Statement by a student from India (12/2002)
The Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Student

“Conceiving ideas and developing systems that deliver that promise” is a personal goal that I have set for myself. When translated into actions this goal has reinforced my belief in leadership through creativity.

As a student in high school I had the idea of a drip irrigation system by a windmill. Using some old hose pipes, plastic tubes and a pulley arrangement I developed the model. This model won the gold medal at the prestigious Indian National science congress. While still in the third year of undergraduate program in Engineering I became the Technical consultant for a start up company. My technical idea won the first prize at Eureka 50K, India’s first Business Plan competition. For the past two and a half years I have been working in XXX corporation. The will to learn and the ability to spend long hours of cerebration on trouble shooting have made me a dependable team player.

Today as a 24-year-old individual I perceive that life for me has been a process of conscious evolution. The most integral part of this growth is the value system imbibed in me by my parents, teachers and my mentors and an intrigued liking for science. This played a vital role in my decision making for the future. As I finished high school I was selected for the Indian Naval Academy with merit ranking in the Top 25 in the country. However my liking for science guided me into pursuing a Bachelor degree in Electrical Electronics and Power (EEP) Engineering. This decision gave me ample opportunity to consolidate my creative energies and harness my technical aptitude.

In college, I always enjoyed long hours in the labs. It gave me the opportunity to correlate theory to practical phenomena. This in turn gave me a better understanding of the subject and newer lines of thinking. The course in EEP covered a wide panorama of subjects. Besides the core Electrical Engineering subjects I also studied major electronics subjects like electronic devices and circuits, Linear Integrated Circuits and Pulse and Digital switching circuits. I learnt programming in ANSI C and by the time I was in final year I developed a fair amount of expertise writing complex pieces of code.

In the third year of my engineering studies I was introduced to the subject of Control Systems. The first session in the labs was devoted to developing simple programs for a Simatic PLC. A combination of AND, OR blocks generating a complete control circuit for a motor fascinated me. I took up an internship in the Controls Lab and got to interact with Prof. A, a professor of great repute in the field of Automation and Controls. He introduced me to the synergies of Information technology and Automation systems. Under his guidance I completed the thesis in PC based Load Flow Analysis and also worked with the Mechanical Dept for PC based control of Robotic Arm.

Working on the projects gave me a sound technical base. But the greatest advantage of involving myself in these activities was that I developed the ability to multi-task effectively. Besides the college academics I was actively involved in the extra-curricular activities. I represented my college at state level Table Tennis and Debate competitions. I wanted to self-finance my education and worked part-time. I was also an active amateur environmentalist. The driving force behind all this was my aim to develop all the facets of my personality. In this process I could not achieve the grades I wanted to in the first and second year. But soon I garnered the skill of judicious allocation of time and energy. I did well in the third year and final year of Engineering. Moreover I do not feel that the marks I scored are the sole indicators of my understanding of the subject. A cogent reason to augment my belief is the final year of my engineering.

XX ( my present employer) visited the college campus and offered me a job in the area of Process Automation and MES. I was among the twenty candidates selected from the best institutes across the country. I passed the six rounds of technical and personal interviews and I was the only student to be selected from the college. I decided to take up the job. For me it meant a chance to apply the knowledge gained so far in Controls and Automation systems and gain some industrial exposure. Besides this the job can help finance some part of my future education.

Unlike the milieu of the college, the corporate environment was very much different. The concept of learning on the job, accountability for the work at hand, conformance to in- housework flow standards gave me a greater focus. The most challenging aspect however was the rate of the learning, which was immense. In one year I developed competence in Real - time Energy management solutions. As part of my first project I developed software for Energy Management in a Cement Plant. The concept was based on the collection of Real-time Data from the DCS (Digital Control System) and populating a Database. With a certain degree of intelligence built into the software energy saving in the Cement unit was as high as 5%. This was a solution implemented for the first time by XX corporation in a Cement Plant. In recognition of my work I was selected as a team member for the deployment of the XX Industrial IT platform solutions.

I deployed solutions in the field of Statistical Process control and Asset Optimization in Metals and Cement Industries. During these projects I got to interact with the R&D teams in XX and I also went through some research papers in my leisure time. The experience gained in the deployment of solutions and interaction with the technical teams of customers gave me a new insight. I realized that the business process decision making and the technical processes are not integrated in Real time. Although solutions like ERP aim to achieve this goal, information still exists in islands. In order to seamlessly integrate these areas a new architecture that links Automation systems and MES solutions needs to be developed. However this calls for comprehensive research. I cannot pursue this idea while still in a job. Besides an academic program under the guidance of able professors would help me identify my specific research interests. Hence I have decided to pursue my Master degree in a research-focused environment.

The Center for Intelligent Machines Industrial Automation Lab at YY offers the best courses in this domain. The application driven research and development carried out in this lab coheres to my liking. I would like to carry out my research under the guidance of Prof. B. I believe that under his supervision I can proactively contribute to the work done in the Lab. His areas of work are of great interest to me and I believe that I can prove to be an effective and reliable team member in carrying out cutting edge research in this domain.
 

Close this Window