News 2021

Happy Engineer's Day

Chapter: ASEI National

Sir M. Visvesvaraya was an eminent civil engineer, a scholar and a statesman who was awarded India's highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna in 1955. He is credited with inventing the automated steel doors that close the water overflows in dams. Sept 15th, his birth anniversary is celebrated as Engineer's Day.

Feel free to engage with us socially on Linkedin or Twitter to tell us about your #engineering hero 
Dedicated to all engineering friends in the US, India and beyond, Happy Engineer's day!

Youth Corner: Who is Sania Jain - Environmentalist, Inventor , Author or entrepreneur?

Chapter: ASEI National

Sania Jain is a current sophomore at Prospect High School. When she was a little kid, Sania had an opportunity to go on a glacier trip in Alaska and she fell in love with the whale tails! Little did she realize that this moment sparked a passion for nature that would influence her creative projects from here on out.
     A creative writing course she later took during her third grade allowed her to channel her love for nature into writing when she published her first book, called, “The Great Forest Adventure”. Her parents tapped into her love for writing and encouraged it, allowing her to publish four more books on various topics.
     Wow! As if that was not enough, Sania’s endless creativity has led to several inventions and innovations. This includes SaniaBox, an add-on board “raspberry pi” kit to explore circuits and coding, and even a non-profit called Copper Bottles Series that spreads awareness about global warming, animal poaching, and ocean pollution.
     When asked how she was able to achieve so many things at such a young age, Sania humbly attributes her success to the support she has received from organizations like Moonshot Jr and many individuals who helped bring her ideas to life. That is why she believes in organizations like ASEI that help connect professionals together. With ASEI, Sania hopes to continue inspiring other kids to create, persevere, and try new things.
This article is based on conversations Aditya Guthey, an ASEI Silicon Valley chapter member and a career coach has had with Sania Jain for ASEI Youth Corner. A short excerpt is here  ASEI has a partnership with MoonshotJr - a Silicon Valley based startup that accelerates youths' path from STEM education to entrepreneurship. Click to avail special offers for ASEI community.

Did you get our September Newsletter and Lineup of upcoming events ?

Chapter: ASEI National

The September  2021 edition of ASEI Newsletter was sent in the beginning of this month to all those who are on our mailing list till August end. In case you missed it, here is the web version. Happy reading and catching up on all that happened in the last month and what lies ahead with your society! We have a series of events planned for this month representing #YouthEmpowerment , #University Connect as well as Knowledge sharing and Networking initiatives
ASEI is a volunteer run professional organization and we welcome your involvement. We request feedback and especially welcome any articles, blogs or ideas you would like to contribute. Please be in touch with anyone from the content/editorial team. 
In case you are  not receiving our emails, please check your spam/junk or promotions folder and change the settings in your mailbox to deliver ASEI emails in your in-box. If you still did not find our newsletter please send an email to for us to investigate.
Don't forget to join and subscribe to #asei Youtube channel to be reminded and notified when we livestream. We are also adopting new channels of communication including an open Linkedin page, Twitter, Facebook and Clubhouse to connect with you. Do join in, provide feedback and volunteer to  get engaged. More info on our upcoming program this week is below

Emerging Trends and Promise of Cloud in the Post Covid era - Part1

Chapter: ASEI National

This is a point of view by the authors to give an overview of the cloud market and emerging opportunities in this first article of a  multi  part series on cloud computing and application modernization as we explore and reason what has changed in the past 18 months and what does the post-pandemic era have in store for the cloud vendors and customers. 
The pace of digitization accelerated nearly 7X globally during the pandemic, as huge portions of the economy moved to digital channels and these trends are here to last. Cloud infrastructure is a critical enabler for this digital transformation and in the post pandemic world this trend of cloud adoption is only going to accelerate. As per a study by Gartner,  worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecasted to grow 18.4% in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020. Cloud is projected to make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020. 
However, a more granular view gives a better assessment of what happened, and where the trend lines are headed. In a report from CloudHealth, here are a few takeaways:
-Total cloud spending increased in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the leap in 2020 was not huge. This was partly owing to the free services offered by cloud providers during the pandemic and the cost optimization measures enforced by organizations in a bid to control operational expenses. However, in 2021 a significant jump of 18% is forecasted by Gartner in end user spending on cloud services. 
-Spending on compute services, which is by far the biggest spend, actually decreased in the same period
-Container usage saw a big increase in 2020, even in verticals that saw decreased total cloud spending. Increasingly enterprises are looking into moving applications from physical hardware and virtual machines (VM) into containers and deriving benefits such as increased portability, faster application development & deployment etc.
-Cloud vendors and their System Integrator partners are focussed on helping customers derive the maximum value from their cloud investments, with  strategic consulting and operational offerings.
Why Cloud and Why now ?
The pandemic has brought to the forefront a number of fundamental shifts which are driving growth in cloud adoption, few examples:
-Increased focus on business continuity planning & agility in the business
-Increased demand for e-commerce, e-learning, telehealth, video-on-demand etc
-Explosion in demand for remote work, hybrid work will continue to be the preferred model in the post-Covid world
-Dramatic swings in demand cycles increasing the importance for pay per use models
Conversations with enterprises on the rationale for moving to the cloud is now much broader than simply saving costs & having a better infrastructure. It is now about cloud making the business more adaptable & agile, about enabling innovation, reinvention and growth. Public cloud providers continue to make huge investments to enhance their platforms and move up the stack providing key capabilities that enterprises had to earlier build themselves. This is allowing enterprises to focus on capabilities that truly drive innovation & differentiation in their business. There are still some enterprises in the early stages of cloud adoption that are migrating workloads to the cloud solely for cheaper compute & storage. They are doing a simple lift & shift of their on-premises workloads to the cloud and are often disappointed with the ROI unless they include other critical aspects of the cloud migration such as automation of IT processes, leveraging cloud native technologies, cloud ecosystems and marketplaces etc. 
The trend of companies adopting  multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategy continues to accelerate, almost all large enterprises are deploying workloads on more than one public cloud while also keeping some data on private clouds if necessary owing to data residency/sensitivity, regulations, latency and other reasons. Per an IDG Cloud Computing Survey, over half  (55%) of organizations who have embraced cloud,   currently use multiple public clouds, with 21% saying they use three or more. This is further corroborated by analysts at IDC who project that more than 90% of enterprises will use a mix of public, private and on-premises environments by 2022. That said, the disruption of traditional IT caused by cloud computing is here to stay and we should be moving from fear-uncertainty and disinformation (FUD) and chaos during the pandemic to a rapid and  orderly adoption and refactoring of traditional applications in the post pandemic era.
Looking forward
Human species haven't stopped innovating since the early days of human civilization. The need for automation has been increasing historically since the Renaissance and days of the industrial revolution when the printing press replaced handwritten manuscripts. We are said to be in the fourth wave of industrial revolution since 2010 but the post Covid-era could be labelled Industry 5.0 ! The remarkable  pace of adoption of innovation and automation across industries especially with a customer service component can certainly be attributed to COVID induced lockdowns and fresh thinking and introspection when almost within weeks companies digitally transformed and  devised strategies to enable remote work for most of their employees without missing a beat. That would not have been possible without the progress in Internet, cloud computing and automation technologies in the past two decades. Since  2020  we increasingly come across exciting real life success stories  of Customer Service Innovation (e.g. Call Center AI ), Voice based user experience interfaces (e.g. Chatbots) and a plethora of AI/ML use case adoption (predictive maintenance, autonomous driving, advanced robotics etc to name a few). The common denominator is advancement in cloud technologies and its rapid adoption. The cloud market is growing fast and as various analyst reports have stated and is already huge but we are just getting started and may only have touched  less than 10% of its potential. We will deep dive further in subsequent articles in this series. 

About the Authors:
Himanshu Kapoor is a Customer Success & Professional Services Executive with extensive background in leading technology led transformation for clients and client facing teams at leading organizations like IBM, Cisco Infosys and currently Google. In addition to his expertise in Go To Market Strategy, he brings a deep understanding of public cloud platforms like Google Cloud & AWS. 
Piyush Malik is a veteran of data-driven  business transformations across multiple industry domains having served customers worldwide & leading multicultural teams spread over 40 countries and  helping with digital transformation, cloud adoption and applied data science/AI/ML journeys. Having served in strategy, management consulting and application software leadership roles at PWC,IBM, Cadence Design in US as well as product management with Tata group in India, he is currently a SVP at  SpringML,  a Premier Google Partner, besides being active with several industry bodies and non-profits including ASEI

Aerospace is hot - A conversation with Dr Shreekant Agrawal in Engineering Tales #6

Chapter: ASEI National

Dr Shreekant Agarwal is a quintessential ASEI “Lifer” In this conversation with ASEI President Piyush Malik, he shares his professional journey as well as origins of his ASEI Involvement till date. He also shared how he selected his engineering branch and followed his passion for Aeronautical engineering and how he has been involved with design and development of Flight systems,  defence fighter jets, missiles as well as now very cool urban air mobility autonomous machines. It was fascinating to learn more about his passion for his chosen field where he uses principles of maths and physics on a daily basis on the job till date!
His journey from India  to US started from IIT Kharagpur where he earned a BTech degree and came to US for Masters at University of Maryland. He went on to get his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan. 
 His  involvement in ASEI started in 2005 when he planned for and  chaired a successful National Convention in Los Angeles held in 2006. He was an executive board member of the Southern California chapter from 2004 until 2009. He served as the president of the SoCal chapter from 2007 to 2009. He also served as the treasurer and board member of the ASEI National from 2010 to 2011, and then as the chairman of the ASEI National from 2011 to 2013. Since then, he has served as an advisory board member. 
Dr. Agrawal has been in the aerospace profession for 4 decades. For his contributions to the industry, he  was selected Engineer of the Year by the Chinese Institute of Engineers, USA,in 2004.
 He is currently the head of Flight Technology at the Urban Air Mobility Division of the Hyundai Motor Group. He joined at the beginning of 2021. Earlier, he was at the Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems in Redondo Beach, CA, where he worked for over 6 years as a director of Flight Sciences within the Vehicle Engineering directorate. In that role, he provided functional excellence in terms of people, processes, tools, and products.  Prior to joining NorthropGrumman, he worked at the Boeing company for about 29 years, where he had a variety of assignments in functional, program management, and technology management, and was a technical fellow since 1996 in the Boeing Research & Technology Flight Sciences organization,managing and working on supersonic low-boom research projects, strategic planning for technology development for future products, and corporate initiatives.
 He also spoke about an interesting stint where he has served as the chief operating officer and director of operations for a joint venture between Boeing and Tata in the Boeing Defense Military Aircraft Division. 
He was the program manager for the Boeing Defense Engineering common process development and implementation across all sites and new programs. He also worked in the Boeing Defense Air Force Space Systems engineering management organization, where he led the processes and tools effort (systems engineering, program management best practices, CMMI, etc.) for military satellites, and was the sector technology integration leader. 
As a leader of the High-Speed Aerodynamics Technology group and as a leader of the NASA/Industry High Speed Research program, he led the aerodynamics, flight controls, stability control, laminar flow control, propulsion/airframe integration, and sonic boom research efforts.
His contributions range from developing and applying advanced aerodynamics/computational analysis and design optimization methods for military aircraft, supersonic commercial transport, hypersonic missiles, and space launch vehicles. He has contributed to the development of products such as F/A-18E/F, T-45, Air Refueling Tanker, hypersonic missiles, and several development programs. He has 12 publications in the archival journals, over 50 papers in various conferences, and 1 patent on supersonic aircraft design.
The conversation also touched on the latest space industry trend- Space Tourism and the commercial and entrepreneurial opportunities it offers. He shared his thoughts about the euphoria on opening up space tourism with Sir Branson and Jeff Bezos going onto space in July and all the hoopla  about us becoming a multi planetary species. He had a clear message for audience wanting to explore Space Tech- “it's red hot and get involved!”

During this discussion Dr Agrawal also emphasized the role that  organizations like ASEI play and their importance and why should folks join hands with ASEI. This very inspiring discussion went from zoom to youtube live chat to an extended audio chat session on Clubhouse, the latter being the latest “experiment” in social media that we at ASEI are exploring for spreading our message to a wider audience. Would love your feedback on our programs, especially this episode of Engineering Tales!

COVID Warriors : An account of Volunteerism and resilience by Divya Ashok

Chapter: ASEI National

Volunteerism and resilience amidst trying circumstances and lessons learned from COVID
While the world watched, India went through a horrific 2nd phase of COVID earlier this year, taking over 450K lives. Almost everyone lost someone they knew, if not multiple folks; and the impact on families was devastating. However, there were several positives that came out of this disaster around resiliency of the human spirit and allyship.
While doctors and nurses are truly national heroes, it was heartening to see several companies and individuals unite to offer their help through money, time and partnering with NGOs in this time of need. Salesforce has always been a champion of business being the greatest platform for change. Employees are always empowered to champion causes and take the lead in showing up for our communities. This is precisely the spirit that led me to reach out to our leadership to create awareness and build a strategy to help our colleagues, their families and the community in India.
I started a small taskforce with colleagues given our personal impact. Little did we know that it would grow into almost 1300 volunteers in a few days! We ran a 24x7 global taskforce to run several initiatives. We built and staffed a volunteer hotline using our platform for our employees, their families and friends. Our brave volunteers curated on the ground information and handled every call with the utmost care. We delivered multiple planes filled with life-saving medical equipment and supplies. We ran medical sessions online to create awareness and help people where we could at home. We raised several millions of dollars to be utilized by our vetted partners in the region and we saw the impact. Our leadership prioritized employee well-being and safety and made every effort (moved deadlines, discounted hotel rates and provided wellness benefits) towards this goal.
While the onslaught was brutal, we fought back bravely. Several volunteers faced personal loss and despite their circumstances, they showed up for each other. We will always remember sweet memories of those we lost, but more importantly we must carry forward the allyship, sincerity and kindness showcased into our daily lives. It is a shared purpose, along with values-based organizations that will take us forward as humanity.
Divya Ashok is an ASEI Life member and serves on the board of Silicon Valley chapter. Professionally, she is a Vice President at Salesforce. Divya is a leader with 12 years of experience building and scaling global initiatives from the ground up. As Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, she is charged to lead the strategy around Salesforce’s India business and champion initiatives around India in San Francisco. Prior to her new role, Divya was in Product Management. Her teams led Salesforce’s efforts around scale, where she championed and delivered over 500+ unique product enhancements. She led product readiness for 50+ of Salesforce’s largest and most complex customers globally. 
Divya’s passion for the empowerment of women and children led her to co-create the Salesforce Women's Network. While she was Global President, membership increased by 350% to over 9,000 allies and expanded to 48 chapters globally. As for her accomplishments, Divya has been selected to join Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen global community 3 times to exchange ideas and perspectives with a select group of trailblazing women from across the world.  

Mentoring Corner: Part 2- A practical approach to Success! By Dilip G. Saraf

Chapter: ASEI National

Do you have a passion for engineering or just doing a job? ---- A practical approach to Success! By Dilip G. Saraf
In Part-1 of this series, Dilip explained his observations having  worked with thousands of clients  about the distinction between having a passion for engineering versus just doing a job. In this part-2, he explains the model he has developed to explain how actualization drives passion.Once you embrace this notion, you’ll change how you look at your career and how you manage it! 
The starting point for this model or framework (shown in Figure here ) is identifying your aptitude (your genius or your uniqueness). A dictionary defines aptitude as both a natural or acquired capacity or ability. This definition in my mind addresses both aspects of someone’s aptitude. So, it is alright not to know what your natural ability is, but if you pursue something out of curiosity, interest, or mere serendipity and you acquire that ability by whatever means, then what you have acquired can be defined as your aptitude.

As this figure depicts, Aptitude directed with deliberate effort allows you to develop a skill that gets increasingly better with greater effort. To ratchet this effort further, Toil makes you achieve Mastery over what you are pursuing. Here Toil refers to what Malcolm Gladwell calls “putting in 10,000 hours of focused effort.” In Sanskrit it is called Tapasya, which requires 12 years’ highly concentrated effort on one pursuit (this  can far exceed Gladwell’s 10,000 hours’ requirement, which I view as typical). The result in this model is the Mastery of your subject (in Sanskrit it is called Sadhana). Thus, the work you put into your talent has a dual effect: First it helps you develop your Skill and then with Toil, you go on to Master it. (Each element in this figure is capitalized, for ease of identification in the accompanying Figure even though it is a noun in everyday usage.)
While Toil is a singular pursuit, just focusing on improving your technique, Effort entails a broader perspective: Developing new relationships with other professionals, researching different techniques, understanding how others are practicing their craft, going to events where other players showcase their craft, among other avenues. Thus, Effort and Focus result in Growth that comes, both from a broader perspective and from learning how true Growth requires a multi-dimensional effort. 
Creativity stems from working on your Skill to deepen it. Using trial-and-error, intuition, experimentation, and design one can engage in Creative pursuits to further their Skill and get incrementally better at how they manifest their Skill.
Similarly, a state of Flow is reached when Growth and Inspiration work together to propel your abilities to greater heights. The concept of Flow was proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Mihi Six-ent-mihi) a Hungarian-American psychologist. In his model of getting to a highly focused mental state one constantly elevates their Ability to the level of challenge they meet, and when this reaches a state of equilibrium, they reach the state of Flow, where things happen magically. Navigating through the elements on the left side of the center in this figure, Purpose and Focus play a strong role in how you develop your talent further. At the intersection of Focus and Purpose is what comes to you as your Inspiration. But mere Inspiration without Toil cannot allow that Inspiration to culminate into any meaningful Impact that others can see or feel. 
Thus, Toil plays a dual role: Once in transforming your Skill into Mastery of that Skill and then in transmuting your Inspiration into an outcome that creates Impact. Additionally, once you discover your Purpose, Toil results in actualizing that Purpose. At the center of all these intersecting circles in the Brand. A Brand is a culmination of all these factors that uniquely come together for the world to recognize you as a thought leader of a worthy stature to be reckoned with. It is apparent that passion is nowhere in this framework; it is because it plays no part in manifesting yourself as an actualized professional. Passion is defined in a dictionary as an object of desire or interest: something that commands one's love or devotion. 
This implies that passion has a strong emotional component to it. Anyone can display passion about a topic, but that does not mean that they have an inherent aptitude to help them excel at it (the topic). As the model in Fig shows, anyone can work on their natural ability, build a Skill, and Master it through the many elements outlined in that model.
So, after reading this approach to career management, if you are still waiting to uncover your passion to get going on the right career path, you may want to rethink and start going with something you know you are good at and then applying yourself meaningfully with Effort, Toil, and Focus! It worked for me in all my five careers and for my clients working with them as their career coach; it can work for you, too! 
Good luck! 
About the author:
Dilip  Saraf is a highly sought after career coach who keynoted at ASEI's 33rd Annual Convention last year and seeing the value ASEI provides, joined as  a professional member of  our SiliconValley chapter. An IIT and Stanford alum, he has leveraged his experience going through five different careers to establish a career coaching practice, which enjoys global clientele.

August Newsletter is out!

Chapter: ASEI National