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Employee Spotlight - Lalitha Gotttumukkala
Lalitha Gotttumukkala

Lalitha joined the Celignis team in February 2018 under the role of Project Manager. She has extensive expertise in analytical techniques related to anaerobic digestion as well as in the biological processing of biomass using enzymes. Here are her responses to some questions about her work at Celignis as well as to a some more general questions.

How did you first learn about Celignis?

After my PhD in Life sciences (Biotechnology) from India, I moved to South Africa and got experience in bioprocess engineering and anaerobic digestion for three years. Though it was a great place to work, it was time for me to take up a new career path and new challenges. I came across Celignis on a website dedicated to engineering and scientific job advertisements. I looked at the company website and understood it’s a company focused on providing services for advanced biofuel and biorefinery industry. I felt (and still feel) Celignis is very unique, as it is the only company that provides such services. I applied for the job and during the interview my interaction with CEO, Daniel Hayes (Dan) and lab manager, Chris Comerford (Chris) really raised my interest to be part of such a wonderful team. Very fortunately, I got selected and now I am part of Celignis.

What is the favourite part about working for Celignis?

Honestly, cheerful faces and positive energy in the workspace is really my favourite part. My role is to bring new ideas, analysis packages and projects to the company for which I should be able to think quick and act fast and I simply love it. Things are very transparent and there is no hierarchical barrier that limits flowing of ideas. Most importantly, no fuss about simple things. We work on rectifying the mistakes and improving the productivity rather than complaining about them.

What do you find the most challenging at Celignis?

I like challenges and at Celignis I have enough of them. I am playing different roles at Celignis, so my biggest challenge is to prioritise the work and keep myself on track without randomly jumping from one task to another. When I think about new analysis packages, I should be sure of every single detail of it and also have to think about the return of investment which is a bit new for me coming from a pure academic background. My work involves a lot of traveling and interacting with people. I have to be always physically and mentally active to discuss about multiple projects/ideas in the same day. But, these are the challenges that wake me up in the morning and keeps my brain chemicals flowing.

What has been your favourite project at Celignis?

My favourite project at Celignis is developing new analysis packages for the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry. This project helps me to showcase and apply my knowledge and expertise in the AD industry. Current analysis for AD takes several days and weeks, so I am working on developing new analysis methods and AD process control methods that will give quicker and deeper insights in to the AD process.

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Celignis?

Celignis should have a revolutionary analysis kit and digester revival kit launched in the market which can be used at AD and waste treatment industries by plant operators for quick analysis and save the digesters from failing. This will reduce the risk of AD failure and have a big impact on investment support for AD start-ups. Celignis should be known for its innovative processes and products as much as for its analysis packages.

How has Celignis helped you in your career development?

I learn many things in a day, as it is a constantly evolving company. But the most important thing and helpful thing I have learnt (learning) is the importance of detail and perfection in the work we do. I am still far behind when comes to perfection, but hopefully working at Celignis will make me “perfectionist” one day.

Three words to best describe you:

Go-getter, spontaneous and cheerful.

Any random facts you could share with us?

A single cow can fart and burp up to 200-400 litres of methane gas into the atmosphere a day and methane is 20 times more dangerous than CO2 for the environment.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Any phone call before 9 AM.

What is the best book you have ever read?

A thousand splendid suns by Khaleed Hosseini.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My mom’s biryani. I eat it for lunch and dinner and still ask if something is left for the next day.

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