There was a sense of satisfaction, pride and purpose in Mariasundaram Antony, general manager, India Engineering Operations, GE Power, as he and his team marked the 20-year milestone last month. “It is a moment of huge pride for all of us as we complete 20 years of delivering innovative technology solutions for our customers globally,” he says. “The energy industry is undergoing a significant transition globally and we are excited that we have the most efficient technology in the world in gas-based generation.”
Antony leads the power engineering team at the John F. Welch Technology Centre, GE’s largest integrated research and development and engineering centre, in Bengaluru. Over the years, the team has evolved from an “analysis only” one to a “full-fledged” engineering team, working across the entire engineering value chain with ownership and accountability to deliver outcomes for customers.
Among his most memorable assignments at GE has been working on the record-breaking HA technology for gas turbines. Prior to GE, Antony worked at BHEL for about nine years.
Antony believes the power sector is transitioning at a rapid pace currently, with renewables and storage technologies coming in. “Flexibility of power plants is as critical as efficiency now,” he notes. “We are working to provide technologies that ensure an inclusive energy mix, where gas and steam power can complement renewables.” On the technology front, Antony says that hybrid technologies that integrate different forms of intermittent and on-demand power generation solutions with smart control systems are likely to play a major role in the coming years. He adds, “Storage in different forms, such as chemical storage or pumped storage, is expected to grow. Additive technologies in generation equipment manufacturing will become important as they open up design constraints around manufacturing and help drive better performance, costs and cycle time. Digital solutions and analytics are also expected to play a big role with tonnes of data being generated in a power plant.”
In terms of management style, Antony follows a collaborative approach. “A culture of strong collaboration is extremely important and our ability to work without boundaries, internally and externally, is critical to make the right impact for the business and customers,” he says. He encourages his team to place the highest emphasis on safety and quality of output.