Engineering Physics + Data Science + AI

This blog has been authored by Karthikeyan Natarajan, Senior VP & Global Head – Integrated Engineering Solutions, Tech Mahindra & co-chair NASSCOM engineering services council. To listen to him, join us at   

Engineer the products with the First Principles of Engineering, Data science and AI “ is the future we are headed to.

Engineering the products in a digital world is lot more complex as the customers expect enhanced experiences every day. The classic engineering analysis along with Big Data analytics and AI are the game changers which have brought about enhanced views of real time performance of systems & products. Real time performance assessment, performance enhancement through software feature is a reality in a digital world.

Traditionally, engineering was a static process. While identifying influencing parameters, bringing scientific precision to the design process, creating prototypes products were developed & validated through simulations and finite element analysis techniques. Although 

traditional engineered products did listen to post-installation and advise to refine the product for subsequent releases. In a digital world, even the mechanical components require a real time digital output to the external world. (For eg. The bearing is expected to provide a digital output about the vibration/temperature measurements through sensors integrated with bearings). It is all real time enabled dynamic and interactive products and solutions as we see an opportunity to change the parameters and have upgrades with software patches etc along the lifecycle of a product.

The last decade has seen the biggest spurt of data with the enhancement of technology, coming in of IOT and Connectivity. Emergence of New data platforms and data analytics tools enable with enhanced insights. Decision making is helping companies analyze high-volume, high-velocity and highly diverse information. Thus gets enabled the engineering of new and innovative products who intelligently know now what we need. Enabled by the time series data and system models help us to analyze the BIG data from the sheer descriptive analytics to predictive analytics to Cognitive modes, connect to keep pace with the every changing customer choices.


Artificial Intelligence further stretches possibilities? beyond every realm. With AI we are stepping further into the world where systems are integrated with machine learning/Deep learning (ML/DL) make the real time predictions a reality.  Apart from this, text recognition, speech recognition, and  Image  recognition inputs add to the conventional analysis & BIG data analytics  . You can take this premise of big data -enabled, AI-driven data analytics and apply it to almost any domain. Aircrafts , Medical devices,  Smart mobility/transportation are just some of areas in the midst of an AI/data transformation. What further adds to this is that AI based configuration management, AI based requirements mapping till software delivery, AI based electrical/hydraulic routing and AI based testing & validation process, AI inspectors, quality/production advisory led by cognitive assistants and personalized experience led by voice/cognitive assistants are going to dominate the product development process!


Hence to conclude today, the design process can be a lot more ‘intelligent’. Engineers have access to simulations, which allows them to design, develop, and even operate a digital twin of the product in a virtual environment. The ability to simulate in environments which mimic the real world means even the first production version of a new product can be extremely advanced, compared to earlier engineering processes. We are also creating intelligent and smart products that have embedded connectivity, coupled with Analytics and AI, which makes them a source of real-time or near real-time data. The right combination of traditional engineering with data analytics and Artificial Intelligence can thus give us a smarter, safer and intelligent world which not only interacts or reacts to our needs but also creates an unimaginable future for us.

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