Attracting talent with opportunities to learn and innovate

Savari Kognole shares her experience of joining CelSian as a Computational Fluid Dynamics Engineer and considers the glass industry’s challenge of attracting the next generation of workers. The full version of this article appears in the July/August 2022 issue that has been mailed globally and is also now available free of charge in the digital archive*.

Attracting talent with opportunities to learn and innovate

Coming from a background in mechanical engineering and computational fluid dynamics, I have little knowledge of glass,” confides Savari Kognole, who started her post-graduate role at CelSian in February 2022. “Therefore, when I was first introduced to the glass industry, I was impressed with the amount of engineering involved in producing glass. As I go deeper and deeper, it just surprises me how complex, yet phenomenal glass manufacturing is."

As a Computational Fluid Dynamics Engineer, my role in CelSian is carrying out CFD simulations of glass furnaces from generating grids for the furnace to post-processing the data according to the customer needs,” she continues. “This includes requests varying from the analysis of the behaviour of glass inside the tank, combustion process, emission of gases, improvement of the furnace design for maximum productivity, etc.

According to Ms Kognole she was attracted to a career in the glass industry due to the scope of learning it offered as well as the opportunity to educate members of the glass industry about the importance of CFD and its application in the glass manufacturing process.

Has her decision lived up to expectations? “Absolutely. With each passing day, there is something new for me to learn,” she confirms. “The most rewarding aspects are definitely acquiring knowledge from the most experienced colleagues in CelSian and striving to make glass in the most sustainable manner.

Future-oriented fulfilment

My primary goal [at CelSian] is to grow in my role as a CFD Engineer,” says Ms Kognole. “In the long run, I expect to be able to be in a position to handle and eventually lead projects. When I see all the opportunities offered by the glass industry, I believe that there is definitely room for me to evolve.”

Considering the challenge of how the glass industry might go attracting the next generation of workers, Ms Kognole cites a conversation she had with friends and family about working as a CFD Engineer in the glass industry: “At first, it was difficult for them to correlate my educational background with the industry. I assume the reason is that glass is seen by many as a traditional and conservative industry. Now that I am working in it, I realise it is really future-oriented as innovation is required to produce environment-friendly glass and therefore tackle some of the biggest challenges of tomorrow’s world. So in my opinion, portraying this more innovative side of the industry may attract the younger generation to join.”

Emphasising glass’ sustainability credentials (e.g. with the recognition it receives from initiatives such as the International Year of Glass) is “a good first step to creating more awareness,” believes Ms Kognole, but one that needs to be developed “in order to create exposure out of the glass industry.”

It also seems that the glass recruitment process could benefit from playing up the holistic angle: “The younger generation is in search of a sense and meaning in their job,” states Ms Kognole.

The glass industry’s commitment to achieving CO2 neutral production is therefore a key asset – “producing glass in a greener manner can provide them this sense of fulfilment they’re looking for and therefore retain talent in the workforce,” she explains.

Working at CelSian

Ms Kognole’s place of work has a number of initiatives in place to retain its talented young team members, she reveals. “First of all, CelSian gives you the room and time to get the skills required to become an expert in your role which helps build confidence especially when you’re new to the industry. Second, the company has a flat hierarchy which makes it easy to communicate between departments. Therefore, knowledge sharing and collaboration can be done in an efficient way. And last but not least, everyone’s opinion matters irrespective of your formal background which helps to feel valued and encourages everyone to bring new ideas to always improve our ways of working and serve our customers better.

In a traditionally male-dominated manufacturing environment, inevitably the question of diversity arises. “From the start of my bachelor’s study, I have been in a male-dominated environment so diversity issue is a topic I’m familiar with,” acknowledges Ms Kognole.

I think it is really important to address. I strongly believe that women can perform and carry out tasks in the same manner as men, whether it is on the front line working in the manufacturing unit, to the R&D department. In my opinion, this topic is even more important to address in a mature industry like glass because skipping it may prevent companies from seizing the opportunity to have young and talented women join their teams and renew their workforce.”

Equal opportunity training is obviously another element of this, as well as for maximum employee productivity. “Training is the basis of understanding and acquiring the skills related to the work done in the company and how your contribution will help the organisation to attain its mission,” notes Ms Kognole. “At the same time, there is a lot of personal growth as there is a lot of new information to gather. Thus, good training = better productivity.”

Although Savari has only been working at CelSian for a few months, she has quickly picked up on what clients expect from the company. “I hear my colleagues speaking about customers wanting to move towards greener energy, having fewer carbon footprints, etc.,” she reports. “And that’s where we, as CelSian, come in with the capability of providing solutions as a whole from experimental to numerical solutions.” Problem-solving at its best.


Image: Savari Kognole is part of a team at CelSian that has many years of modelling expertise.

Further Information: 

CelSian Glass & Solar BV, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
tel: +31 40 249 0100
email: infodesk@celsian.nl
web: www.celsian.nl

 
* The full version of this article appears in the July/August issue that has been mailed globally. The digital version of this issue can also currently be read free of charge in its entirety alongside back copies in the Digital Archive (sponsored by FIC) at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/Digital-Issues. To receive the paper copy, all future issues and a free copy of the new Who’s Who / Annual Review 2022-23 yearbook, subscribe now at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/subscription-choice

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