Interview with a mechanical engineer

Interview with Krishna Deshpande (mechanical engineer )

1.What is your specific profession?
I have done M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and then worked in power sector organization for 8 years doing engineering design and project management. I like automation and work study. My main responsibility was designing small to big size boilers, heat exchangers and overall project management for power plant build projects. I was managing the engineering design automation project, where most of critical design calculations were automated. That helped us to tune major design parameters and allow us give fast responses to engineering proposals.
While I was working in engineering design and project management field, our organization decided to implement ERP (Enterprise resource planning) software, where  I see opportunity of automating various business processes, which includes Sales and Distribution, Order to Cash, Procurement, Manufacturing, so and so forth. I switched my path and decided to go far ERP consulting. I am doing SAP (ERP vendor) consulting since last 17 years now.

2. How does your job connect/involve society?
As a mechanical design engineer, we need to focus on ASME standards and other regulatory board controls. We need to make sure waste (flue gases from Chimney, ash from coal, etc) from power plant should not negatively impact the environment and have our citizens clean and fresh air and water. Reduce Carbon foot print to help reducing global warming. We also attend various mechanical conferences to share and discuss about new methods and technologies and learn from each others to finally give more power for a dollar, try to save natural resources like coal, oil and nature gases.
As I mentioned in previous question, SAP software helps to automate the business process and help users across the globe to have real time data for making the efficient and accurate decisions.
In a way, this helps organizations to do their business effectively, and that includes supply chain management, customers/suppliers relationship management,   Demand Planning, Production Planning etc.

3. How has your job advanced over the years?
Absolutely yes! My job grows horizontally and vertically also. Meaning, I learned different new skills and technologies and I also learned SAP system architecture in more depth. How new technologies and tools can be integrated together to have flawless and effective information flow in right format to right users. Initially my focus was get hands-on experience. Now I am managing global SAP projects and advising on SAP project

4. Do you see your field having major technology/engineering advancements in the coming years? (Tools, Products, Research)
This is technology age. Technology is evolving with tremendous pace. It is challenge to manufacturing companies to keep the pace with it. Keeping carbon footprint low is incentive to organizations, so they are more creative and innovative in this aspect. New engineering design calculation and animation software(s) were developed in last10 years, give visual of fluid dynamics or fluidized coal bed in furnace, that help engineers to see the impact of changing of one or more variable.  
Because of new technologies, there is tremendous change in ERP software. We can approve purchase order through your mobile while we are enjoying your vacation in Hawaii. If someone scanned the product in China warehouse, user in North America will immediately know that product is available to place an order.

5. Will there be any major improvements in regards to aiding the masses of society?
I feel Material science is one area that has tremendous uncovered potential to give to engineering and our society. Today, nanotechnology is focusing on the projects like heart valve replacement, Knee replacement etc. Self healing material concept may become commercial one day and then we do not need to get our car to body repair shop and it will heal itself.  

6. Why do you think Mechanical engineering is very important?
Engineers are innovators. Mechanical engineers help society directly or indirectly in every aspect. That goes from plumbing in your house to building up big refineries or nuclear power plants. Mechanical engineers deal with strength of materials, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, solid mechanics etc. These are basic sciences for all projects and products. Mechanical engineers play very vital role in engineering field.

7. What is the most challenging experience you have encountered?
Most challenging is the ‘making a change’. Basic science law also states that every object has inertia and to make it move we need to apply a force. Same applies with the change. Then that might be a design change, manufacturing process change, organization change, technology change. All these changes pose a challenge when it comes to implement them.  

8. What is the education requirement to obtain a position in Mechanical Engineering?
You need high school diploma and minimum 4 year of undergraduate. Then you have a choice to do master or PhD.
9. What do you love about your job?

Innovation and Challenge.