Please tell us about yourself
Asmita Khanolkar works in the medical device industry and her responsibility is to take new products through engineered scale up into high volume commercialization. This involves taking early design medical device concepts through development and manufacturing planning, equipment design, automation, work cell and plant layouts, commissioning and validations to produce millions of devices per year.
“It is a very rewarding job to bring a product from concept to market that will improve life and benefit thousands of patients,” says Khanolkar, who holds a Master’s degree in Material Science & Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic& Bachelor’s degree in Polymer Science and Engineering. She has over 20 years of manufacturing experience specializing in the Medical Device Industry.
She has managed device projects starting from concept to volume manufacturing launches. Her product portfolio includes devices in diabetes management, surgical devices, orthopedics, respiratory, cardiovascular, patient safety and health monitoring devices, biomedical and cell regeneration devices, drug delivery, sports regenerative surgery, blood collection, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, needle protection and airway products.
INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?
Asmita Khanolkar– It has been an exciting career track and I have had the opportunity to work on various device launches in the fields of drug delivery devices, surgical devices, orthopedics, respiratory, cardiovascular, patient safety and health monitoring devices, biomedical and cell regeneration devices, drug delivery, sports regenerative surgery, blood collection, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, needle protection and airway products.
My current project at CeQur involves scale up of a wearable insulin delivery device for helping people with type II diabetes. The device delivers basal insulin, also referred to as background insulin, which regulates your glucose levels in between meals, and bolus insulin, extra insulin needed to manage your glucose levels after a meal for 3 days freeing people from daily injections and achieving better control of the disease. There are an estimated 11 million patients just in US and Europe that are on insulin injections. Knowing that I am working on a solution that could help so many people live longer and beat this terrible disease is very humbling and also a big responsibility. The launch to market needs to be timely and needs to meet the user requirements for millions of devices working efficiently day in and day out.
INE: In what way do you feel you have positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field?
AK: I feel my best work is represented in giving back to the community opening the youth to STEM opportunities and help create the future engineers, scientists and technology leaders of tomorrow. I am dedicated to being a mentor and role model for young women in engineering and technology fields and guiding them through their career goals and achieving success. I am also passionate about helping underprivileged kids for those who cannot afford the education in robotics, giving them the opportunity to compete and showcase their creativity. I am working with the India STEM foundation to identify and sponsor robotics team for underprivileged kids.
INE: Who inspires you the most?
AK: My family has been my inspiration all through the years. Starting with my parents, my dad is a retired army colonel and my mom a school teacher. Back when I was in school, it was uncommon to see girls in hard core engineering fields; less than 2% girls students were in mechanical engineering. I chose to pursue my engineering in polymers which was a completely new field at that time. My parents supported me and inspired me to carve my own path in this field. Inspiration can come even from someone younger; my sister is an example of this, a successful doctor and researcher. Over the years I have also had many mentors outside of my family from professors to managers to industry leaders, friends and acquaintances, I am very thankful to all of them.
INE: Your rare talent?
AK: I come from a family of great musicians and singers and although did not get a chance to devote too much time to music, I have inherited a singing voice. I was a radio star as a kid and have won many music awards in singing competitions.
INE: Your favorite books?
AK: I read the “Bhagavad Gita” every day, a gift from by brother; the book is a miniature version of the original manuscript in English. It has influenced me greatly and it has taught me to focus on actions and good deeds rather than the fruits of the actions.
INE: Your favorite quotes?
AK: “A good deed is never lost, it is a treasure laid up and guarded for the doer’s use” – Edwin Markham.
INE: The one person you would like to meet and why?
AK: I would like to meet Michelle Obama, a lawyer, writer and a charming first lady. She has inspired many girls and young women to pursue education and leadership. She is a great role model for girls and women around the world. In trying times of today, we need leaders like her who can inspire an entire generation.
INE: Your core value you try to live by?
AK: I believe in three core values: education, character and helping those who are less fortunate than you. I truly believe education is the key to success. It is one thing that no one can take away from you. You are a student all your life and you can learn a lot from people around you whether they are younger or older than you if you are humble enough to recognize it.