Murali Sankar Venkatraman is the Head of Data Analytics and AI for Energy and Water at ENOWA. A former scientist at CSIRO Australia and a postdoc at the Berkeley Lab, he has over 18 years of experience in product development, analyzing and interpreting data using advanced predictive algorithms, stakeholder and client engagement across 3 continents, end-to-end data science deployments and managing research teams, software and business development, and multiple domains including weather, education, healthcare, the public sector, finance, aviation, materials, and energy storage.
He has published more than 25 research articles in top journals and more in conferences in the data-modeling space, and is also a sought-after reviewer for top-journal papers. An avid practitioner of mathematical and statistical modeling and machine learning, Murali Sankar is an award-winning AI and data science practitioner and R&D leader. Additionally, his skills include technical direction, data governance, critical thinking, strategic planning, and more.
He was part of Berkeley EPM 2022-2023 and has shared his experience of the program.
Was there something that particularly stood out to you during the program?
The biggest takeaway for me was the “Innovation Thinking” module by Prof. Sara Beckman, followed by Prof. Cort Worthington’s course on public speaking. I had the honor of receiving the certificate of business excellence from Prof. Schultz, and not to forget, his class on “Tactical vs. Strategic Thinking” was also something I will take with me. The distinctively passionate style of teaching of Prof. Gregory LaBlanc also impacted me greatly.
How was your experience with the faculty and the pedagogy?
There were some invigorating inputs from Prof. Alex Budak, a renowned expert in how to be a changemaker, about how to develop employees into major impact players for my company. Prof Ravi Jain’s class on corporate finance was another eye-opener. But apart from the classes, the program offered me access to more professors like Prof. Lucas Davis (energy and environmental markets) of the Energy Institute and Prof. Thomas Y. Lee (information and communication technologies) of the Institute of Business Innovation, which has offered opportunities to engage in R&D and pedagogical activities with my organization. I expect this to develop into a long-term partnership between the two institutions.
How has the program impacted your career?
In my company, I am viewed as a person who brings universities to contribute solutions to some of the operational challenges using the R&D capabilities they have already built. The innovative thinking I learned from the Berkeley EPM will be very useful!
My career has had a very unusual progression. I got an MS after I got a PhD. I was a postdoc at UC Berkeley before I became a student. But no complaints – Students Always!