Spending our summers on some DIY science projects is usual. However, how many of us can claim it results in true innovation? The innovation quest starts young Kiran Gopala Krishna, Engineering Fellow of Honeywell Aerospace, is one of such type. “I was just a high school boy tinkering with hardware in my father’s garage. My father had a business of manufacturing tubelight ballasts or chokes, and that gave me an early introduction to product development and innovation. I used to observe the challenges of maintaining quality, managing the supply chain, keeping the team motivated, and innovating to reduce the cost of production. As time passed by, conventional chokes were getting outdated, and electronic chokes ones were coming onto the market. This innovation enabled my father to improve the value proposition of the product for customers by giving them a choice and for us to value-price it for different market segments. Two decades of solving customers’ pain points On the cusp of completing 20 years of service at Honeywell, Kiran has been part of many teams and in myriad roles in avionics engineering operations. “Engineers often inhabit a dream world, we love to create and are very passionate about the technology solutions that we conceive. However, it is important to remember that any technology solution must solve a customer problem and create value for the organization.” “I have seen many of my colleagues, and even myself, get enamored by the ‘patents game’. In my view, a patent is only a proof of having thought of something first; its usefulness is not proven. There are many patents which do not have a use or have influenced neither products, nor industries. Patents without use are not innovation, and we as technologists must aim at innovation, not merely invention”, he adds. Emerging technologies are core to Industry 4.0 Kiran’s desire to learn and push the envelope has been at the center of a professional path filled with technical glory. This was evident when he joined the Aerospace Aftermarket business team. For an engineering leader, this was indeed a leap of faith. “As a member of the customer business team, I had to simplify the ‘Technical for Business’ and prioritize programs based on business requirements. This was a considerable learning phase, as till then I had not fully understood how engineering and business collaborate to solve customer problems”. Today, as an Engineering Fellow, Kiran partners with senior technologists and top business leaders of Honeywell to drive technology excellence, strategies, and critical initiatives for Aerospace Advanced Technology research. “Honeywell is on an exciting software industrial transformation journey that will ensure its leadership position in Industry 4.0. Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Human-Machine Interaction will be in focus, and I am privileged to be part of the teams that are working on projects which will enable Honeywell to build a smarter, safer, and more sustainable world”.