October 24, 2018
By Benjamin Dally
The Biological and Agricultural Engineering department hosted Dr. Gokul Kalur, Calibration Manager at Genentech. In the seminar, “All about Solving Problems: How We Do It In MSAT,” Dr. Kalur spoke about the problem solving skills involved in Manufacturing & Science Technology (MSAT). In his talk, Dr. Kalur explained the necessity of problem solving skills within MSAT when products move through the manufacturing process.
The seminar is part of the Fall Quarter Seminar Series hosted by Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The series features professionals and academics and covers a wide range of topics in the fields of biotech, agriculture, and energy.
The process that Dr. Kalur and his team go through is much like that of a detective solving a case. “You’re going to run into problems,” Dr. Kalur said, “and we help you solve those problems.”
Working for Genetech, Dr. Kalur gave an example of a problem that arose during chromatography the company was performing. When an anomaly arose, Dr. Kalur was tasked with investigating the process, automation, machines, product, and more to find out where the anomaly was and how to correct it with the best effort vs. benefit ratio.
In the example, Dr. Kalur explained how the identification, diagnostics, analysis, focusing on key areas, fixing controllable aspects, verifying, and implementing compliantly took about 20 days. But, the process could take place on a much shorter or longer time frame depending on the problem that needs attention.
Towards the end of the presentation, Dr. Kalur gave another piece of insightful advice to all those in attendance to “be data driven.” When people talk about data and talk around data, they take their own personality out of the equation and end up with better results, according the Dr. Kalur.
Of his time at Genentech, Dr. Kalur was overwhelmingly positive. “I can say, yes,” he told the group, “I kept someone alive.” And that’s why he continues to be passionate about what he does because it is not for him, but for the patient.
Next week’s seminar, Rural Rwanda Solar System Initiative, will be given by Nicholas Bowden, PhD Student in the Energy Graduate Group at UC Davis. The Rural Rwanda Solar Systems Initiative is a collaborative effort between the US and Rwanda to provide electricity to the most remote parts of Rwanda.