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Personal Statement

As a physics professor, my father had a penchant for repairing machines. I used to accompany him
as his tools’ assistant in these endeavors and those sessions blossomed some curiosity about how
those machines worked. I used to get simple explanations about it from my father which translated
that curiosity into genuine passion. With passing time and increasing exposure towards numerous
engineering marvels which had made human life easier, I decided to pursue an undergraduate
degree in the field of mechanical engineering.
The freshman year of my undergrad gave an introduction to various engineering disciplines.
Interactions with my seniors and professors made me realize the significance of internships,
projects and student organizations to supplement my academics. I pursued a summer internship at
a Non-Profit Organization that designed and manufactured effective and cheaper tools for farmers
and blacksmiths. As I assisted the Organization’s chief in designing a new successful farming tool,
I realized the large-scale benefits that can be achieved with little changes in design. In sophomore
year, software design courses on Siemens- NX 9.0 escalated my interest in design. With good
knowledge on the subject of Strength of Materials and software modelling, I completed a project
on designing a mechanical locking system. Simplifying the software design showed difficulties in
manufacturing and I learnt how real-life manufacturing constraints affect the idealistic design.
Simultaneously, I became an active member of a student group, Brahmand, the astronomy club
which arranged various expert lecture and discussions on space science and technology that helped
me to stay abreast with recent research trends.
To get a well-rounded academic and co-curricular exposure, I decided to intern as a student at
Lamar University (LU), Texas, for 6-weeks as a part of an International Exposure Program. I
pursued a course on thermodynamics and participated in a research project on Methods to Capture
Carbon-Dioxide to get a hands-on experience for the same. Working there increased my
interactions with professors and students working in various research field and I visited
laboratories of Manufacturing (Concrete Canoe making competition) and Mechanical Testing.
This gave me a holistic understanding about various aspects and challenges related to design. I
was keenly looking forward towards finding my interest domain. I visited Nasa and it became the
pivotal point in discovering that specific field. The technological advances in rocket propulsion
system and aerodynamics captivated me highlighting to me the wide range of opportunities related
to design. Specially, the air-flow around wings and turbo-jet engines intrigued me, because it had
the most appealing combination of fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and design.
After returning from Lamar University I joined the design team of my university that participated
in SAE SUPRA, a student formula racing car competition to develop practical understanding in
the field of aerodynamics. I mainly focused on design of chassis and the outer body, and performed
numerous CFD analysis to get an optimal design. Alongside, little contribution towards design of
suspension, braking system, and steering mechanism gave an opportunity to learn software such a
Solid works, Lotus and MATLAB. The classes of Heat and Mass transfer and Dynamics of
Machines that semester became a precursor to our design research Workshops on using design
software aided in quick and better analysis of our car’s design. We managed to reduce the weight
by 25 kilo grams as compared to the previous model. Unfortunately, manufacturing was postponed
by a year due financial crisis. Yet, the opportunity I got to learn about a car's aerodynamics in such
detail motivated me to take up challenging endeavors.
My focus was strongly aligned in design and the next semester provided ample avenues to furnish
it. A course on refrigeration of aircraft taught me how various engines cooled the cabin. Alongside,
I worked with five-member team to design a bicycle chain drive without using Indian Standards.
With simplified mathematical modelling using fundamental laws, our design matched with the
standard results with 10 percent accuracy. I learnt how to model a complicated problem in a simple
way using of fundamental laws. To get an exposure to the industry level work in design and
manufacturing of aerospace and nuclear based applications, I interned at Larsen and Toubro
(L&T), a leading manufacturing company. While learning about advanced technologies adapted
in machine operation design of tools, I understood the effect of physical constraints and other
limitations that demanded vigilance to provide maximum efficiency. Simultaneously, I completed
two live projects that would improve the shop's production efficiency. Poor handling of chip waste
weighing up to 5 tons per day led to develop a ‘Centralized Chip Waste Management System
(CCWMS)’. I presented two plans (underground and over-ground) after keen observation of each
machine and its chip disposal system. I understood the need to optimize the results as adding
physical and economic constraints usually disqualify the ideal design. To reduce non-value-added
activity time, in this project, I had to develop a ‘Workspace Management System (WMS)’. It
demanded rigorous work; from measurement of area covered by machines, support blocks, and
raw and finished jobs to creating a 2-D layout on AUTOCAD. Despite time being very less, I
single-handedly learnt AUTOCAD and present the design by the end of two weeks.
My passion for design has grown alongside my quest for learning the application of design in
aerospace. In my fifth semester, I studied about the blade controlling mechanism of helicopters
which allows it to take turns, hover or pitch. In the sixth semester, I focused on new winglets
design adopted by Boeing 737 MAXX and how it is more efficient than the old ones. In the seventh
semester, I examined the intricate design and aerodynamics of grid fins, and how it provided
stability and steering to the flying bodies. My work in Supra was applauded by the department
and it gave me an opportunity to research on optimization of machining parameters for aerospace
alloy for gearbox application in affiliation with Dr. T Ram Prabhu in DRDO (Defense Research
and Development Organization). I aim to understand various manufacturing aspects and publish a
paper in this promising field by the end of year. My long-term goal is to work on improvising the
wing design by studying advanced flying species. Parallelly I want to use my knowledge of fluid
and thermal sciences on improving jet engine design. I intend to lead my career path in a research
institute or academia (as teaching skills come from my father) where I would have liberty to
research on my topic of interest. Hence, I believe that Master’s in aerospace engineering at San
Diego State University is perfectly suited for me to advance in my career.
Professor Xiaofeng Liu’s work on high-lift aerodynamics and vortex dynamics, Professor Allen
Plotkin’s work on airfoil and hydrofoil theory and Professor Gustaaf Jacobs’s work relating to
combustion optimization and drag reduction is intriguing and I wish to work under them to
improve my knowledge in design. Facilities like Wind Tunnel laboratory and Computational Fluid
Dynamics Lab would help me get hands-on experience to perform very complicated experiments
and to design and manufacture under proper guidance. Student’s organizations like American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics would impart practical knowledge in design of planes
and rockets by meeting flying enthusiasts. Student clubs like Design, Build and Fly, and SDSU
Rocket Club would give me a chance to get a practical exposure in designing at large scales.
Various competitions would provide me opportunities to work on current industry-based problems
with world class researchers. Hence, I believe that pursuing masters at San Diego State University
will provide ample of research opportunities alongside quality teaching to fulfill my future goals
and aspirations.