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Student InSights: Engineering and management in harmony

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Having recently graduated with a Masters in Business Administration and completed his 6 month internship with ONYX InSight, we catch up with Anurag Satpathy about the biggest challenges and highlights of working at ONYX. Driven by his experience of issues with energy supply in India to pursue a career in renewable energy, Anurag found perfect harmony between the application of management skills and engineering expertise during his internship.

What are you currently studying?

I have been studying for a Masters in Business Administration which I recently graduated with; ONYX certainly had an important role to play in my success on this Masters course. My final dissertation was directly linked to the work I have been doing with ONYX in which we were identifying the value created by combining online oil and vibration monitoring. What was great was that my work on this with ONYX allowed me to directly apply what I had learnt in my Strategy Management module during my MBA studies.

What motivated you to apply for an internship with ONYX InSight as part of your MBA program?

After reviewing my options for an internship which was a compulsory part of the course, I found that ONYX InSight was the only company which offered experience in engineering services. Being a mechanical engineer, I thought a complimentary mix of both engineering and management skills was exactly what I needed to progress my career. It was clear that I was going to be able to use my theoretical knowledge and apply it practically with an internship at ONYX.

What is most appealing about working in renewable energy?

Being from India (where power shortage is a common term), I had an interest in renewable sources of energy since my time working in engineering. During my undergraduate degree, we used to have 3 hours of no power on weekdays and 9 hours of no power on weekends. My passion for renewable energy started growing when I was young and I have since gained more knowledge on cost impact, economy, return on investment and the technology involved in the renewable energy sector with my MBA.

Currently, the funding from government and operators/owners has been on the rise for the renewable energy sector and the growth particularly the wind industry over the last decade has been tremendous.

What does your work at ONYX involve?

My work with ONYX over the past 6 months have been connected to various projects which were very important during the company’s growth and expansion phase.

I started off working on a new product in development and helped the team identify and define the value generated in terms of the monetary and time savings that it offers owners and operators. I was working with internal and external stakeholders to gather accurate data and information and using this to conduct market and cost analysis.

I then moved on to work with the sales and marketing team on a market analysis project for Europe where we researched wind turbine owners’ requirements in the market. I really enjoyed working with the team to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis to derive a clear targeted market to effectively allocate resources.

One of the ongoing projects I am involved with is on developing a machine learning model which is set to be able to predict wind turbine failures with an extended lead time, so you can see the mix of engineering and management tasks I’ve been able to get involved in.

What has been the biggest challenge?

In terms of challenge, I would say it’s mainly technical. The machine learning project has been hitting many ups and downs due to the issue of data quality. Having huge sets of data, but with gaps and errors have been hampering the machine learning model to be able to train itself and predict accurate results. We knew about this issue but as and when we went deeper, we discovered new stumbling blocks. Currently we are retraining the model with lots of analysis to narrow down onto the right results and have a real time working model.

What has been your highlight of your internship with ONYX InSight?

Since the day I took up the internship with ONYX, I have never regretted my decision for choosing this company. My colleagues have been very supportive. Furthermore, working with ONYX, I got the real feel of working with a start-up; to see first-hand how a company overcomes growing pains and resolves natural business struggles was inspiring.

I was exposed to a variety of projects and teams and able to support them. During this broad scope of work, I gained a lot of knowledge which I am sure has helped me develop as a professional as I continue my career in the industry.

Last but not the least, the time with ONYX would not have been so memorable without the wonderful colleagues I had the chance to interact with. They made sure I felt at home when I shifted to Nottingham. I was in awe of their expertise in their own particular fields and how humble people were to sit down with me and explain certain areas of technology from the basics.

What are your plans going forward?

Now I have completed my internship with ONYX and graduated with my Masters degree, I’ll be exploring how I can progress my career, ideally in a commercial role in upstream energy, and make an impact in the renewables industry. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me and looking forward to seeing my family and friends again back in India.

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