January 4, 2023
“Whatever you do, give your best,” is what I learned as a child growing up in a coastal city in India.
Living near the water and being a second-generation marine engineer, I was fascinated by the massive ships being built and operated. So, there was never a second thought for me to decide to spend a few years getting to know these ships in detail. But, after spending more than three years in the cargo shipping industry, it was time to move on to something that was more nascent in development.
I stumbled upon the marine EV sector when I noticed Photon on LinkedIn. This was a perfect opportunity to utilize my previous knowledge while also learning about a new EV space – and to work with small boats.
As someone who has a background in internal combustion engines, the mechanics of my job were familiar (except for the electric motor). While I am still learning the ropes of the EV sector, I feel that I have largely pinned down the mechanical aspects of boats and outboards.
Even though I have changed my interest from ships that are a few hundred meters long to ones that measure only a few feet, the job is not easy. One can only imagine the amount of tech crammed in a single outboard! I enjoy learning about the intricacies of the EV space. There is a largely untapped space for high power electric outboards, and I am getting to know a lot about systems, starting from concept to realization.
Electric conversion of an outboard is more complex than just getting the powerhead out and fitting the motor. It’s about making sure the entire system works in harmony to have the best efficiency and consumer experience. Crunching data will ensure we design what works best for the customer by striking the balance between distance that needs to be covered and battery cost.
Creativity flourishes when you have an array of constraints. Every day at Photon is a new day: there is always something new that needs to be considered. And what helps the most is the free flow of ideas within the Photon team and the encouragement to test and validate them.
Being an Industrial Engineer with marine experience, someday I would like to develop an inhouse manufacturing line for electric outboards –after we start getting our housings made.
Thinking ahead to design a product that works equally well in commercial and recreational markets will be beneficial in a long run. By building relationships with contractors and suppliers, we will achieve our goal of emission-free boating and timely deliveries.
Aditya currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon, where he is attending graduate school. He grew up in India in the coastal town of Ratnagiri, which is known as the Land of Mangoes. He says the best mangoes in the world, called Alphonso’s, grow there. Growing up on the coast injected him with a love for all things water and led to his calling to be around water. While pursuing Master’s, he was led to the industrial engineering and more into manufacturing, production and planning. But life has a way of throwing you in the face of what you are most passionate about, and this led him marine EV space through Photon marine after a very fulfilling time onboard merchant vessels. Aditya likes traveling, playing badminton, woodworking and machining, and collecting model cars.