A blog post by Dr. M.G Sreenivasan on why he joined HHV and his passion for nano and thin film technology.
I just completed 10 years at HHV. So, decided to kick-start this blog series with one on why I joined HHV.
I finished my PhD at NUS, Singapore and moved to IIT-D to do my post-doctoral work. It’s usually the other way round for most people, but I got a chance early on in my career to go out for my PhD. After that, I wanted to come back home, and moved to Delhi where my family was based at that time. My PhD work was on magnetic semiconductors, but I always wanted to do something in the area of solar cells. I had applied for a project in the DST Fast Track Young Scientist Program and thankfully my project had got approved for funding just before I moved back.
As part of this work, I was working on ways to improve the efficiency of solar cells. During the course of this project, I started looking up for companies who are manufacturing solar cells in India so that I could get some solar cells for my work, and also to pitch the scheme that we were working on for taking forward for production.
I came across a number of companies manufacturing photovoltaic modules using silicon wafers, some of whom were also manufacturing the solar cells from wafers indigenously. I was more interested in companies working on thin film solar cells as the potential for the technique that we were developing was more for this case. I was able to identify only one major company (Moser Baer) that had got into thin film photovoltaic in India. Other than this, there was no other company that I was able to locate either through online search or through known contacts.
One fine day, the HHV’s local representative delivered the company calendar to the lab where I was working. In the calendar, I found pictures of two in-line systems that were part of amorphous silicon production line. I was surprised to see systems of such complexity and magnitude being made by an Indian company, and yet there was very little publicity about this. I am just sharing the pictures here so you can see what I had seen at that time.
Till that time, my idea of HHV was more of a vacuum pump manufacturing company. I started digging into more information on the company. I got to know that HHV was close to five decades old, and manufactures a range of vacuum coaters and metallurgical processing equipments. (After joining here, I got to know that HHV is the first company to be set up in India to offer commercial solutions in the area of vacuum science and technology). I also learnt that HHV is in to coating services manufacturing a range of optical coatings. This got me very interested as I wasn’t expecting any Indian company to have such a wide capability in this niche area.
When my project at IIT-D was nearing completion, I applied to HHV. Luckily for me, one of the scientist positions in the R&D team had just been vacated, and I was able to clear the interviews to get in.
It has been a great learning experience at HHV so far. Even after my stints at other premier international and national institutes, I found myself wanting on various fronts, and had to put in a lot of effort to get a grasp of the multiple facets of work at HHV. Over the course of years, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of developmental activities, leading to delivery of products and solutions to the customers. This is very gratifying and something that I look back and feel happy about at the end of the day. HHV is an interesting place, and if you are reading this blog, you are already on our website. Take some time out to go through the multiple facets of HHV. You might develop a liking for the company as well!