In 2020, Sandeep Kumar Raju Vysyaraju was among those who received the Engineering Leader Under 40 award while working as an I&C Project Engineering Manager. As a division leader, he has been “instrumental in implementing and bringing the industry he works for to the standards that are set to success.”
Currently, Mr. Vysyaraju works for InnovaSea Systems, Inc., and as a volunteer for ISA, he helps participate in several panel discussions that aim to share knowledge about industry standards related to automation.
ISA recently conducted the following interview with Sandeep to discuss his inspirations in engineering, how ISA continues to play a role in his career, and his advice to other young professionals in the field.
How did you first get interested in engineering?
Engineering is one such component in our day-to-day lives that if we implement in the right direction, it will take us to success and help serve the world. It is one such field that solves the most impactful problems in the world, however small the application may be.
I love physics and math, and engineering is a mix of those. When I was a kid, I had exposure in the engineering background, being a son to a father who is an electrical engineer, along with watching some great inventors alongside him. They stood out as role models for me, which led me to pursue engineering and which drove me to work hard to be one of those engineers.
When you were a student, who were your role models in your field, and why?
John McCarthy and Andrew Yan-Tak Ng, among others, were computer scientists who stood out as role models in the field of AI, computer vision, and robotics for me. There are those scientists who believe that AI can improve the lives of people, and in today’s world we can see that AI can bring lots of benefits, whether in the treatment of patients, self-driving technology, or in MES systems.
In process control, Russ Rhinehart stood out as one of my role models and mentors while I was a graduate student who patented in the field of optimization. One of his patents is automated steady and transient state identification in noisy processes. Greg McMillan is also one of my role models for his work in engineering technology on process control improvement.
Please describe your career so far. Where did you get started, and what was the path that led you to your current position?
I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, where my focus was in control systems. As soon as I graduated, I landed a job as a controls and instrumentation engineer, working on many upgrades, retrofits, and green field projects for a specialty chemicals company based in California. The experience I gained all through my career helped me wear several hats throughout that time, helping contribute to several multinational corporate sectors taking automation to the next level.
What is ISA’s role in your professional success so far?
ISA has been and still is the bridging gap for my career during my transition from being a full-time student to a full-time engineer. ISA provided leadership opportunities, which in turn helped me be a growth factor for the companies I worked for. ISA has lots of standards that helped in the standardization process, and lots of books by well-known authors in the field that helped me grow my knowledge base.
ISA has always been like a family to me where I get to meet lots of renowned professionals and young budding engineers.
What would you say to other young automation professionals like yourself, who want to get more connected to their industry but might not know where to start?
I would recommend to my fellow young automation professionals that they start their career by not just being an engineer or researcher to a reputable organization, but to also start to help contribute to societies like ISA, IEEE, and more, that will in turn help future young professionals grow and contribute to societies all over the world. ISA and other societies are platforms that help share knowledge on the latest trends and technologies that could be implemented in various technological fields.
What can today’s leaders do to help prepare younger members of their profession for leadership positions?
Today’s leaders can help young, sprouting members by mentoring them on what a professional society or organization can bring into their lives. Just like how we have leadership books that explain the qualities that need to be in a leader, today’s leaders can set an example by being a role model for the young professionals in their respective field of automation by contributing to the society.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would also like to recommend to my fellow young professionals that they should understand the value of being a contributor and start to help grow organizations with their wonderful contributions. Help be the change factor to the organizations by bringing in quality work and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the automation sector.