Commonwealth Correspondent lands coveted spot in Society of Manufacturing Engineers ‘30 Under 30’January 19th, 2024
by Sitaram Nayak
Sameer Kumar Misra, a trailblazer in the realm of manufacturing engineering and utilizing it to teach marginalised children, has recently been honoured by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the SME Education Foundation in their prestigious 30 Under 30 list. This recognition stands as a testament to Misra’s exceptional contributions to the manufacturing industry though his work in social sector and his unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence.
Established in 1932, at the height of Great Depression, the SME is a non-profit organization that has steadfastly supported manufacturing for 90 years. From its founding as the American Society of Tool Engineers to its evolution into the SME in 1969, and ultimately becoming the SME in 2013, the organization has played a pivotal role in shaping the manufacturing landscape. Working closely with manufacturing professionals, companies, educators, schools, and communities, the SME has been at the forefront of sharing knowledge and resources that generate solutions to manufacturing industry challenges.
The outstanding young people honoured by the SME’s 30 Under 30 programme, including Sameer Kumar Misra, the only Indian to feature in the list this year, make a profound impact at work, in their communities, and across manufacturing. They serve as mentors, role models, researchers, engineers, innovators, teammates, gearheads, volunteers, and ambassadors for STEM education.
Sameer Kumar Misra is a Commonwealth Correspondent and a Mechanical Engineer, SBI Fellow who left his stable job, and for the past five years, has been instrumental in setting up innovation labs in remote rural schools of Odisha, India. These labs aim to offer affordable education to tribal children, whose parents predominantly work as farmers and labourers. Misra’s departure from a lucrative job was motivated by a desire to empower kids who are mostly first-generation learners from the marginalized communities and had never encountered a real train, but can now build and launch their own water rockets.
His commendable efforts have not gone unnoticed, with Misra receiving prestigious awards from NASA and the German Aerospace Agency. Additionally, he has earned honours from the Honourable Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly as well as ex-Chief Minister of Bihar for his ground breaking work in introducing technology to rural villages in India. He has also been appreciated by NITI Aayog, the premier think tank of India for his work.
The tribal girls are now getting to work with technologies like 3D printer where they can prototype their ideas. They are building objects like keychains for foreign students from The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) and see future beyond the village. Sameer has been able to impact over 1500 tribal children with his work. Students who had become labourers have been brought back by these labs and are now teaching in schools while others who used to sell sarees and clothes in factories on daily wage are pursuing higher education courses like Computer Science Engineering, in a state which has the highest school dropout rate in India at high school level.
He thanks his schoolmates namely Manas, Shashank, Shariq, Anany, Abhinav, Disha, Saumya, Siddharth, Shikhar, Shubham, Nikhil, Nihav, Avi, and Sanat for endorsing the cause to create a positive impact.
Misra envisions the integration of cutting-edge technologies, such as 3D printing and integrated manufacturing, in sectors like housing and automotive. He advocates for the evolution of education, emphasizing the need for aligning teaching practices with industry standards. Having observed the disparity between traditional teaching methods and modern industry practices, especially in subjects like engineering graphics, Misra underscores the importance of incorporating current practices into school and college-level education.
In light of his exceptional contributions, Sameer Kumar Misra’s inclusion in SME Media’s 30 Under 30 list comes as no surprise. This accolade celebrates emerging leaders who have displayed exemplary dedication, creativity, and promise in the field of manufacturing engineering. Misra’s consistent demonstration of exceptional skills and leadership in driving advancements within the manufacturing sector has not only set him apart but has also made a significant impact on the industry. He has earlier been featured as a part of UNESCO MGIEP (Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development) Kindness Matters series.
Expressing his gratitude for this recognition, Misra acknowledges the support of his engineering batchmates, namely Samerth Malhotra, Atul Chhimpa, Abhinav Raj, Supriyo, Aditya, Vardaan, Avinash, Virender, Shubho, Jayant Pataliya, Saksham Bansal, Arpan, Pranshu, Nikhil, Chaman, Ayush Kant, Anushrut, Sohan, Aman, Alok, Kapil, Arnav, and Udit, highlighting the collaborative nature of his journey.
He also thanks all his mechanical professors especially Ankur Shrivastav and Ashish Goyal for their constant support as well as his first year HOD S.K. Jhanjaria and his college Manipal University Jaipur from where he pursued his Mechanical Engineering.
As Sameer Kumar Misra continues to make strides in the field, this prestigious accolade from SMEMedia solidifies his standing as a noteworthy figure in the future of manufacturing engineering. His passion for innovation, coupled with a commitment to education and community development, positions him as a rising star within the manufacturing community.