Interview with YPI Emerging Young Pipeline Professional Award winner Vinooth Rajendran

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Interview with YPI Emerging Young Pipeline Professional Award winner Vinooth Rajendran

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Vinooth Rajendran with Cindy Dirkx representing the award sponsor Dirkx PM&S (© 2023 Ralph Thiele / EITEP)
Vinooth Rajendran with Cindy Dirkx representing the award sponsor Dirkx PM&S (© 2023 Ralph Thiele / EITEP)

Winning this Award is a significant achievement. Can you share with us how you felt when you received the news and what it means to you?

I was expecting an email in March 2023. However, I did not receive any emails, so I assumed I was not selected for this award. Unexpectedly, I came across the award announcement email in the morning of mid-April 2023. I felt surprised and very happy, and I immediately sent an email to my PhD supervisor to seek approval for the further process. This award means a lot to me; as a PhD student, it motivates me to continue innovating in the pipeline industry.

Could you provide an overview of your work or research focus and the potential impact it can have on the pipeline industry?

I am currently working on a research project titled 'Nanowire-based Hybrid Sensors at Pipe-Insulation Interface for Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) Monitoring and Analysis'. The objective of this research is to design a sensor array that combines acoustic emission, humidity, temperature, and pH sensors to effectively monitor the entire pipeline interface conditions. The overall outcome of this research is expected to have a significant impact on the pipeline monitoring industry, particularly in the effective monitoring and early prediction of failure locations in corrosion under insulation conditions.

What motivates and inspires you to continue pursuing a career in research and academia?

Continuous learning of new skills, acquiring subject knowledge, and working towards the development of new technologies to solve real industrial problems.

What are the key challenges you have faced in your research journey so far, and how have you managed to overcome them?

As part of my research work, I have encountered some challenges. One particular challenge is maximizing the sensor monitoring range in pipeline monitoring. Based on the advanced materials research, I have devised a plan to utilize a nanowire layer to enhance electron transmission and expand the sensor monitoring range. I am currently working on this, and I am hopeful of achieving positive results.

As an emerging professional in the pipeline industry, what do you believe are the most pressing issues or trends that need to be addressed? How do you plan to contribute to their resolution?

As a PhD student with a focus on interface corrosion monitoring. I can see, identifying failure locations and monitoring multilayer structural interface conditions are significant issues. For instance, issues like corrosion under insulation and the degradation of reinforced steel have led to major accidents and substantial financial losses. These aspects require thorough monitoring and analysis.

Beyond your technical skills and research expertise, what other qualities or attributes do you think have contributed to your success as an emerging young professional in the pipeline industry?

Beyond my research work, my vision for the future of the pipeline industry, and my collaborations with industry professionals, help me gain insights into the genuine needs of both present and future industries. Furthermore, my industrial experience has deepened my understanding of industrial problems and has enabled me to find advanced solutions for them.

As a PhD Research student, what lessons have you learned throughout your journey that have significantly impacted your personal and professional growth?

My PhD journey has significantly supported my personal and professional growth. Continuously working will help you achieve outstanding results.

Apart from your professional pursuits, what are some of your hobbies or interests that bring you joy and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

Outside of my PhD life, I enjoy taking long walks or jogs to get fresh air and explore beautiful places. Additionally, I have a passion for cooking. I prepare various dishes based on my mood, and I find a lot of enjoyment in doing so.

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