A career in Automobile Engineering demands a blend of creativity with technical knowhow, says Jeetender Sharma, Managing Director, Okinawa Autotech Private Limited, while adding that finding people with this combination is not an easy process. He also said the rapid development of Electric Vehicles is creating new requirement of skills needed in the automobile industry.
"Automakers and their suppliers are already experiencing a talent crunch because they are competing with technology companies which raise the need of engineers well-equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics skills as well," he added.
Mr Sharma here answers to questions for those who are willing to pursue a career in Automobile Engineering that involves manufacturing electric vehicles.
What are the opportunities available if one wants to build a career in Automobile Engineering that involves manufacturing electric vehicles?
Automobile Engineering requires a blend of creativity with technical knowhow. There are plenty of employment opportunities for qualified individuals in this constantly developing industry. As an Automotive engineer you have to deal with designing, manufacturing and operating automobiles. The various career opportunities in automotive manufacturing companies include Design Engineers, Development Engineers, Production Engineers, Quality Engineers, Mechanical Design Engineers, and Driver Instrumentation Engineers etc.
As India is fast becoming an EV nation, what kind of skill set is needed to make vehicles for Electric mobility?
The rapid development of Electric Vehicles is creating new requirement of skills needed in the automobile industry. We should be able to understand as to what goes into the making of a Lithium-ion and LED acid battery and accordingly be in a position to develop batteries to extend the range of the vehicle. Charging battery at a lightning speed will help users to adapt to various modes of electric mobility.
What are the various categories one can choose from if one has to pursue a career in building Electric Vehicles?
It is speculated by the scientists that the trend among Automobiles will be Electric vehicles. The area of interest for any student to specialize in will be in the field of Battery management system and Optimization based on the interest and area of progress of the program needed. One can achieve specialization in the following sectors like Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite element analysis, Computational Design. The most common challenges faced by engineering industry are Range Anxiety, Vehicle Integration, Performance Engineering and Safety Engineering. There are several courses available which are structured in a way that will cover the above mentioned skill set required in terms of theory and also teach you to be efficient in handling tools when designing an Electric vehicle.
What are the options available to students in view of new announcements made by government under FAME-II scheme?
Indian government has already earmarked 10,000 crore rupees for Phase 2 under the FAME (or [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles] scheme in order to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets also. Emphasis on localization of electric vehicles and batteries is laid under its 'Make in India' initiative to give boost to economic growth. Young starts-ups are forging ahead in creating a new market segment.
Jeetender Sharma, Managing Director, Okinawa Autotech Private Limited.
What should be the focus areas of a student who wants to do well in Automobile industry?
It is time for the auto industry, researchers, and engineers to work towards development of next generation of electric products. Batteries are already in the final stages of being designed and developed indigenously. With some improvement needed, India will be not just at par but will start leading in technology also. The need is to be able to work across many domains and communicate well in different areas.
What is the kind of scope that exists in pursuing a career in this direction?
Scope and opportunities are ample. With the kind of thrust government is laying upon electromobility, Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) will continue to play a major role in the supply chain for automobile industry while electromobility gains steam. A mix of Electric vehicle and ICE engines will be an ideal powertrain needed for the future.
Is there an opportunity provided by Okinawa to do R&D at Okinawa's electric plant facility for aspiring students?
The plant is very well equipped with state of art facilities, to give hands on experience to all the aspiring students. Depending upon the market growth, we would be working towards setting up plants with technological upgradations as well.
Is it necessary to have an aptitude in Maths and Science or being inquisitive, creative and analytical is sufficient to pursue a course in Automobile engineering?
An aptitude in the field of Maths and Science is a pre-requisite for any Automobile engineering student to flourish and excel. Finding people with a combination of qualified degree and creative bent of mind will not be an easy process. Automakers and their suppliers are already experiencing a talent crunch because they are competing with technology companies which raise the need of engineers well-equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics skills as well.
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