The global demand to shift towards renewable energy sources and energy efficient processes, along with my interest in machines prompted me to choose undergraduate course in Mechanical with Specialization in Energy Engineering at VIT University, Vellore. Besides providing a basic knowledge about mechanical systems with a focus on improving energy efficiency, this programme also gave me opportunities to participate in activities that helped me gain multifaceted experience. These activities have eventually left an indelible mark on my career.
During my undergraduate studies, I participated in the BAJA SAE Oregon 2015 Competition, as a part of “KI Racing”, a Baja SAE team of the university. I keenly observed that the successful teams were not only competing based on technical capabilities, but also trying to become superior in organization of their teams, co-ordination between the team members, pit areas, tools and many other aspects. I was inspired by the countless innovative ideas used by the teams to improve their cars. This event taught me the importance of both technical and management aspects necessary to achieve goals and thus made me realize that I still have a lot to learn. These experiences motivated me to pursue masters in a programme that has the right mix of management and mechanical engineering.
As the Chassis Design Head of the team, I was responsible to design and manufacture a chassis in compliance with the rules of Baja SAE Series. The major aim was to make the car lightweight, safe and durable to handle the rough terrain encountered in the competition. With extensive computational simulations, correct material choices and innovative design ideas, a weight reduction of 28% was achieved than the previous year’s chassis. Designing a chassis gave me a sound exposure to accommodate various subassemblies and driver ergonomics while maintaining a compact structure. I also got some experience with polymers and seat design, as I designed a fabric based adjustable suspension seat to fit different drivers. This improved ergonomics, serviceability, decreased driver fatigue and reduced weight of the seat system by 60%, all without compromising driver safety. These experiences have given me a good background in automotive engineering and got me acquainted to computational techniques. In addition to this, working in a team has made me a good team player.
Having bestowed with the additional responsibility of Vice-Captain and Finance Head, I learnt management skills like team handling, project management, time management and financial planning. I got a chance to work at the interface of management and technology and closely observe the interdependence of both in a project. During my interaction with the other SAE teams of my university, I came across the competitive and ingenious team, Ecurie Axis. The incredible and consistent performance of the team shows that RWTH Aachen inculcates critical thinking, research capabilities and work ethics through its study. These things have attracted me towards RWTH Aachen University for master’s programme in Management and Engineering in Computer Aided Mechanical Engineering. I wish to become a part of the formula student team and contribute in making a winning machine.
I carried out my undergraduate project at Jaivel Aerospace. The company boasts about being the product sponsor of the Bloodhound SSC project, a supersonic car aimed at setting a 1000 mph land speed record. In order to save time in workholding of workpieces and the setup time for machining in VMC machines at the company’s machine shop, the project was divided into two parts: formulating a workflow and designing a universal Spring Type Clamp for workholding. Critical thinking was involved in achieving a universal design. This was the biggest highlight of this product, since the conventional clamps are bolt based having a fixed geometry, thus limiting its usage. The new workflow formulated was inspired from the Single Minute Exchange of Dies. A live database was developed to determine job sequence and predetermine the mounting position of a workpiece leading to a smoother workflow. As a result, average savings worth $6200 per machine per annum were estimated.
During my summer internship at V-Tech Engineers, I worked on the production line of a particular product to identify flaws. I devised a new production cycle based on visual cards and blackboard, which resulted in lead time reduction by 7% and decrease in inventory levels by 8%. After undergraduation, I joined Orbit Bearings India Pvt. Ltd, as a Junior Design Engineer. Apart from learning about the bearing products of the company, I analyzed the manufacturing processes, production cycle and the quality control processes involved. Currently, I am studying substitute materials for optimizing bearing performance. These work experiences have taught me the importance of product development and production cycle to manage the economics of business. I realized that there is always a scope for more efficient production. RWTH Aachen has a very good network with the German industry, which is known for setting benchmark in engineering and manufacturing, and therefore studying at this university would give me a chance to actively interact with it.
Being an active member of an NGO, Helphen India – VIT chapter, I got a chance to teach English to underprivileged children and also participate in tree plantation activities. This experience motivated me to do research that has a societal impact, which is synonymous with RWTH Aachen’s efforts to shape its research, based on the needs of our industry and society. Therefore, this university will give me an opportunity to work on research projects aimed at community betterment.