“It’s an honor to be able to apply my technology and innovation expertise to an area that I know is helping create a more sustainable world for my daughters.”
Innovating to Create a More Sustainable World
Three years ago when Seema Nagraj discovered an opportunity with Xylem’s Bangalore, India, office, she chose to pivot from her longtime career in telecommunications to the water sector. Inspired by the chance to develop new technologies that help solve water and other sustainability challenges, as well as the Xylem recruiter who encouraged her to ‘give it a try,’ Seema says, “I took a leap of faith – and haven’t looked back.”
In her role as Lead Engineer within Xylem’s India Tech Center, Seema works with industry-leading technology to develop new ways to test tools that gather critical data on water, gas and electric systems more efficiently. As water and sustainability threats escalate around the world, using data to better understand how to optimize essential services is more important than ever before, to help make these precious resources more accessible and affordable.
In recent years, the water sector has been increasingly embracing digital technologies, creating bold new opportunities for innovators at Xylem to help shape the next generation of water technologies and solutions.
Among her projects, Seema and her team are responsible for quality testing software updates for Sensus’ FieldLogic™ Software Suite, which helps utilities and other users of water simplify the way they collect data from their communications network, saving expense and freeing up staff to focus on other critical issues. Seema’s role involves leveraging the Internet of Things (Iot) – an exciting area she wouldn’t have had exposure to with her previous company.
Smart city IoT starts with a smart public infrastructure to deliver clean water, dependable power, safe gas, and efficient public lighting. As smart cities free up resources by intelligently delivering essential services through the Internet of Things, they are able to invest in other services to improve quality of life. As a quality engineer, Seema develops critical tests to run automation programs. These programs gather data that is then pushed into IoT devices and technologies.
“The best advice I was ever given was: if you hear opportunity knocking, answer it,” Seema says. “In the past I would back away from a new challenge out of fear of failure, but failure is the only way you grow and learn, and I’ve learned at great deal at Xylem. Our culture of innovation encourages and empowers me to try new approaches. ”
Seema also finds Xylem’s overall workplace culture very inspiring. “More than any other place I’ve worked, Xylem is truly focused on supporting women technical leaders,” she says. “My voice is valued and encouraged across all levels of the organization – and I can see the efforts Xylem is doing to further develop diversity and inclusion.”
When she’s not working on a new software enhancement, Seema can be found with her husband and two daughters, ages five and 12. Her eldest has already shown an interest in the tech field thanks to her mother, and her youngest has become fascinated with their water and electric meters in their basement. “She is always reminding us when we’re not being mindful of our water usage,” Seema says with a proud smile. “It’s an honor to be able to apply my technology and innovation expertise to an area that I know is helping my kids and community – to know that when I innovate, I’m helping create a more sustainable world.”
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