“Follow your path and stay open to opportunities” says Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering grad  – Faculty of Engineering

“Follow your path and stay open to opportunities” says Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering grad

Ananth Ramamoorthy, Manufacturing Engineering Graduate, leveraged his grad project and co-op experience into a role with Rockwell Automation.

Iron Ring statue in front of John Hodgins Engineering Building
three men standing side by side.
Right to left: Gabriel Canfield, Ananth Ramamoorthy, and Ramanjot Sanghera; Photo Credit: Ananth Ramamoorthy

Education may lead us to unexpected places if we stay open to unique experiences. When Ananth Ramamoorthy graduated from the Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering program, he accepted a role with Rockwell Automation that brought him to Kapuskasing, Ontario for two years, where he is embedded at a papermill operated by Rayonier Advanced Materials.

Ramamoorthy is originally from Chennai in southern India and completed his undergraduate in mechanical engineering from SASTRA Deemed University. “It’s a bit more remote than many universities in India, which kind of prepared me for this experience,” said Ramamoorthy.

After moving to Canada to attend McMaster, Barrie was the furthest north he had explored while completing his master’s project. “Winter in Kapuskasing is definitely more extreme than any I’ve experienced,” said Ramamoorthy. He added that misses people his own age to socialize with, but enjoys the lower cost of living in a small community, and the vast natural spaces and provincial parks on his doorstep. He hopes to be able to explore the natural beauty of Northern Ontario more this summer.

He credits the Masters in Manufacturing Engineering program with preparing him for his current career path. “The breadth of courses equipped me with transferrable skills that are applicable in a wide range of manufacturing settings,” said Ramamoorthy. “I was able to choose courses that are very sustainability-focused, as well as data analysis and big data that give me the skills to collect and analyze system data and optimize solutions.”

It was this breadth of skills, combined with his project supporting Wessuc Inc. and a co-op semester with the City of Hamilton that helped him acquire a role as a consultant with Rockwell Automation.

Wessuc, a family business based in Branford, Ontario, focusses on managing wastewater sludge disposal for a variety of industrial and municipal clients. Operations and processes are important to Wessuc’s success and they approached McMaster’s W Booth School for the first time in 2019 to help them improve their efficiency. Ramamoorthy and group members Gabriel Canfield and Ramanjot Sanghera conducted an in-depth consultation with the company to help them map 17 different processes and identify areas for improvement.

By interviewing many on the Wessuc team and applying the LEAN Six Sigma principles learned in their Manufacturing Systems course, Ramamoorthy’s group identified several opportunities for the company to improve their operations and management.

“The success of this project also helped strengthen the relationship between Wessuc and McMaster, leading to further projects with students from W Booth School graduate programs,” said Allan MacKenzie, Assistant Professor, Leadership & Management with the W Booth School and faculty supervisor for the Wessuc project.

During his co-op semester with the City of Hamilton, Ramamoorthy focused on the management of technology and people within the city, strengthening his experience assessing processes and increasing systems performance.

In his current role at Rockwell Automation, Ramamoorthy is consistently applying skills he developed while at McMaster. “When the Boilerhouse manager approached me recently to discuss a recurring issue that caused repeated slowdowns, my job was to assess why the failure was occurring and propose how the system performance could be improved,” said Ramamoorthy.

Ongoing training offered in-house by Rockwell Automation is one reason Ramamoorthy was attracted to his current role, and he looks forward to discovering what other opportunities will follow his two-year assignment in Kapuskasing.

MacKenzie, a teaching professor with McMaster’s W Booth School, is continually working to develop the management of technology and people as a focus in the programs offered. “Where the W Booth School shines is equipping graduate students to move into leadership roles in their future careers. Historically, technology and people management have been addressed separately. Professionals with the skills to see the interconnection between both will have a real advantage,” said MacKenzie.