The failures that lead to success; Karthik Velayutham on his journey to change the green energy industry

Published on 25 November 2022

The Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee hosted a masterclass with Karthik Velayutham on 9 November 2022.

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Our Entrepreneurial Masterclasses are inspiring talks from established entrepreneurs which happen throughout the academic year. These are organized as discipline-specific events across the academic schools within the University and are open to everyone.

Having been given the opportunity to meet with Karthik prior to his talk at the University of Dundee, I asked him more about his experience and what advice he would give students and young people. The following is the result of my interview with Karthik as well as his masterclass for the Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Karthik talked about how the desire to change the green energy industry developed throughout his life: ‘if you are doing innovation, you will never stick to one idea; there are too many challenges and you always try to find new solutions, but it’s important to concentrate on one idea’, he said.

Karthik received a Bachelor of Engineering, Naval Architecture with Small Craft Engineering as well as a Master of Science in Sustainable Engineering from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He highlighted the value of networking during his time at university and how he got the chance to meet many inspiring people that he learned a lot from.

Karthik is the founder and CEO of Katrick Technologies. He is an accomplished renewable engineer, sustainable engineering researcher, scientist, and marine engineering expert. Having experience in marine engineering sectors with a proven record of solving complex problems, Karthik developed innovative patented UDSM/TVB technologies based on ten years of research, which established the foundation of their core technologies.

Karthik mentioned how important it is to keep going forward instead of going back and trying to change something you might have failed at: ‘In order to be successful, you need to learn how to fail fast; that’s one thing that they won’t teach you at university. Life is not about being successful; life is about how you manage failure because success only happens every once in a while but how fast you fail is what is going to make you most successful,’ he explained.

Fully committed to the engineering and energy sectors to solve challenging assignments through novel concepts, his experience in technological innovation and talent, combined with a passion for energy and engineering, provided him with a substantial competitive advantage.

Karthik standing at the front of a room with a view of the crowd in the room

Karthik highlighted, however, that he did not accomplish everything by himself. He particularly stressed the importance of having the right people around him: “if you have the wrong teammates or the wrong friends, things won’t work very well because it’s not just about you. The reason why I am here is not just because of the thing I have done ten years ago, but also because of the people I have had around me.”

Among his top accomplishments, Karthik designed and patented the world's first heat rejection system, which uses mechanical vibrations to dissipate heat, he innovated and patented the world’s first heat-to-mechanical vibration recovery engine, and he developed Radical Design for Ground effect Wind energy device for urban use, and he worked on the World’s first Wave Energy Device based on mechanical vibrations.

‘Why do you think your idea worked?’, I asked. ‘Because I found the right people to have around me,’ said Karthik. Getting the chance to speak one on one with him as well as listening to his masterclass at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, I was incredibly inspired by his story and his words. Hearing about the value of failure and how your reaction to it is what will define your success, I understood that making mistakes is just a part of the process and that what really matters is to keep pushing forward.


Elena Gastaldo

Student Logistics and Live Events Officer

Story category Talks