“It was quite a surprise when the list came out. I was extremely honoured and excited as well, and it was really inspiring and humbling to be included as part of this group and to meet them in London at the launch event.”
Siddartha was recognised for his research on safety of autonomous vehicles and his work on international standardisation of autonomous vehicles; he represents the UK on the international technical committee for driverless cars.
“I have been involved in some groundbreaking research and how to apply that in the real world,” he said. “That is one of the reasons I think got me this recognition - it is important to do great research, but it is also equally important to apply the research to real world situations.
“I think this is the most exciting time to be an engineer. Technology is developing at a very fast pace now. Every aspect of the autonomous vehicle is moving very fast, enabling us to realise the driverless future, sooner rather than later.”
“What excites me most about my work is the potential social benefits,” he added. “The ability to provide mobility to the disabled or elderly, reduce road accidents, increase people's productivity and to be able to contribute to the realisation of such a future is very satisfying.”
Developing the next generation
Siddartha says that his work with IMechE helping to develop young engineers was also instrumental in gaining him the recognition from Forbes.
“As well as being interested in my own personal development, I also want to help empower others in their development,” he said. “I want engineers to realise their potential; my work with the institution has been aimed at that.”
Siddartha has also been involved in helping the Institution develop internationally, even helping set up the first student chapter in India, and is passionate about improving the diversity of the engineering sector. He currently serves as the Chairman of the IMechE International Young Member Committee (IYMC).
“In the UK, the Institution is very well known and it helps many young engineers develop, and people know about the importance of being associated with such a professional institution,” he says. “Outside the UK, however, things are not the same, and some organisations are still not aware of the different engineering institutions, including IMechE.
“So it is very important to expand the Institution internationally to help more people achieve their potential and get them to appreciate the importance of professional registration and CPD.”
The Institution had been a great source of support in Siddartha's career, helping him with many aspects of his professional development.
“IMechE has helped me immensely, not only in the technical aspects of engineering, but also with the softer skills I have needed in my career. Being involved in the various committees of the Institution has helped me understand different opinions and achieve a consensus, and that is not something that is taught in universities.
“Being involved in the international committees of the institution has exposed me to many different cultures and being able to drive forward those conversations constructively has been an important skill I have applied in my career.”
“Everyone can be a good technical engineer, but to be a great engineering leader you need those soft skills,” he added. “IMechE helps you develop those skills, and it also has a huge network of illustrious colleagues in the field of engineering, and they can be a real inspiration.
“You can’t get that with any other organisation.”