Diasporian News of Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Source: NSBE Magazine
Dr. Alexander Anim-Mensah Making Use of the Numbers for ITW
By Lynette Locke
In a world where undiscovered technologies can become treasures of business, those who can make sense of innovation onslaughts are the new wizards of industry. One person in this admirable position is NSBE member Alexander Anim-Mensah, Ph.D., principal engineer for Hobart Corporation, Warewash business unit, a division of ITW.
Corporate ITW, based in Glenview, Ill., has businesses around the world, in areas including Polymers & Fluids, Power Systems & Electronics, Food Equipment Group (FEG), Construction Products, Transportation, Industrial Packaging and Other Businesses.
Dr. Anim-Mensah is involved in product development and support of existing products. His business unit produces commercial “warewashers” that are used in places such as airports, hospitals/nursing homes, schools/universities, cruise ships, hotels, restaurants and government institutions. His primary responsibilities include leading technology transfer and evaluating concepts, and handling issues relating to water and its treatment. In carrying out these duties, he extracts useful information for engineering, research/field recommendations and management decision-making.
Dr. Anim-Mensah was born in Ghana and has three degrees in chemical engineering: a bachelor’s from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Ghana; a master’s from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Throughout his college years, he was actively involved with the National Society of Black Engineers. He says joining NSBE was a pivotal decision in his life and that his commitment to the organization has grown deeper over time.
“I am with NSBE, and NSBE is with me,” he says.
Throughout his career, Dr. Anim-Mensah maintained a tight focus on his engineering profession and seized every opportunity that came his way. He was an engineer intern in Ghana for West African Mill Ltd and Ghana Cement Works. Also, he was a co-op for Syngenta Crop Protection, in North Carolina, and Procter and Gamble, in Ohio. He worked for Tema Oil Refinery, in Ghana; Siemens Water Technologies, in Colorado; and Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, in Ohio. He then relocated to ITW–Technology Center, in Illinois, where he was involved in the engineering and research fields.
“I took all my internships, co-op and networking seriously at the beginning of my profession. I found a way to translate my classroom work into real-life solutions,” he says.
Meeting real-life requirements from an engineering and research standpoint can be overwhelming, but Dr. Anim-Mensah, now 41, says he chooses a simple approach to his problem-solving, one that applies “basic concepts in looking at ways to do things differently, effectively and efficiently,” while keeping the users of the end-products in mind.
“One must have the ability to combine both laboratory and field work, interact with consumers on how our products are meeting their needs and concerns, and use this information to innovate to go beyond consumers’ needs,” he says.
His colleague Wayne (Wen-Feng) Liu, Ph.D., a team leader at the ITW Tech Center, says, “Alex is aggressive and ambitious.” A former colleague, Sailesh Athreya, Ph.D., Advanced Technology Strategy lead at Honeywell Aerospace, says Dr. Anim-Mensah is a great role model for all young engineers because of his “systematic perseverance: going with an open mind to complex issues with many unknowns.” He adds that Dr. Anim-Mensah also excels in presentations. “Insights were a breeze to draw, from the way Alex presented. His style of breaking complex concepts down in his presentations with supporting information does the talking for him.”
As he continues his career, Dr. Anim-Mensah looks forward to positively impacting the community, by solving existing and emerging problems and being a mentor for young engineers and scientists, while continuing a successful career at ITW.
Reprinted with permission, NSBE Magazine. Copyright © 2013, National Society of Black Engineers