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Sanya Mathura

Managing Director

Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd

And - Founder

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Your curiosity can lead to so many new innovations and different ways of thinking that can revolutionize the way things work today and in the future.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am the Founder and Managing Director of Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd. We are a small company located in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.

This company was founded with the intention of making information and services within the reliability sector readily available to people within the industry. This intention was birthed when I realized that information (particularly within the lubrication and reliability field) was not readily available even though it existed. The acquisition of this information was only possible after contacting a SME (Subject Matter Expert) within the field of intended research. Therefore, I wanted to be able to bridge the gaps that exist within our regular industry personnel and SMEs. In this manner, Strategic Reliability Solutions ltd is seen as a hub for the best SMEs in the different fields of reliability.

Within my company, I wear many hats! First and foremost, I ensure that all stakeholders involved are having their needs met. Typically, this involves a lot of meetings and scheduling. The core of the business revolves around the offering of Training courses in different areas of reliability. As such, each stakeholder or training provider will have their own schedule of course offerings which we integrate into our calendar. For each course, we ensure that our customers are aware of the course content (this is done through lots of marketing, phone calls and of course meetings) of which I am responsible.

We have several affiliates in a variety of fields who offer courses and consultations related to their specialities. Our affiliates include; Reliability Center Inc (located in Virginia), Conscious Reliability (located in Canada), R2 Reliability Pty (located in Australia), PM ProLearn (located in Maryland), EAST Partnership (located in Virginia) and 5th Order Industry (located in Texas).

After managing stakeholders, I also handle any customer enquiries, make some time for industrial plant visits and facilitate training sessions. When I'm not actively working with stakeholders or running the business, I spend time writing. Last year, I published my first book called, "Lubrication Degradation Mechanisms, A complete guide" with CRC Press. Currently, I am working on two other books which I hope to have finished and ready for publication by the end of the year.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I’ve always had a passion for understanding how things work and how to make them more efficient. Even though my first degree was in Electrical & Computer Engineering, when I went into the world of work, I had an opportunity to get into the Lubrication field. I remember this distinctly as at that time, I did not know that lubrication engineering even existed! After applying for the position of a Distributor Front Line Technical Support to Shell lubricants for Trinidad and Tobago, I was told by the distributor that all of the other candidates for the role were male and had quite a bit of experience within the industry. However, they also said that there were two things that were not in my favour, that I was female and that I was really young without much experience. They went on to say that even though these were seemingly against me, they would work in my favour as they knew that I had the passion, drive and ability to be moulded and prepped for the industry.

Once I got into the world of lubrication, I immediately realized that it formed a part of reliability and I fell in love with solving lubrication challenges as it paved the way for an increase in overall reliability. Being female in such a male dominated industry only helped me in my purpose to push the barriers that exist within this field and to pave the way forward for other women who want to pursue a career in this field.

After being in the field for some years, I decided to pursue my Masters in Engineering Asset Management and did my thesis on “An Investigation of Critical lubricant failures in an Ammonia Complex”. Little did I know then that this thesis would be the turning point in my career as it would provide the platform for the train of thought upon which my company was built and later form the idea of the book that I would write 3 years afterwards.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

All obstacles are viewed as stepping stones. What I’ve realized is that the more you view something as an obstacle, the more it becomes an obstacle. If we keep an open mind and view the challenge as an opportunity to grow or explore something that we haven’t done before, our entire demeanour changes. By extension, this changes our problem solving skills and we are willing to go the extra mile and think outside of the norms to solve the issue.

 

Lots of people would view being female in such a male dominated industry as a challenge or obstacle. I view it as an opportunity to bring new concepts to the field, to shatter those preconceived notions that all engineers are male and to pave the way forward for women globally to live their passion by removing the barriers that society has placed within these industries.

 

Typically, whenever I’m faced with a new “challenge”, the first thing that I do is assess the situation, identify what is really required and then find a solution to it. The main idea is to keep an open mind and know that there is a solution to the challenge being faced, we just need to find that solution.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

There are so many things that I wish I knew then! One of the things that stand out to me is launching a business with global reach, being able to be in control of your own schedule, writing a book and living your passion! I think that growing up most of us aren’t fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who will challenge us to break out of being, “what is expected of you” and push us into the realm of, “there are no limits on what you can achieve”.

 

Growing up, I always had the mind-set that anything is possible, especially if it hasn’t been done yet. This always helped me to press forward and push those big dreams into a reality. One of the things that I wish I could have told my younger self was, “You’ve got this, you are stronger than you can ever imagine and you’re powered by the universe. Let your light shine on and illuminate everything that is touched by it. Believe in yourself and know that you are a unique gift to this world”. I’m not sure if I would have understood it then, but I would have loved to have that confidence back then to know that we can change the world, once we try.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

STEM is amazing! I’ve always loved it and obviously that gravitated me towards engineering but being involved with all of these areas that play such critical roles in the world is beyond amazing. We are part of something so much bigger than ourselves and we can effect the change, we can be the change through applications of all these subject areas.

 

There is so much to be learnt and so much knowledge to share within these areas that it is not highlighted enough to our younger generation. While they may not realize how “cool” STEM is, they can identify how much of the world it affects. Integrating our society to understand that STEM can really revolutionize the way we live, is one of the main tasks that lay before us.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

My advice to girls who want to pursue STEM is to never silence your curiosity. Your curiosity can lead to so many new innovations and different ways of thinking that can revolutionize the way things work today and in the future. Always be willing to challenge yourself to think of new ways of doing things, you are not an average person, you are extraordinary!

 

STEM allows you to really get down to innovating new paths and you could be the reason that we perform some ordinary task in a more efficient or safer way. We need your ingenuity, your creativity and most of all your talent to help make the world a better place for the current generation and all the future generations. The power is within you, let’s unlock that through STEM!

INSPIRATION

My inspiration manifests from so many places and people! Just knowing that we are all powered by the universe, is inspiration enough! I value all of my colleagues in the industry who are on a similar mission to help educate and train others to uplift them and make the industry a safer, more efficient place to work. One of my favourite quotes is, “Try not to become a person of success but rather try to become a person of value” – Albert Einstein.