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February 9, 2016

Why 'T-shaped' Engineers Are Changing The World

Posted by Sudip Singh (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:23 AM

Dr. Vishal Sikka discusses the merits of problem finding [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyGsYV_t0Do]

I started my career with an engineering degree -- honestly, in part, because my parents saw being a doctor or an engineer as the most promising paths to career growth and financial security. Today's young professionals have more options, but I'm heartened to see so many still opting to be engineers for reasons beyond parental approval and financial security. They are driven towards this path to find and solve the world's most challenging problems. By this, I mean they are probing to dig beyond the stated challenge and unearth more significant, fundamental problems that can be real game changers. It's a great time to be in the engineering world.

At Infosys, we are nurturing this passion through Design Thinking. Through our partnership with Stanford's d.School and leveraging our own corporate university, we have already trained more than 70,000 young engineers (and their colleagues), and we're not done yet. Needless to say, they are taking to it like fish to water!

And we're always on the lookout for more 'T-shaped' engineers

A colleague of mine explains it this way: 'I-shaped' folks have deep domain knowledge in a particular area. 'T -shaped' people possess that same depth, but also have wide ranging interests and experiences in a number of other areas. They are literally 'raising the bar...higher.' As emerging trends hit the engineering landscape - integrated engineering, software-led differentiation, Internet of Things, open source technology, Design Thinking - the multi-faceted engineer becomes center stage. The engineer of tomorrow will not only need the core expertise to solve the obvious engineering problems, but also capabilities in new technologies, adjoining domains, and cross-industry best practices to identify underlying challenges, define critical problem statements and provide valuable solutions.

Let me offer just a few examples of how our own engineers are helping change the world:

  • Our automotive electronics team recently implemented a driver safety solution, integrating facial analytics to detect driver fatigue, and provide visual and auditory alerts on the vehicle head unit, including routing options to the nearest services or rest area. Coupled with haptic stimulation on wearables, this kind of solution helps alert drivers and reduce accidents.
  • Our mechanical engineers are working on multiple complex structural designs that use composites and advanced materials to make power station turbines and commercial aircraft parts lighter, durable and more efficient. Using Knowledge Based Engineering, they are also reducing cycle times to bring these advances to market more quickly.
  • Our media teams are enabling personal media and 'Skype on TV' type experiences. Imagine being able to 'live stream' a video of yourself performing your best hobby... be it dance, sports or the guitar...to your friends' television sets miles away!
  • Our telecom engineers are designing scalable Content Delivery Network systems that enable our clients to serve emerging markets with hundreds of millions of subscribers, halving the cost by using open source technology.
  • Our software product engineers are using DevOps to accelerate development of cloud based platforms across every industry from gaming to retail.
  • Our Internet of Things team has helped launch a wearable cardiovascular device to help remote patient monitoring. This enables proactive diagnosis of health conditions from the comfort of  home, reducing the need for expensive hospital visits.

I could go on and on... telematics solution to monitor teen driving behavior, life-saving national emergency alert systems, integrated vehicle health management of aircraft landing gear systems, smart vending machine solutions, and the like.

What it's like to work with Infosys Engineering

I see it as being in the midst of an intense fabric of technological and domain expertise where engineering services come together at one place. To quote our CEO, Dr Vishal Sikka, "By operating at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, Product Engineering & Design can leapfrog into a new dimension of value. This is where atoms and bits converge - in areas as diverse as digital oilfields, aerospace, healthcare, and communications."

This is where it all comes together - the latest technology, the best talent, the supporting ecosystem.


I wish that universities like UPTU could control on their dirty business and produce more T shaped engineers who could change the world in positive way.

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