"Study In-Depth, Do Not Study Just to Pass the Test" - Siddhant Gupta

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1. What was the most challenging engineering project you've worked on, and how did you overcome the difficulties it presented?

Project: KIA Motors
Location Penukonda

I would say this was most challenging because apart from regular challenges which we face in any engineering project, like shortage of labour, machine, or cost, there were additional challenges like :

• Remote Location – Project was in a remote location, around 200kms from Bangalore on Hyderabad road, and our company was based out of Gurgaon. This was overall a huge project as KIA Motors was setting up a new car factory in India. When we reached, all the hotels and even the small houses in the village were already occupied. We had to either travel from Banglore, or we use to stay in containers with limited resources.

• Language Barriers – Another challenge was to interact with the local contractors and Labourers as they use to speak the local language. Project location being Karnataka Andhra border, some knew only Kannada and some only Telgu. Moreover, KIA Motors being a Korean company, had mostly Korean staff, and they did not know English. So we use to depend heavily on translators, even for interacting with labourers.

 Skilled Labour – Being a large scale project, more than 100 companies were working on the project. There was a shortage of skilled manpower, and our in-house manpower was not enough. He had to train new people, and they use to run away after learning a skill as the demand was very high. So we had to continuously train monitor and monitor work for 18-20 hrs a day.

There were more challenges like food -we use to survive on cold storage food mostly, hectic travel, material shortage, weather conditions etc. Despite all odds, we completed the project on time and got huge appreciation from KIA Motors and Hyundai Engineering Company. We also learned that in extreme situations, we have to break the timelines and focus on achieving daily goals.

2. How do you present technical concepts to a non-technical audience during a stakeholder meeting or client presentation?

We come across this situation in almost every client meeting wherever we are presenting an idea to the client. Below are the few ideas which make life easier:

Visual content has a better impact – I try to use visuals or related videos which helps in better understanding.

Focus on impact/end result while explaining any technical glitch – Non-technical people understand the usage, so it is a good idea to focus on working of a machine/ ease of usage.

Giving similar life examples – I also try to know the background of the person whom I am going to present a technical concept. I try to frame examples related to his field. For example, if I'm in a meeting with sports fans, I might relate what I'm saying to the way a stadium is structured.

Avoid technical jargon when possible – Try using layman's terms as much as possible.

3. What type of engineering work do you have the greatest passion for, and why do you enjoy it so much?

My interest is in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), although it's a part of the overall work which I do. It is my favourite as it directly leads to quality of life, be it Air quality, comfort air conditioning in summers, heating in winters or humidity control.  

4. What engineering resources do you use to stay on top of the latest news, technology and developments in the field?

Being a Project Manager, we track the projects timelines on Microsoft Projects (MSP). For technical learning, I keep myself updated through various industry codes/standards related by my field. Few of the important standards/software are :

ASHRAE standards for HVAC
ACAD for Engineering drawing
MSP for preparing project schedules
BIFMA for sustainability and durability
ISO standards

5. How would you manage a client or stakeholder who's pushing back on parts of an engineering plan that are in place for safety reasons?

I will make him understand the repercussions, like if he eliminates a part and if someone gets hurt he will have to spend much more amount and time to rectify it.

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring engineers?

Study in-depth, do not study just to pass the test. 

7. Which is your favourite book and Why?

"LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT" BY Preeti Shenoy. A book that depicts the life of a common girl in India and is very inspirational.

Interview by - Kashish Jain
"Study In-Depth, Do Not Study Just to Pass the Test" - Siddhant Gupta "Study In-Depth, Do Not Study Just to Pass the Test" - Siddhant Gupta Reviewed by Anshul Chauhan on June 28, 2020 Rating: 5

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