One to Watch: Passion shines through for TIer profiled in magazine

In our ongoing series, ‘One to Watch,’ we profile the movers and shakers at TI who are making a difference through their extraordinary work.

TI AvatarTIer Ajinder Singh is described as equal parts engineer and leader. As the general manager of our building automation sector, a part of the Industrial Systems team, he still likes to get his hands dirty, dissect electronic devices to see how they work, and develop new TI Designs. At the same time, he also enjoys leading groups of people and working with customers to help solve their problems.

For these and other reasons, Ajinder has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 2015 “Accelerators” – five executives who are changing the face of Fortune 500 companies. You can read about his accomplishment in the latest print edition of Fortune, which was released today.

What are Ajinder’s thoughts about this high-profile recognition? Complete gratitude.

“I’m grateful that I discovered my passion right here at TI. And I’m grateful that the company gives me an opportunity every day to work on my passion,” he said Friday. “This way, everybody wins.”

Indeed, Ajinder’s passion shines through in his work, which allows him to drive real change in his organization and around the world. He and his team partner with building automation customers worldwide to understand their challenges and barriers to innovation, bringing together technologies from across TI’s broad portfolio of Analog and Embedded Processing products to help solve their problems. Their common goal? Build a future where innovative, smart buildings and homes can save us time and money – while decreasing our energy usage.

For example, last year, he and his team developed a TI reference design that takes indoor light, harvests it and can run a complete wireless sensing node.

“What we did with this design was show customers how we could harvest energy without batteries and send a Bluetooth Low Energy beacon every second,” Ajinder explained.

Bobby Mitra, who leads the industrial systems team, added: “Ajinder’s energy and passionate thought leadership – along with his deep system-level expertise – is an inspiring combination that’s leading to real breakthroughs and helping to drive longterm success at TI. He still likes to get his hands dirty and work on TI Designs, but he is also really passionate about helping develop the next generation of TIers.”

In fact, Ajinder is currently mentoring an intern on an even lower-power energy harvesting project using our next-generation low-power wireless radios and battery management devices.

Love of engineering

Ajinder’s career started with an internship at TI in 2002. That’s when he “got hooked” as an engineer, he said. As a member of the interface business unit, his task was to work on digital visual interface (DVI) receivers to solve a high-speed signal integrity issue.

“That’s what planted the seed and helped me discover who I am,” he said, adding, “I enjoyed interacting with so many smart people, and I received the guidance and mentoring I needed. The experience had a lot to do with the passion I have today for my work.”

Ajinder also credits his wife, Amrita, for inspiring him.

“She has helped me to solidify my passion for my work. Without her, I may not have been able to contribute as much as I have to TI.”

Originally from Delhi, India, Ajinder graduated from Texas Tech University with a master’s degree in electrical engineering and started working full time at TI in 2003. He served as a technology lead in building automation for a year-and-a-half and then started managing the team a year ago.

Turning passion into innovation

As a hobby, Ajinder dissects candy machines and remote-controlled cars. At his office, he cracks open smart building devices like Internet-connected thermostats, air-quality sensors and surveillance cameras to improve them, the Fortune article states.

“I’m always looking at what customers are doing with products, the capabilities of a TI device, and how it could simplify their products,” he said. “If we know the exact problem the customers are trying to solve sooner, then we can engage multiple customers and offer differentiated solutions.”

At work, he loves “taking on really complicated problems that customers are trying to solve and providing them with differentiated solutions” – using TI parts, of course.

“When we can talk to customers and engage them with a TI solution, we make a connection with them and we are all one. The combination of the TI differentiated solution and the humility of just sharing what we have done really resonates with our customers. We are trying to solve the same problems.”

From the next generation of occupancy detection to improved air quality sensing, Ajinder and his team are pushing the boundaries of innovation with our semiconductor products, laying the foundation for the future of connected, efficient buildings.

Accelerating the future

Those who know Ajinder say he was a prime candidate for recognition as an “accelerator.” Scott Roller, vice president of systems engineering and marketing, recognized Ajinder in an email to employees last week:

“It is wonderful to see Ajinder recognized for his natural passion for engineering and internal drive for constant improvement,” Scott said. “He brings so much energy to our team, and I look forward to seeing him continue to ‘accelerate’ building automation at Texas Instruments.”

Click here to see the online version of the Fortune article.