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Member Spotlight - Visal Katamaneni

Visal K. Photo

Visal Katamaneni holds a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Andhra University, India., and a Master of engineering from University of British Columbia, Canada. His passion for naval architecture was nurtured through extensive reading of SNAME publications such as Principles of Naval Architecture and Ship Design and Construction. With experience spanning across prominent shipyards and research institutions in India, Visal recognized the pivotal role of technology in enhancing efficiency within the ship design and construction domain. Consequently, he embarked on a career path as a Systems Engineer, driven by a belief that teaching is the most effective means of learning. 


One of the significant projects Visal undertook early in my career involved the refurbishment of eight passenger ferries along the southeastern coast of India. Leading the design, planning, and execution of this project sharpened his skills in both technical design and project management. Subsequently, he pursued advanced studies in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, supplemented by coursework in engineering management. 


Following graduation, Visal transitioned into a role as a Naval Architect with a reputable ship design firm. Subsequently, he is contributing to the BCFerries Vessel Replacement Program as a Project Coordinator, shipbuilding. Additionally, he became actively involved with SNAME, initially as a student member. In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Visal spearheaded the revitalization of the student section as its chair, facilitating meaningful connections with industry professionals and scholars. 


Upon relocating to the Canadian Pacific Section, Visal played a pivotal role in establishing its social media presence as the Media Chair. Recognized for his leadership qualities, he was entrusted with the position of Vice-Chair within the section. Although poised to ascend to the role of Chair, the demands of his current job, which necessitates extensive travel commitments, led to his decision to step down from the executive team. 



1. At what point in your career did you join SNAME? 

During my undergraduate studies, I aspired to join the organization, but encountered technical obstacles that prevented immediate participation. However, upon resolving these challenges, I promptly pursued membership and have since remained actively engaged. My commitment to the organization stems from a deep-seated belief in its mission and values, as well as the opportunities it affords for professional growth and networking within the industry. Through consistent involvement, I have cultivated meaningful connections and contributed to the advancement of our shared objectives. 


2. How has SNAME membership been of value to you in your career? 

Commencing with the invaluable resources provided by SNAME publications, I embarked on a journey encompassing networking, rigorous research, job exploration, and mentorship. SNAME's publications served as a foundational knowledge base, offering insights and expertise crucial for navigating the intricate realms of naval architecture and marine engineering. 


Networking within the SNAME community has been instrumental in broadening my professional horizons, facilitating connections with esteemed industry peers and mentors. These interactions have not only enriched my understanding but have also presented avenues for collaboration and career advancement. 


Engaging in research activities endorsed by SNAME has been pivotal in honing my analytical skills and expanding my intellectual repertoire. Through participation in conferences, seminars, T&R committee and collaborative projects, I have contributed to the collective knowledge pool while staying abreast of emerging trends and developments in the field. 


Furthermore, SNAME has been an invaluable resource in my job search endeavors, providing access to job listings, recruitment events, and career development opportunities tailored to the specific needs of naval architects and marine engineers. Leveraging these resources, I have navigated the job market with confidence, securing positions aligned with my aspirations and skill set. 


Equally significant has been the mentorship offered through SNAME, wherein seasoned professionals generously impart their wisdom, guidance, and support to aspiring individuals like myself. The mentorship program has provided invaluable insights, encouragement, and advice, enabling me to navigate the complexities of the industry with clarity and purpose. 


In essence, the multifaceted support provided by SNAME, spanning publications, networking, research, job search, and mentorship, has been instrumental in shaping my professional journey and fostering my growth as a naval architect and marine engineer. 


3. When did you know you wanted to pursue a job in the maritime field? 

My formative years were spent along the picturesque coast of the Bay of Bengal, where the rhythmic ebb and flow of small fishing canoes captivated my imagination. Witnessing these vessels vanish into the vast expanse of the sea only to return laden with their bounty of fish sparked an enduring fascination within me. As I grew older and relocated to a bustling port city, my proximity to maritime activities deepened my intrigue. 


The sight of submarines, aircraft carriers, and towering commercial vessels navigating the harbor stirred a profound curiosity within me. I found myself drawn to the intricate processes behind their design and construction, eager to unravel the mysteries that lay beneath their imposing exteriors. This early exposure to the maritime world ignited a passion that would shape my academic and professional pursuits. 


From a tender age, I harbored a keen interest in the maritime domain, driven by an insatiable curiosity and a desire to comprehend the complexities of naval architecture and marine engineering. My upbringing instilled in me a deep appreciation for the ocean's wonders and a relentless pursuit of knowledge in this captivating field. 


4. What advice would you give to those entering the maritime field? 

Even if you don't think you're interested in water or boats, take the time to learn about them. Understanding the intricacies of watercraft and maritime activities can lead to unexpectedly rewarding experiences. Dive into the history, technology, and craftsmanship behind these vessels, and you'll likely find yourself intrigued by the innovation and tradition they represent. Naval architecture, hydrodynamics, and marine engineering may seem complex at first, but exploring these subjects can broaden your horizons and spark a newfound appreciation for the maritime world. So, whether it's by natural inclination or acquired knowledge, don't underestimate the potential for watercraft and maritime endeavors to leave a lasting impact on your life. 


5. What do you do in your spare time? 

I have a profound appreciation for outdoor activities, travel, engaging in meaningful conversations, and immersing myself in diverse culinary experiences and cultures. 


6. What is your favorite book, movie or tv series? 

Rich dad Poor dad, Titanic, Suits  


7. What is a fun fact about yourself?! 

I used to believe that fishermen on canoes sank underwater, caught fish with their bare hands, and magically resurfaced.