Interview: Rajath Sathyadev Rajmohan, Senior R&D Engineer
You know us as the company that brought on-site hydrogen peroxide generation to the world. But you might not know all the amazing people who work day in and day out on making that happen. It’s time to change that and to introduce ourselves to you, one interview at a time. First up is Rajath Sathyadev Rajmohan, Senior R&D Engineer at HPNow.
Since the early days
Rajath has been with the company for five years, since the early days. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in India, and completed his master’s degree in Denmark. That’s where he came across the company. “I found HPNow through a university portal, when it was only Ziv, Rasmus and Arnau, and the company was actually based in the university.” Rajath’s thesis supervisor was also Arnau’s former professor, so the connection was quickly made.
“Even more fun than university”
In those five years Rajath has been working at HPNow, he’s worked with colleagues from various parts of the world. “That’s what I like about the company, it’s a very diverse group of people, but we all respect each other without judging one another’s views.”
He also highlights the informal culture at work. “Of course we work hard during the day, but at lunch time we all get together and share some quality time. And we have monthly teambuilding activities – going out with the team, playing sports or games together… it’s actually even more fun than my time in university, thanks to the people here!”
A day at the office
Of course it’s not all fun and games – everyone on the team works to bring you high-quality products for on-site peroxide generation.
For Rajath, who has a bridge function between departments, this means a typical day at the office starts with a meeting. “Then it’s time to check all the experiments in the lab, using the summary sheets to see how my own experiments are performing.” After some consultations with his team members, as well as calculation and simulation work, it’s time for lunch.
The second part of the day is mostly dedicated to hands-on work, such as assembling and disassembling cells, as well as helping out in other departments where needed, reading research papers, and purchasing for the R&D department. “So it’s a nice mix of hands-on tasks, computer work and internal consultancy.”
Fruits of labor
Asked about what he likes best about his work, Rajath says it’s this mix that is what attracts him most. “Basically, I like getting down to the hard work. That might mean 99 things will fail during the R&D stage, but you continue going until you have that one thing that works. When you then see the fruits of your labor, that’s what’s most exciting about this job.”
From badminton to Italian cars
Of course after such a hard day at work, it’s time for some relaxation. Rajath does this by playing badminton at a club, or watching a series on Netflix (he particularly recommends Danish series The Chestnut Man). On longer breaks from work, Rajath enjoys travelling, especially around Europe – preferably driving around in an Italian car.
As an R&D engineer, Rajath can offer us a unique insight into future developments in the industry. When it comes to H2O2 generation, he sees some exciting advancements in the core technology used at HPNow, particularly in the cells and stacks. His current goal is to get the new version of the core technology ready for the market.
Taking a wider view of the industry as a whole, Rajath sees more and more autonomous operation. “Industry players are looking into decreasing manual labor, with feedback loops through sensors, and more compact units – one-stop solutions. I envision a future where customers go to a consultant who provides them with a full-fledged product.” Rajath sees a key role for HPNow there. “Such a consultant will look to H2O2 to remove more difficult substances from the water.”
And of course Rajath is excited about the environmental benefits on-site generation offers, particularly with the EU going more and more green. “Hydrogen peroxide is a green oxidant, and HPNow can generate it on-site, sustainably, and with less maintenance and monitoring – an attractive solution for challenges the water industry will face.”