Faces of FIFTY2

Shreyas Joshi - Team Lead Application Engineering

Let us start by talking about your path which led to you being where you are today. How did you come to Germany?

I was 18 when I came from India to Germany. Well… I always had an inclination for the sciences, particularly Physics and Mathematics. Originally, my plan was to continue my studies in India, but an acquaintance informed me about a Mechanical Engineering course at KIT. Going to a country where I have never been to and – back then – not speaking the native tongue seemed like a brilliant idea. It was challenging at first, but Germany has treated me well. I would gladly do it all over again.

Would you say that since coming to Germany you have changed as a person? And if so, how?

Massively. I have totally changed my way of thinking. If someone had told me that in 2021, I would be living with the principles that I now hold dear, I would have never believed them. I am confident it has changed for the better.

When was it that you started being passionate about CFD simulations?

I would say the first “real” hands-on simulation experience I got was during my bachelor’s thesis at the Institute of Engineering Mechanics – Dynamics/Mechatronics (ITM). The topic was to predict and optimize the gait of a bipedal robot when using elastic actuators. That’s when I saw the power of simulation in general. I then decided to pursue a master more in this direction, during which I began to get more involved with CFD and found out about the SPH method at the Institute of Thermal Turbomachines. Later I did my thesis at that institute on the topic of atomization using in-house SPH code.

Actually, that was the experience, but then there is also the question of “why simulations?” is perhaps where my passion comes from.

Humanity has always wanted to know the future. There are countless examples in history… Mayans, Nostradamus … horoscopes and many more. Even if the mechanism behind the prediction is baseless, people still pay heed to the mere prediction itself. One of the most asked questions is “What would one do if they went back in time?”. It’s not a question of time travel, it’s a question of knowing what would happen. It’s about prediction. And simulations can answer that.

This must have been when first contacts between you and FIFTY2 came about, right?

Right, got derailed a bit on the previous one, something I am well known for. Yes, so during my master’s thesis Markus held a presentation on FIFTY2 and the IISPH solver. Until then, I was heavily considering pursuing a doctorate. But the presentation was compelling enough for me to give FIFTY2 a shot.
So, I sent my application and was convinced after the interview. I still remember Markus sending the contract at 5:00 in the morning. It’s been a great journey with the team since then. Everyone at FIFTY2 is young at heart regardless of their age. They are a bunch of awesome people.

You ended up becoming the team leader of Application Engineering. What were your tasks in the beginning when joining FIFTY2 and how did they change since transitioning to your current position?

So, Application Engineering has a wide range of responsibilities. From validation and verification of the solver to assisting the dev team in model development processes on one hand, and customer support and other pre-sales related activities on the other. All the team members share the responsibilities.
In general, I’d say that I always had the drive towards management roles and as the team kept on growing, I eventually ended up taking the team lead role. Now, my role lies more in the area of planning such that sufficient resources are allocated to the tasks our team has, thus ensuring the team is functioning efficiently and no one is overloaded with responsibilities. It’s quite challenging at times due to our external and internal commitments, but the team is always ready to rise up to a challenge, and I consider myself lucky for having the pleasure to work with this excellent team.

Finally, I heard that that one has to contact you to find out more about the unofficial FIFTY2 mascot. Tell me about it!

They probably mean Sindhu, my dog. She is named after the river Indus in English since she has blue eyes, not the Olympic medalist that first comes to mind. Since most of us started working from home, a colleague of ours, Nikola, took the initiative to organize 15 min exercise sessions. Sindhu is usually featured in those video calls. Now she has perhaps gotten the status of “world’s first remote office dog”.

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