30 Under 30: Sri Atluru
Sandvik Machining Solutions
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Given his technical achievements in the field of manufacturing, it may be difficult to believe that Sri Atluru is just 28 years old.
For example, Sri designed and helped implement a prototype “supervisory system” for the Smart Machine Platform Initiative (SMPI), which was initiated by the Coalition on Manufacturing Technology Infrastructure and TechSolve, Inc., to revamp the US manufacturing sector. The program was funded by the US Army.
“Various integration and next-generation automation solutions that Sri worked on during the program were demonstrated live and real-time to a number of defense and industry leaders between 2007–2010,” Radu Pavel, Ph.D., Machining/Grinding Research Engineer at TechSolve, Inc., wrote in his letter nominating Sri, who worked at TechSolve from 2007–2011. ”He was the principal author of technical papers concerning the automation concept, which were presented in conferences sponsored by SME and ASME.”
What’s more, Sri has also made noteworthy contributions to MTConnect, which aims to address the long-standing gap in machine communication standards by advocating an XML-based open-source standard.
“Sri developed one of the first working MTConnect adapters to run on real CNC machines in 2008,” Pavel writes. Sri also has authored technical papers about MTConnect’s implementation and applications. Sri also addressed energy conservation and management issues in his MTConnect work. Because of his credentials and expertise, Sri was selected to lead a group session about compressed air energy at the first MTConnect conference in 2011.
In an interview with Manufacturing Engineering, Sri said his love of engineering and manufacturing comes naturally.
“I’ve had a lifelong interest,” Sri said, further explaining that many of his family members “were mechanical engineers back in India.”
He also credits great mentors at TechSolve for his advancement. “They were good at molding me,” he said.
Sri holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering from BITS-Pilani, India, and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Cincinnati, where he is also currently working on a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering.
Atluru believes that many of the challenges facing the manufacturing industry are not so much technology challenges, but software challenges, which is where he wants to focus his attentions in the future.
“The manufacturing industry doesn’t have widespread access to software with good architecture and design,” he said. “I have a manufacturing background, but I also have a good understanding of software development.”
And while he thinks the “manufacturing in the US is really advanced,” he thinks it could be more so. “They don’t implement as many new things on the shop floor as they could. There is a mismatch between what is possible and what is done.”
Sri would like to see the rigid manufacturing culture loosen up and be more innovative.
“I think I’ve begun to see that happen,” he said. ME