I am P.V.S.G. Raju, 9 pointer, Lit-Sec of Tapti and AOE addict. My areas of interest include but are not limited to operations research, mathematical modelling analysis and optimization of systems, weather forecasting and traffic flow management. My areas of disinterest include but are not limited to law, arts, medicine, teaching and core research. I hope not to end up in one of these fields if I can help it.
Volvo Aero designs, analyzes and manufactures components for aircraft and rocket engines. This was the first time they were taking interns. Not trusting their HR guys (whom I later found to be as useless as HR guys everywhere else) with the selection process, they let the department of mechanical engineering choose a student for them to take. The department of course, picked the guy with the highest CG.
I chose the company for two reasons: 1) It was a recognizable brand and if I was going to do an MBA or something similar after insti, what I did in the company might not be as important as the company itself. 2) It was in Bangalore. Good home food and great weather are bigger incentives than anything else.
I was expecting a large office with millions of people slogging it out in their own small cubicles oblivious to the rest of the world, but I was surprised on day one. Volvo Aero India has 22 full time employees and another 30 consultants. The office in Bangalore is a product development centre. Product design, analysis and elementary process management are handled here. The manufacturing plants and larger offices are in Trollhattan, Sweden and Connecticut, USA.
A small office meant that everyone knows everybody else and there are no imaginary divisions on the lines of teams yet. The employees were all very helpful and whenever anyone needed any help with anything, he just had to say it out loud and somebody almost immediately comes up with something to put it in order. This was perfect environment to learn something new.
I developed a FE model checker to automate the model checking process. The FE models in analysis are huge and analysis takes a very long time. Also, safety is a critical factor in the airline industry and so the models have to be satisfactory (geometry and loading) before analysis. The validation is manual and so the checker by automating it and generating a report saves a lot of time and human effort. The work was more coding than real engineering. The mechanical engineering department is unlikely to be happy with that, but they gave me this. With a lot of help from everyone all around the office, I could complete the project within the allotted 6 weeks. It worked!
I am not sure about what I’m planning to do later. The work here was good in that I could help reduce time, in line with my goals of optimal utilization of resources in the long run. But it is core engineering and I’m not sure if I want to hang around my subjects that long. That aside, I loved the environment and if I don’t like anything else by the time I’m done, I’ll just accept their informal PPO.