Published December 18, 2020

Rising Star Spotlight: Venkat Nemani

Venkat Nemani
Postdoc in the Mechanical Engineering Department @ Iowa State University

Venkat Nemani obtained his Ph.D. from the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2019. He is currently a postdoc at Iowa State University in the Mechanical Engineering Department. His primary research interests include machine failure prognostics, sustainability through remanufacturing, and physical system modeling. He is working with Dr. Chao Hu, an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, on the project titled Data-Driven Design Support for Re-X of High Value Components in Industrial and Agricultural Equipment. We asked him about his experience:

Q: How did you become interested in Design for Re-X?
A: I always desired to tie in academic research with industrially relevant problems. Having pursued sustainability minor during my undergrad, I felt fortunate to get the opportunity to work on the REMADE project, where I could see the practical benefits of Design for Re-X. The issues of global warming and climate change affecting the planet need to be addressed sooner than later and I personally believe Design for Re-X is a potent engineering-based solution, especially for a consumerist society.

Q: How has your experiences working on a REMADE project changed your understanding of the issue?
Working on the REMADE project for the past few months has given me the opportunity to talk to our industry partner John Deere, where I understood the importance associated with Re-X while also understanding the practical difficulties in implementing Re-X strategies. It was inspiring for me to learn that even a small design change could provide significant monetary and environmental benefits. During the course of the project, we are attempting to develop a simple-to-use software tool for the remanufacturing industry which we view as the platform to bridge communication between academic researchers, industrial product designers, and remanufacturing experts.

Q: What’s your advice for the new generation of students considering careers in Design for Re-X?
I personally believe that Design for Re-X will be a go-to solution to reduce the burden on the environment for all major industries. These industries would definitely require young talented people who can think out of the box. It will be a challenging career for sure as the Re-X solutions are often not intuitive and require exploration, but, in the end, one can be proud that the fruits of the efforts put into such careers have long-term effects and provide true benefits to the entire society.