Divya Gurram

Amsted Rail
Data Scientist
Granite City, Illinois, USA

Building a 100-year-old startup

When Divya Gurram accepted a Data Scientist position with Amsted Rail in 2016, the company was just starting to use advanced data analytics to optimize their operations. She knew from the beginning that building a data science team in a manufacturing environment would be a challenge – but it was one she was excited to take on.

“When I came to interview, they gave me a plant tour where I met all the people here,” Divya explains. “Even people who didn’t fully understand analytics were so supportive of what Amsted wanted to do with data and wanted to help in any way they could. That kind of enthusiasm is what drew me here.”

In contrast to Amsted Rail’s 100+ year history, Divya’s new team was starting from scratch. They were tasked with building the team, the data sets, and the infrastructure that would allow Amsted to reduce defects on Amsted Rail products, such as side frames and bolsters, by optimizing different variables through data analytics.

Working together toward a common goal

The people and the culture are what make Divya most proud to be a part of Amsted. She explains that cross-departmental relationships are key to the company’s culture; everyone works together to achieve business goals.

Divya is especially grateful to her current manager, who started a few months after she did.

“He guided me and encouraged me from the start, and listened to my ideas on things like how I think we should build our team and what kind of infrastructure we need.”

The journey continues

Looking back over the last five years, Divya is confident that she made the right choice joining Amsted Rail. She and her team have had lots of success in their experiments to reduce defects and improve operations. And now, Divya says, they are just two steps away from being able to implement artificial intelligence.

“I definitely see myself working with Amsted when AI becomes a real-live possibility here in the next five years.”