Published September 13, 2021

In Memoriam: Remembering Tarique Shaikh, Our Colleague and Friend

Tarique Shaikh joined Convergent Science in March 2018, after earning his master’s degree from the Technical University of Munich Asia. In his three and a half years with us, Tarique made a significant and lasting impact on both the company and his coworkers. Ashish Joshi, general manager of Convergent Science India, grew to know Tarique well on a professional and a personal level:

“Tarique joined Convergent Science as an applications engineer in our India office to support customers in a variety of industries. He worked on several interesting simulations, including one of flow over an entire city. This was a new application for Convergent Science, and his work in this area was greatly appreciated. Tarique, however, didn’t want to be a ‘Jack of all trades’, but instead a ‘master of one’. It was then that I recommended him for the Gas Turbine Applications team.”

The Gas Turbine Applications team at Convergent Science studies key issues related to the safety, operability, and environmental impact of aviation engines. The team simulates phenomena including lean blow-off, a scenario in which an airplane engine goes out; high altitude relight, which investigates how to relight an engine that goes out mid-flight; and methods for reducing harmful emissions from gas turbine engines. As the leader of the Gas Turbine Applications team, Scott Drennan worked closely with Tarique:

“Tarique worked in the Gas Turbine Applications group for a little over three years. In that time, Tarique developed a deep understanding of gas turbine combustion and became a valued member of the team. Specifically, he handled the creation of marketing materials to demonstrate CONVERGE’s capabilities for hydrogen combustion in gas turbines. He developed a simulation of fuel switchover from methane to hydrogen in a gas turbine combustor. In addition, he generated comparison videos of lean blow-off (LBO) for methane and hydrogen, demonstrating CONVERGE’s ability to use the SAGE detailed chemistry solver to simulate a dynamic (changing) operating condition. Tarique also developed a microturbine ignition marketing animation and helped on ignition modeling with a commercial customer. Tarique was a key contributor in a recent commercial evaluation with an aviation engine manufacturer using a combination of high-fidelity models for turbulence, heat transfer, combustion, and emissions in CONVERGE, and comparing the results to experimental wall temperature and emissions data for NOx, CO, and soot. Recently, Tarique was working on validation of our Thickened Flame Model (TFM) in a commercial combustor and testing CONVERGE’s hybrid turbulence model on wall cooling validation cases. 

Tarique was a thoughtful, smart, hardworking engineer and a key contributor to the Gas Turbine Applications team. He will be greatly missed.”

Tarique’s legacy at Convergent Science extends far beyond his technical contributions. He was a kind and caring person, with whom his colleagues greatly enjoyed working. Many of his coworkers from the Convergent Science India office and the Gas Turbine team wished to provide their thoughts and reflections on knowing and working with Tarique:

“I remember one time when the Convergent Science owners asked me who my favorite colleague from the India team was. It was very difficult to give just one name, but Tarique was definitely one of my favorites. We would discuss many topics apart from work: food, religion, politics, and fitness, just to name a few. One thing we bonded over was our love for biryani.”

Ashish Joshi, General Manager, India office

“While pursuing my master’s degree, Tarique and I spent a lot of time together since we both belonged to the Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics lab at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). We were both from the Indian subcontinent, so we were hardly prepared for the European winters. During those harsh winter days in Munich, Tarique used to invite a few of us to his place for delicious dinners, which he prepared with such fervor. Cooking for friends and family was one of the things that Tarique dearly loved. As international students, a lot of us struggled with cooking, but Tarique tried to motivate us to cook. Whenever we felt homesick, he was always there to cook some of the most delicious meals I had during my student days. Those memories with Tarique are something I will cherish all my life. We will miss you, Tarique.”

Harshan Arumugam, Business Development Manager, India office

“Tarique had a great love for food. Whenever we traveled together, he wanted to have a scrumptious meal; I really enjoyed seeing his joy for food. During our visit to the IIT Madras Gas Turbine Conference, he twice had me run to the nearby store to get cans of coke so he could have them with his five-course meal.”

Abhishek Sinha, Sr. Business Development Manager, India office

“Tarique was a very friendly person who was always willing to offer help. He was good at technical discussions and meticulous at his work. In one of our first interactions, we bonded over the fact that he was originally from Sawantwadi, a place close to where I’m from.”

Viraj Shirodkar, Research Engineer, Software Development, India office

“Tarique was a cleanliness freak. I remember when I visited his house for the first time, no one would believe that it was a bachelor’s home. He proudly showed us the different kinds of vacuum cleaners he used to clean his house. On my first day in the office, he was annoyed when I mistakenly took his chair and removed its plastic cover. Everyone joked that Tarique would be very angry. Little did I know that he was a sweetheart and took everything as a good sport. I’m glad we crossed each others’ paths in life.”

Apurva Bhagat, Research Engineer, Software Development, India office

“Tarique made a courageous decision when he voluntarily switched to the Gas Turbine team, because I believe this to be one of the most challenging applications of CFD. Needless to say, in only a short time, he turned out to be one of the most valuable members of the team. One of his qualities that I admired the most was that whenever we discussed a problem, he was never hesitant to take out a pen and a piece of paper and immerse himself in analytical equations.

If there is one word that can describe Tarique, it is no doubt ‘caring’. If anyone around him was in need of any kind of help, be it professional or personal, you could always count on him to be the first one to offer help. On more occasions than I can remember, he offered me rides, especially when I had a leg procedure and had difficulty walking. His nurturing nature was further evident from his ardent love for plants, of which he had a great collection at home. I have always taken inspiration from him and hope to be able to integrate these qualities of his into my life.”

Geet Nautiyal, Research Engineer, QA, India office

“It is very difficult to write about Tarique in the past tense, but time doesn’t care for feelings and emotions. Tarique—the name itself is a treasure trove of memories. When I joined Convergent Science India back in 2018, it was Tarique who trained me on CONVERGE Studio and the solver. Tarique helped me a lot in setting up a fixed inlaid mesh for a rectangular bluff body for turbulence validation in 2019. Our last work-related interaction was when he helped correct the heat transfer validation slides. 

Tarique and I shared a passion for general knowledge and current affairs, which led to many funny conversations. Our company trek to the Singahad fort was an epic one, in which Tarique set off quickly ahead of us, but ended up last to 900m. I used to call him ‘Gibraltar’, which is the Spanish version of the Arabic name Jabel al Tarique (Rock of Tarique). Tarique, my friend, why so early?”

Akshay Iyer, Research Engineer, Validation, India office

“Tarique was a valuable member of our India team. Although we did not have the pleasure of interacting with him as much as some in the company, his contributions did not go unnoticed. He was a hardworking engineer who tackled some of the most challenging problems with our software. During our first Indian CONVERGE User Conference in Bengaluru, Tarique was tasked with providing a demo of our software to a large audience of CFD enthusiasts. This was a critical part of introducing many Indian engineers to CONVERGE, and Tarique did a wonderful job. He will be missed.”

Dan Lee, Eric Pomraning, Keith Richards, Kelly Senecal, and Rainer Rothbauer, Convergent Science Owners, U.S. and Europe offices

“Tarique was an invaluable member of the Convergent Science family and the Gas Turbine team. Over the last year and a half, we had grown to be more than just colleagues—we had become good friends. He was kind, amicable, and easy to talk to. I never got to meet Tarique in person, but we worked closely every day. He has left a lasting impression through his dedication, hard work, and team spirit. He approached his work with determination and diligence, and he was a quick learner who had a huge appetite for knowledge. He was always eager to pick up tasks that needed research and reading. He was a true team player who always put the goals of the team first, and he was always very accommodating and helpful. Scheduling meetings between India and the U.S. offices is always a challenge due to the time difference. I was humbled that Tarique always insisted I choose a time convenient for me because I had a small child at home. The work he did as part of the Gas Turbine team helped immensely in the support and evaluation efforts of gas turbine customers and in the continuous improvement of the CONVERGE solver and graphical user interface. Some of his work, like the microturbine and annular combustor example cases, will be used by the team for years to come. Tarique will be greatly missed.”

Gaurav Kumar, Principal Engineer, U.S. office

“Working from the U.S., I was never able to meet Tarique in person, instead working closely with him via Zoom meetings, phone calls, etc. Even through these somewhat impersonal media, it was clear that Tarique was a thoroughly kind, trustworthy, and caring person and a sharp engineer to boot. If I ever needed to dive deep into a challenging problem or diagnose a tricky issue, Tarique was the first person I turned to. He approached his work with diligence, determination, positivity, and attention to detail, and I learned a lot from watching him attack problems without ever giving up. On days when our shared projects weren’t going the best, we would often meet well past midnight U.S. time. These interactions were always lighter, and we would joke our way through to finding a solution to whatever was stumping us. I will miss him.”

Gabe Jacobsohn, Research Engineer, U.S. office

Tarique touched many of our lives during his time at Convergent Science, and he will continue to have a presence at our company. Tarique’s father donated his collection of CFD books to Convergent Science, which we are using to make a small memorial library at our India office. In addition, Tarique had a penchant for gardening and a love for plants, and one of his plants will now brighten our India office’s reception area. We are grateful for the opportunity to keep Tarique’s memory alive with these donations. We will miss him greatly.