to pursue a project where I can leverage skills in the conceptualization of a product. My B.Tech Project focused on design and fabricate a low-cost, passive prosthetic knee for transfemoral amputees. The conceptualized knee joint was fundamentally intended to incorporate squatting posture, a position prevalent in developing countries of Asia-Africa. The 6-bar knee joint is more stable and moreover has better performance over 4-bar or hinge type knee. The 6-bar knee links design was based on inverse kinematics approach with loop closure analysis of actual trajectory points of the ankle joint. Using my linear programming skills, learned during the internship, I optimized the link mechanism by minimization of error objective function between design and actual trajectory points of the ankle. This design also improves the walking gait relative to existing low-cost devices. When tested, the prototype provided great relief in walking relative to existing low-cost devices. I sensed great satisfaction in using scientific skills for solving pressing social problems.
To build analytic and business abilities, I undertook elective courses of Macro-Economics, Monetary Economics, Probability & Statistics, and Philosophy of Science. My exposure to Linear Programming optimization during internship and B.Tech Project excited me to learn the mathematics of various optimization techniques and machine learning. The courses on Probability & Statistics and Data Mining supplemented my knowledge base of data modeling techniques. My project on credit-card fraud detection helped me in understanding predictive data analytics techniques. Additionally, participating in datathons also augmented my interest in data mining and knowledge discovery. Further, post my graduation, I have been working at Wipro Ltd. as Associate Consultant, developing computational and numerical models for a financial institution. I am part of Risk and Compliance team helping one of the top African Bank for Asset Liability Management and Liquidity Risk Management. I have gained an experience in PDE, programming, algorithms and I believe they would be very useful during computational need in my research career. The constant learning cultural at the firm has supported me in completing 5 online courses (Pluralsight & Udemy courses) pertaining to Python, R and machine learning.
The pursuit of graduate study at Stanford enthralls me for the expertise of the university in transforming the buds of its students’ technology ideas into hugely successful businesses. Having learned various aspects of 3D Printing, technology management, ventures, and data modeling, I find great predilection in combing these skills to provide a technological solution to the manufacturing sector, especially in India. I aspire to develop a product pertaining to object conceptualization, visualization, and manufacturing. An opportunity to pursue Management Science and Engineering would be instrumental helping me in this journey of elevating Indian Manufacturing sector. I would like to work on the projects involving in STVP, Operations [email protected] Stanford. The AFTLab does some fascinating work in the field of financial technology and Risk, I would also like to explore this as well.
Through my strong desire to seek in-depth knowledge in the field of technology, management, and operation, I am confident of being an asset to the research group that I join. My engineering-economic experience is a good testimony of my commitment to adding scientific value and bringing honor to the institute. Lastly, I am grateful for considering my candidature.