Apurva Deota, Technical Sales Representative, B&R Industrial Automation, Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Apurva is an Electrical Engineer working in the Technical Sales Team at B&R since August 2022 where she has had the exciting opportunity of working with OEMs in various industries like plastics, packaging, automotive, food and beverage, and more. At B&R, she helps manufacturers design dynamic, innovative, and highly efficient machine solutions. Her journey in engineering started 10 years ago when she decided to do her Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in India after being introduced to the simple concepts of current and electrical circuits during her high school physics lectures. Her first job as an applications engineer got me into PLC programming, where she learned to program and understand the world of Industrial Automation. After this, she pursued her Master of Science in the field of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Dalhousie University, Canada, and started working as Electrical Design Engineer at a machine builder in the plastics industry. This is when she first used B&R Industrial Automation and was very impressed by the quality of technology B&R provides. Since she started working at B&R, she has felt very lucky to have the opportunity to contribute to the success of B&R.
Talk about the culture at your company. What makes it inclusive or supportive of women in engineering and automation?
Women in Engineering and Sciences are still a minority, however, due to the inclusive culture at B&R I have never felt any different than any of my colleagues. In fact, team Canada proudly introduces me as an Engineer and allows me to talk about the technicalities of products, help suggests better-engineered solutions, and present our programming software. I don’t ever feel that my gender is considered while bigger challenges and opportunities are being distributed. I have been given many opportunities with designing, traveling to meet clients, and represent the company’s complex technical portfolio. When I first started at B&R, I had the opportunity to participate in a highly intensive B&R engineering camp where I met many female engineers. Although I am the only woman in the Technical Sales team in Canada, B&R as a company has many women in engineering to look up to. Ultimately, B&R employs many women in high-level management positions who are entrusted with great responsibilities.
Describe a recent company project (in which you were involved) that went particularly well. How did you and your team go about ensuring success?
One of the recent successful projects was regarding showcasing our capabilities and understanding the demands of a machine manufacturer in the EV (electrical vehicle) market to provide unique and optimal solutions for a process. At B&R we work as a team, and we had several discussions with the territory manager and our country manager to ensure success. Also, B&R is unique in the way that we provide applications support and for this customer, we made sure we had our experienced applications engineer present to help them with any roadblocks.
What first drew you to engineering and this industry?
Electrical circuits and concepts of electricity/current got my attention during high school along with C programming. That is when I discovered I can learn more about it in Engineering and I started looking up different fields of engineering and the application of physics. The ability to craft machines that would make complex tasks easier was a powerful feeling which led me to pursue a bachelor’s in electrical engineering.
Describe your biggest career challenge. How did you solve it — or what was the outcome or lesson learned?
One of the biggest challenges for me was to learn multiple PLC programming software in just one month’s time frame during my first job. This is basically the gap between university education and the real engineering world. There is generally a steep learning curve. However, it turned out to be the best possible start for my career, as I was able to successfully complete and attain knowledge regarding the industrial automation world. Overcoming this challenge gave me the confidence to take on all the challenging projects that I have been taken part in so far.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
If I must advise my younger version, I would have said:
“Not everyone is supposed to know everything. It is okay not to know every engineering concept when you start, it’s a vast field and it’s okay to learn things along the way. What is most important is to find confidence in yourself and know that no matter how challenging a project might be, you have the ability to figure it out and produce successful results. This comes gradually over time, by accepting new challenges and projects, so remember to be open to learning new things. This comes gradually over time, by accepting new challenges and projects, so remember to be open to learning new things.
Filed Under: Engineering Diversity & Inclusion