2. What in the pursuing field is compelling you. (Opening statement)
Advancements in electronics, industrial automation and applications of robotics have gained momentum in recent decades and have become vital components in many industries. With constant motivation for reducing device form-factor, boosting their performance metrics and coming up with novel designs to cater the diverse needs of every sector, these fields are becoming ever more challenging and giving rise to endless possibilities. Engineers in this field must possess complexity of ideas, dedication towards the trade and willingness of going extra mile to systematically approach problem statements to produce reliable, consistent product. The central goal of this profession pivots around the idea of designing and improving systems that serve humanity. Presently this domain is at forefront of new technologies for many industries including transport, healthcare, construction and robotic. What an exciting time to be alive and pursuing opportunities in these domains. The confidence that you gain with this knowledge, makes you feel “any real world problems can be addressed”.
3. How did I prepare myself to reach this point (What steps)
As a child growing up, when my cousin was making electronics/robotic projects, I did not realize it could be a future career. To me, it was more magical to see autonomous robots making their own decisions using mathematical concepts being developed in my house. My eagerness to know more about basic components like resistors, motors, sensors, batteries and basic ICs on breadboard increased while working on projects for inter-school competition. Designing a working model for “Railway track monitoring and alert system” for 20th National Children’s Science Congress gave me a national exposure and one of those moments where I realized my penchant for electronics. That marination of my academic subjects and real life products, changed my perspective on education. It became evidently important to me that getting good scores in academics and working hard on the concepts I love, is the key to achieve my ambitions in life. Hence, my interest to solve real life problems and come up with viable solution, dates back to my school days.
Alongside my parent’s constant motivation towards importance of education and to have that as life’s goal, those small but discrete moments of realization is the phenomenon behind my career path. It feels good when a problem statement keeps me up at nights and helps me push myself to learn something new daily.
5. Why this particular school / program. Your plans in this
Going through the university’s website and learning about its academic potential, I was happy to see an ideal environment for me to develop my cross-disciplinary interests. I plan to primarily focus on academic excellence and work on projects/ideas which will leverage on amazing facilities and existing research work.
7. How RRC helped me in setting my career goals (Simple english – convey, what happened there and how it compelled you to study more – Cause n Effect)
My research internship at Robotic Research Center (RRC) part of International Institute of Information Technology (IIITH) at Hyderabad, India is a stepping stone to my career goals. I got an opportunity to work in a full fledged Robotic lab which aims to work on multitude of research problems and innovative projects in areas of Mobile and Aerial Robotics, Robotic Vision etc. This was a great learning experience for me as I worked on brainstorming sessions in different teams, participated in design and development of research project and contributed in technical modules of those projects. This opportunity exposed me to technicalities of electronics/mechanical/robotics domains with glimpse of industry’s work culture. It added another dimension to my skill set as now I have learned to design and develop projects keeping cross domain constraints/challenges.
Working with Dr. Abhishek Sarkar has a profound impact on my perspective and career. Initially learning about my passions and career goals he accepted my candidature as research intern under him. My exposure to algorithms, electronics and robotics proliferated as he mentored me on Inverse kinematics, path and motion planning, extensive use of MATLAB and implementation on Robot operating system (ROS). Working under such a great research scientist has widened my horizons.
Currently I am working under his guidance to develop mobile manipulator which maintains predefined trajectory of end effector. Since my contributions in this project are significant and has generated results, we are planning to publish this work early next year.
8. Leadership skills
In sophomore years of my high school, I was active in inter-school competitions. I got an opportunity to be team leader and represent my school on national level. As a team leader, my main contributions were to strategize activities to reach our goals, communicate clear instruction but at same time taking team member’s feedback. This foundation helped me when i joined the Robotic club in initial months of my undergraduate program. I contributed on ongoing club projects but in 2nd year was voted as activity head for a Robot fest in college. I lead a team of 25 members where we were responsible for technical event planning and execution. I conducted technical sessions for participants, conducted hands on sessions, worked with team member with different skill sets and was guiding them along the way making sure the event marks a new height of excellence. Hence, teaching and mentoring experience is integral part of my education The magnitude of event help me improve on my organizational skills whether it be looking for event sponsor or dealing with financial aspects of the event. In appreciation of my initiatives, hard work and team player nature, I was honored to receive President title of the club. My participation in these events not only helped me maintain good rapport with professors and college staff but also provided a platform to build on my leadership skills. My focus throughout this experience was to promote spirit of innovation, encourage team members to submit new out of the box ideas and making sure that morale of my team is always high.