Niru Somayajula has recognized an extra 10,000 sq. ft of house in Dartmouth’s Burnside Park that may permit her to broaden her firm’s operation in Nova Scotia.
The president and CEO of Sensor Know-how Ltd., headquartered in Collingwood, Ont., however with meeting operations at Dartmouth’s Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Somayajula says she had plans to quadruple the scale of her firm when she and two enterprise companions acquired the enterprise in 2011.
Sensor Know-how’s roots are literally within the business pottery enterprise, “if you happen to can imagine it,” she stated in an interview.
“It was referred to as Blue Mountain Pottery and it needed to diversify its choices. So, in 1983 the corporate employed my dad, Eswar Prasad, who had his PhD in physics and a specialization in one thing referred to as piezoelectric ceramics.”
The subsidiary Prasad headed up was referred to as Blue Mountain Excessive Tech Inc. It’s speciality, the creation of piezoelectric ceramics, is utilized in acoustic tools resembling sonar and underwater sensors, and continues to be certainly one of Sensor Know-how’s important product traces.
“It was as soon as a big firm, using about 700 individuals making geese and ashtrays and issues like that,” stated Somayajula.
“It had a really particular teal-green-blue color that’s fairly iconic everywhere in the world.”
Finally, although, the pottery aspect of the enterprise failed in 1985 however her father, together with some companions, acquired the tech division.
“They’d some authorities contracts from the U.S. to develop the supplies wanted for piezoelectric ceramics. (The U.S. army) needed extra sources of provide as a result of the fundamentals of sonar are all made off of those ceramics,” she stated.
“That’s kind of how Sensor Know-how was born, out of the Workplace of Naval Analysis grants.”
Somayajula’s mom, Shashi Prasad, has a “very deep monetary background” and was the corporate’s chief monetary officer for a few years.
“In order that they have been a pleasant pair; he was technical and she or he was very sensible.”
They determined to retire and the corporate was readied on the market. Somayajula was introduced in as interim supervisor in preparation for a big oil firm to finish the acquisition however the deal failed.
The enterprise fell to her and two companions. They purchased out her mother and father in 2011.
“We purchased the enterprise from them once I was about seven months pregnant with the primary (little one). So it was an ideal transition plan besides . . . I used to be very pregnant whereas taking up a enterprise. However they turned immediate grandparents, in order that helped them to refocus on retirement.
“They have been so useful within the early days of my children being born and I couldn’t have executed the massive profession and the kid rearing with out sort of a military of help, a village actually.”
The corporate employs round 40 individuals, about 30 in Collingwood and about 10 in Dartmouth.
“I began with only a desk at (the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship) in Dartmouth, simply to have a small presence there,” Somayajula stated.
“I used to be planning to fly in each six weeks for conferences and kind of develop a greater shopper base in Nova Scotia and it . . . transitioned right into a gross sales workplace.”
Shortly after that, she received some manufacturing house at COVE.
“We make the piezoelectric ceramics in Collingwood and that may most likely by no means change,” she stated.
“However we then flip the piezoelectric ceramics into the acoustic sensors, and that complete product line has been shifted to Nova Scotia.”
Unmanned automobiles remotely operated, and sensors that go on an underwater automobiles, the designers have to be very aware about weight and drag, and the sunshine weight piezoelectric ceramics have a bonus.
“Our plan is to create an entire suite of merchandise that may help the unmanned automobiles,” Somayajula stated.
The corporate’s enlargement in Dartmouth has been slowly constructing, and that’s a part of what a lately introduced $393,367 mortgage from the Atlantic Canada Alternatives Company will probably be used for, to fund the acquisition of kit.
Whereas the corporate is eying new house in Burnside, Somayajula stated, Sensor Know-how simply began building Monday of a mezzanine on the firm’s house at COVE to supply some higher temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms for some processes used within the meeting of acoustic tools.
“I truly stay in each locations,” stated Somayajula.
“I’ve a house in Dartmouth and the house in Collingwood, and I spend per week in every. . . . I’m on a airplane each Sunday, simply attempting to maintain issues going amidst COVID.
“I’m like the one particular person I do know who’s nonetheless getting on planes nowadays, however we’ve got a lot occurring in Nova Scotia. That crew, whereas great, they’re fairly new to the group, in order that they want a hand and I’m the one one within the firm prepared to journey nowadays.”
She stated she does “a modified quarantine due to a few of the work that we do within the defence business, we’re thought-about important, and so I’m allowed to go to the workplace however that’s about it. I’m kind of anticipated to do a direct to workplace and again trajectory.”
Somayajula stated she’s “attempting to maintain the plant operating in Nova Scotia, and we’re increasing now on the similar time. It’s a number of enjoyable.”