The researchers, engineers, and technologists at GE Research who help see, move, and create the future come from varying backgrounds with varying experiences. While no two paths are the same, there is one common thread – a love for science. Why Science? explores where our employees’ paths began – when and how their love for science was born. For some it was a favorite teacher; for others science runs in the family. The stories told are fun, insightful, and may even inspire the next generation of scientists!
This Why Science? features Palak Jain, a research engineer with our Electrical Systems team. Palak is based at the John F. Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC) in Bengaluru and specializes in the development of cyber-physical systems in the power electronics and embedded controls domains. She has worked on a variety of industrial challenges in her two and a-half years with GE Research, delivering valuable technologies for GE Additive and GE Healthcare.
For GE Additive, Palak helped design, analyze, and validate the control solution for the power supply of an e-beam machine. For Healthcare, she worked the embedded controls for a medical vaporizer. Given the harmful potential of underdoses and overdoses, Palak’s work also defined safety specs for the vaporizer monitor, ensuring the fail-safe delivery of an anesthetic agent during therapy.
Hey Palak… Why Science?
“My father dropped out of school at the age of 13 and started his own small-sized enterprise - trading jaggery and grains. I witnessed his business grow and shrink with the rise of mobile internet. He had entrepreneurial skills but no education in science and no training in how to speak English or how to use a computer. This inspired me to build a strong technology-based foundation so I could help create and capture value for business.
With a profound interest in technology, I obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and joined NTPC, India’s largest power utility. I found NTPC a magical place where black matter ‘coal’ gets converted into something invisible like electricity. I helped build and maintain solar and thermal power plants across India. I also encountered GE technology for the first time in a gas-based power plant. It was there that I realized the important role research & development plays in delivering reliable and affordable clean energy. Leaving NTPC, I joined a PhD program at the National University of Singapore and worked with leading experts from the U.S., China, and Europe with whom I helped in solving key challenges related to clean energy.
Post PhD I joined GE because I was acquainted with the company technology and knew it was a perfect place to solve industrial challenges. I have found that GE Research is a unique place where I solve a variety of industrial challenges in very different markets, including additive manufacturing, healthcare, and wireless. Definitely, I need to think and work like an entrepreneur here to grow and succeed.”