Contamination - especially in hydraulic fluids - is one of the main sources of lubricant failure which often leads to equipment downtime. But if we remove contamination, we cut downtime and save money. - Sanya Mathura
We are extremely excited about this Re.engineer featured moment, as we have a great opportunity to highlight one the industry’s reliability engineering and lubrication experts, Sanya Mathura, who has also recently published a book titled, Lubrication Degradation Mechanisms; A Complete Guide, available November 30, 2020 (you can pre-order your copy today and get a discounted price).
Sanya is the Founder of Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd and operates in the capacity of Managing Director and Senior Consultant. Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd (SRSL) was founded to provide reliability solutions to the industry. They specialize in various areas of reliability and engineering and have affiliates who help them bring their expertise to customers. Locally, SRSL handles Site Assessments, Lubrication Audits, Trainings, Consultancy on Lubrication related issues and areas for improving efficiency in Industrial complexes. Their affiliates help in the areas of Root Cause Analysis (Reliability Center Inc), Asset Management (Greeman Asset Management Solutions Inc), RCM-R (Conscious Reliability LLC), Lubrication Training (Specialist Lubrication Support Services), Condition Monitoring (KVR Energy Limited), Lab Testing (SGS), PMP® training (PMProLearn) and Integrated Logistics Engineering (Marino Consulting Services Ltd).
Sanya possesses a strong engineering background with a BSc in Electrical & Computer Engineering and MSc in Engineering Asset Management. After completion of her thesis “An investigation into the root causes of lubricant degradation in critical equipment in an Ammonia complex”, she was made aware of the plight that reliability faces within and outside of the Caribbean. As such, she decided to ensure that every attempt was made to make reliability the backbone upon which the industry operates by forming SRSL.
Q: What inspired you to go into a STEM field?
Sanya: Growing up, I was always interested in finding out how things work which usually involved taking them apart and putting them back together just to make sure that it worked! Naturally, I was drawn to the field of engineering for my Bachelor’s degree but it was only until I began working in the industry that I realized the impact of reliability on efficiency and quality. It was then that I decided to focus more heavily on incorporating reliability into company’s cultures.
Q: Everyone is a "10" at something or they are at least working to master a core strength. What is your professional sweet spot?
Sanya: Lubrication. I spent over five years as the Technical support for Shell Lubricants for Trinidad & Tobago and have had to understand lubrication from all aspects and its role in the operation of equipment and impact on the manufacturing plants. A lot of people don’t realize the criticality of having a proper lubrication program in their facility. Lubricants can be likened to the bloodstream of the machinery, if something goes wrong with them (through contamination, degradation, wrong storage and handling), you will definitely see an impact on your facility’s production capacity.
Q: How are you showing the industry that women are challenging the status quo?
Sanya: I have always had a dream of being a strong female pillar within a male dominated industry and with my training and background, I am trying to make that happen. I want to spread the message that even though you are female, you can make a strong impact and contribution to the engineering community especially in the Caribbean. Apart from destroying myths that a reliability focused company launched in the Caribbean can be run by a female engineer, I think that we are coming into the age of open-mindedness where a lot more people pay attention to the value that you bring to the table rather than your gender.
Q: What career advice would you give to other professionals or entrepreneurs?
Sanya: There are a couple of pieces of advice that I would love for them to really process and internalize:
(1) Always be true to yourself, your passion, vision and integrity. Never let anyone box you into their perceptions or thoughts on what you should or should not do. Keep challenging restrictions that are being placed on you and determine if you want to move beyond that and have solid reasons for doing so. Keep the quality of your work high and do not lower them just to fit in a box. Keep exceeding expectations through the quality of your work to challenge yourself not for anything or anyone else.
(2) Make time for that balance of family, health, life and work. This balance is crucial and helps you to be more grounded and can pave the way towards the achievement of your goals.
(3) Keep your head down and let your work speak for itself. Today, it’s all about that instant life, we want things to happen instantly and get the recognition for it. If it’s valuable, it’s going to take some time to build and develop. Just like a carbon, if we harvest carbon from the moment we find it, it will remain as carbon. However if that same carbon, is put through pressure and the right environment, it will produce a diamond. So, stick with it and produce diamonds instead of carbon.
Q: How are you driving innovation or productivity in your career?
Sanya: One of the main reasons that I love what I do right now is because I get to innovate. The solutions that we come up with for customers are not cookie cutter and have to be tailored to their businesses and their operations. When we talk to customers and find out their challenges, we then get to strategically innovate solutions that can only be suited to their operation.
I believe in customization before application because each facility is different, while the equipment may be the same, the culture is different and that’s what makes each facility unique. The operating environment can vary so drastically within the same geographical area that it is mind-blowing! That’s why it’s always exciting for the team at SRSL to embark on these challenges because it gives us purpose and allows our creativity to be unleashed by pushing barriers and developing customized solutions.
As you can tell by Sanya’s perspectives, she is a shining example of what it takes to have a rewarding and resilient career that is built to last. Her appreciation for reengineering is very evident as she partners with her clients to not only solve problems but also deliver custom solutions. We can all learn from and leverage her approach.
Sanya, thank you for everything that you do to move the STEM, Reliability and #reengineer culture forward! Sanya, you are a certified re.engineer.