Outside of work Pooya Mahmoudian spends his time keeping up with all the new things his two young children are into, but when he’s at the office he is keeping up with the advancements and challenges Haskel’s customers are facing. As Haskel’s R&D Senior Program Manager, Mahmoudian plays a key role in the company’s most innovative projects. He shared more about what he’s working on and what he’s turning his attention to next.
Can you tell us about your background and expertise in high-pressure product development? What interested you in joining the Haskel team?
I hold a BS and MS degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. I worked as a design engineer for 12 years in fluid management industry with focuses on R&D and new product development. I have three published papers, two pending patents and have been the peer-reviewer for multiple ASME conferences. I completed a project management certificate program at UCLA and hold a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute.
My project/program management career started with managing a multi-million-dollar autoclave manufacturing project back in 2012. When I joined Haskel in 2014, I was already amazed by the unique products it offered as a leader of its industry for 75 years. The design approaches were not something you learn in academia. Understanding the technology has been a fantastic ongoing experience for me since joining the company.
What projects are you currently overseeing, and what industries will these products serve?
We’re getting close to the official launch of Haskel’s first line of electromechanical driven gas boosters. Supporting this project has been very interesting because it incorporates completely new technology and offers customers in several industries unique advantages. Because of the breadth of capabilities this new product will have, it’s been exciting to explore how it will impact different applications. We’ve identified three specific customer bases that we can serve with different versions of this product:
- Inert gas compression (oil/gas and automotive industries)
- Botanical extraction systems (food industry)
- Hydrogen compression (renewable energies)
For other projects, hydrogen is remaining a priority. I’ve done a lot of research and development in hydrogen embrittlement. We want to make sure we’re staying up to date with the latest challenges as well as advancements so we can effectively help our customers keep moving forward.
How do you approach the unique projects you have worked on, like hydrogen embrittlement, to ensure they are advancing the industry and what Haskel is doing as a company?
At Haskel we constantly entertain innovative ideas that can address challenging design problems and conflicting customer, industry, and regulatory requirements.
In the composite barrel project for example, we addressed the challenge of mitigating hydrogen-induced crack failure in pressure equipment. Our Voice of Customer assessment showed that most customers bear costly replacement of their pressure-containing components every few years to mitigate this failure risk. Furthermore, there was no robust design that could eliminate this failure mode. Therefore, cost of ownership and catastrophic failure risk mitigation became the driving factors to rationalization of this project. The result was a design method that can eliminate hydrogen embrittlement effect and drop the cost of the component replacement or the use of exotic high-nickel-content alloys.
Haskel holds customer dedication and success to a very high level, it’s at the heart of all that we do – including our product advancements.
What characteristics make up a successful R&D team? What draws your team to a project?
R&D projects are often associated with several uncertainties, so being able to constantly evaluate risks, quickly adapt to changes and be ready to address unexpected issues are unique R&D skills. Additionally, collaborating closely in a team environment and seeing beyond the project scope, deadlines and tasks are the main driving factors for project success. This requires not only competence but also passion for innovation and making a difference.
The skills and characteristics are like those that Haskel looks for overall in their employees. I think that sets us up well for success in R&D projects, it brings the right people to the table.
Do you have any insights on future trends you'll see in the markets you're serving? Where are customer applications headed? Are there any specific projects you would like to see Haskel work on in the future?
On the application of new technologies, I think implementing Internet of Things (IOT) in Haskel’s current and future products can create a great value proposition. Especially now that the consumers are rapidly realizing its values on their everyday lives. Haskel can take advantage of the capabilities IOT offers, such as global remote diagnostics’ and service, data-driven maintenance intervals, and performance optimization. Our current project explores the integration of IOT and I hope this will be a starting point for future projects.
Discover how Haskel engineers have developed a new technology that eliminates the risks of leaks or ruptures due to hydrogen embrittlement: