Dr. Krishna Mikkilineni is Senior Vice President, Engineering, Operations and IT. He leads the Honeywell Operations and Technology Leadership Councils and oversees the effectiveness of the company’s research, development, engineering, supply chain, and operations, strengthening the ability to create differentiated products and solutions for our markets across the globe. Krishna is responsible for expanding the Honeywell Operating System (HOS), driving Velocity Product Development (VPD), and increasing dedication to quality and delivery throughout the organization. He also leads companywide adoption of HOS Gold, an end-to-end business system that institutionalizes the Honeywell Operating Model, and is intended to deliver and sustain exceptional growth along with productivity improvements. Krishna drives General Manager training for HOS Gold and the Honeywell User Experience, both critical focus areas of our five-year plan.
More recently, he is enabling the company’s Information Technology (IT) function to leverage contemporary technologies, and create differentiated value and a better user experience for customers, businesses, suppliers, and employees.
Since joining Honeywell more than two and a half decades ago, Krishna has been instrumental in leading globalization initiatives, establishing worldwide processes, successfully executing large-scale, multi-location projects, and leveraging talent in high growth regions to meet Honeywell product development needs. As the President of Honeywell Technology Solutions (HTS), he grew the organization to nearly 9,000 engineers across China, India, and Eastern Europe and established operations at SEI-CMMI Level 5, PCMM Level 5, AS9100, BS7799, ISO9001-2000, and ISO14001 quality standards, among many other certifications.
Krishna holds a bachelor of engineering degree in electronics and communications, and earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida. He also has received a number of recognitions at Honeywell, including the Lund Award and the Senior Leadership Award, the company’s highest honor.
Why is STEM education/workforce development critical to the future of our nation?
The road to success is paved by innovation, and STEM education is key to the future of our nation. We must help prepare future generations to meet the challenges of an integrated world and develop new products and processes that can help us remain competitive.
Innovation in information technology is especially critical, and to reach our full potential, we need innovators in this area who will make a significant global impact. We need to make careers in technology interesting and desirable. While young people are some of the most prolific technology users, we find that not enough of them are choosing technology careers. Through our Honeywell Hometown Solutions STEM programs, we are trying to reverse that trend. We also partner with colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations to encourage students to pursue careers in information technology.
What STEM initiative that your company has supported are you most proud of?
Honeywell has designed numerous programs to make STEM education interesting and fun, and to inspire students and teachers globally. Our innovative educational programs have delivered real results, touching the lives of thousands of future scientists, technology innovators, and engineers. The Honeywell programs I am most proud of are:
Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy: This week-long event is available to high school children of employees where students have the opportunity to develop their STEM and leadership skills through science-oriented workshops, lectures and team exercises. Since 2010, more than 1,400 students from 47 countries and 37 U.S. states have participated.
Honeywell Educators at Space Academy: In partnership with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, in Huntsville, Alabama, selected middle school math and science teachers participate in classroom, laboratory and training time, focused on science and space exploration. More than 2,300 teachers from 56 countries and 52 U.S. states and territories have graduated since 2004.
FMA Live!: Created by Honeywell and NASA, this award-winning hip hop science education program is designed to inspire middle school students to pursue studies in STEM. Since 2004, 425,000 students from more than 1,300 U.S. middle schools have participated in the program.
Honeywell Initiative for Science and Engineering: A global program that reaches universities in India, China, and other emerging regions through lectures with Nobel laureates. Students get one-on-one access to the laureates and Honeywell’s top engineers, allowing them to see how what they are studying today can impact the world. Honeywell has sponsored 43 Nobel laureate events since 2006.
Beyond standards, what are the first steps that we should take to curb the STEM education crisis?
To meet the challenges of the information economy driven world, government and business leaders must work together to re-emphasize the importance of learning both information and physical science. This combined learning can be imparted effectively through inter-disciplinary approaches rooted in core science and math fundamentals. This must be supported by developing and retaining a high-quality STEM teaching workforce.
We need to increase our commitment to strengthen American innovation and competitiveness through basic research in the sciences. This investment must be augmented with innovative educational techniques that blend physical and virtual tools to stimulate learning.
Most of all, we need to make education fun and interesting, applying design-thinking principles. We want young people to get inspired to innovate and create and Honeywell’s STEM programs do a great job in inspiring this kind of curiosity and interest in both students and teachers.
How do we encourage students to continue their study of STEM subjects, particularly women and underrepresented minorities?
To ensure we inspire students globally to study science and math, we need committed, visionary teachers who are well equipped to guide them. With the right tools, they can return to their classrooms with a renewed strength to help and inspire students.
We can equip teachers with innovative cyber-physical tools and provide teaching aids, including experiential learning kits, internet-based Massive Open Online Curriculum (MOOC), and other teaching aids. Investing in these tools with a focus on creating a unique incentives to women and minorities can help them develop an advantage and pursue STEM with more confidence.
How has your corporation coordinated investments in education with future workforce needs?
To ensure our future workforce is prepared to meet future challenges that sustain our industrial base, Honeywell created a series of STEM initiatives supported by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, our award-winning global approach to corporate citizenship and social responsibility. We build STEM programs that deliver results we can quantify by applying the same rigor and business tools we use in our business. These programs are delivered to multiple levels of education, from middle through graduate school. We also partner with many universities to support science and technology-based research and applications and internship programs.
What do we need to do in the U.S. to continue to be at the top of global innovation?
To ensure our nation remains competitive, we must make a concerted effort to evolve STEM education continually, and invest in significant research, technology, and entrepreneurial initiatives. Our job is to inspire future generations of technologists and ensure the teachers who educate them have the right tools.
Honeywell recognizes the importance of dedicating resources to share our passion for innovation and technology. We continue to support STEM education and make an impact in educating and connecting people to STEM issues. Honeywell’s future workforce relies on our collective ability to train and educate future technologists.