MY PARENTS MADE ME DO IT – NOT!
Here’s what makes the truly interested engineers and scientists tick…
India. The country where five year olds want to be engineers, where being a student of engineering means attaining sainthood, where memes like this one are made:
Engineering, although a household word for most Indians, hasn’t quite percolated the superficiality that’s been woven around it. However, amidst all this, few people have found their true calling in the path that most chose for the wrong reasons.
- RANJAN ANANTHARAMAN, the Thalaiva of ECE (and Phoenix, at large)
“I took up engineering because there’s tremendous scope for learning and growing as an individual. I find it fascinating that most of our daily needs are met by devices that run on cutting edge electronics and high-speed interconnects,” says Ranjan. He also says it’s an interesting time to be involved in premium hardware design. “I feel analog is the future of electronics,” he reasoned, stating that since wearable computing is really picking up, when you have devices on your body, they need to intercept signals, and that involves some efficient analog circuitry. “Also, some researchers believe that computers of the future might start increasingly incorporating more analog circuitry in applications where there’s a certain error tolerance”, added the Viterbi scholar.
- ADITYA RANE, truly interested in Civil Engineering
At a time when civil engineers are taking up career opportunities as stand-up comedians and becoming the butt of jokes themselves, there are people who choose civil engineering out of their own will. Aditya Rane was shown his way quite early by his mother. “She would drive me to her office, located in Madhapur, in the newest, swankiest area of Hyderabad with buildings and construction projects like never before. Weird shapes, huge interconnected buildings, green spaces…”. He remembers that he used to look forward to those trips, since it was completely different from any other construction in the city. He says documentaries about how the engineers revolutionised the construction of O’Hare international airport and the Three Gorges Dam, was what really gave him an idea about construction and innovation. Seeing the Jungfraubahn, the railway line which has an 8 km tunnel within the Jungfrau mountain range (in Switzerland) was what sealed the deal for him.
- JASRAJ PADHI speaks for ACE (the Chemical Engineers, that is)
Jasraj Padhi states solid reasons for choosing to become a chemical engineer. He says it offers a wide variety of skills that he wanted to acquire and that they have technical knowledge of an array of subjects including biochemistry, materials science, economics, environmental safety, etc. He added, “The tools used include sophisticated scientific equipment, the latest developments in computing, and large-scale pilot plants”. He also states that most items used by people everyday require chemical engineers for production. Chemical engineers are improving the quality of people’s lives in a lot of ways – attempting to wipe away poverty and developing alternative technologies to deal with environmental issues, to name a few. “It’s really amazing to learn that how ‘1 bit ‘ of our work can have an impact of a ‘gigabyte’. He concludes saying chemical engineers, due to the breadth of scientific and technical knowledge inherent in the profession are sometimes called ‘universal engineers’.
- VIVEKH PRABAKARAN, missing girls in MEA
The finer topics of the branch like electricity, automobile, energy, design and aeroplanes are what inspired Vivekh to opt for Mechanical engineering. He says, “Wide applications and very broad classification makes mechanical engineering an ever flourishing branch in the modern era”. He finds the area of renewable energy (wind and solar energy in particular) promising and interesting. He believes that possessing technical knowledge of the fields under mechanical sciences gives the opportunity to appreciate and innovate on for mankind in multidimensional spheres.
- SRINIVAS SURI, Computer Science. Swag.
Born and brought up in a family with a CS background, Srinivas Suri was always intrigued by how computers work: how a single machine stored all his pictures and videos, how they made his childhood self content with awesome games like Dave, Wolf 3D. His primary goal after taking up Computer Science was to find answers, and he did! He says that the field of algorithms that is mostly theoretical, will always fascinate him and that the level of intellect of the people in this area is mind blowing. Taking the example of the Theory of Computation, he says that even before Computer Science was developed , mathematicians proved that there is a limit on what computers can do, that is, even the Holy Grail computer (with configuration of 1024 GB RAM, i1024 processor and 1024 petabyte storage) will have limitations. He also spoke of the dogma that you need to be good at programming to be do well in Computer Science: look at the case of Google maps, it is the scientists who come with the way to find different routes and the programmers who code it. Both fields have their struggles and are equally challenging. This is what makes Computer Science beautiful for him.
The taboo of opting against engineering often finds an echo in opting for the Basic sciences. Here we’ve found those few people who braved that to take up their Pure Sciences degrees out of love for the subject.
- NAMAN BAFNA, into Biological knowledge
It isn’t often that you hear someone say that Biology turned out to be the most interesting thing that happened to them (first years, relate?). He disregards all remarks that the subject is all about mugging up. “The way it is taught here changed my perspective towards it”. He says it isn’t different from the other branches. Every subject has certain things that need to be remembered, like structures in chemistry and formulae in most of the courses. And there’s logic in Bio too. One very interesting thing about Biology is that you can always integrate it with any field in engineering. Plenty of such projects are underway. He accounted that Biology labs were what helped him the most in understanding various biological phenomena. He also said that Bio labs are the most interesting labs (juniors keep reading). One question that many of us had or have is about how studying Biology helps an engineer. To this he replies, “Being an engineer you should always try to gain knowledge no matter what sort of knowledge it is”. He ends with a quote he uses a lot- “Investment in knowledge never goes waste”.
- SRUTHI V, in Physics, the universe is her playground
Although she knew she liked Pure Physics, she wanted to pursue Electrical Engineering. Thanks to the Dual degree system of BITS Pilani, Sruthi was able to take up MSc. Physics after realizing her love for it during the first semester course – Mechanics, Oscillations and Waves. She says, “I like EM theory in general and I am also interested in fluid dynamics, instabilities in fluid flow to be particular”. She has also started learning a bit of Astrophysics and Cosmology. She believes that there are a lot of places where applied physics plays an important role – for example, improving the efficiency of solar cells is purely a physicist’s challenge rather than an engineer’s. She believes that in order to understand the basics of every other subject, one has to fall back on physics.
- PRASANNA MALAVIKA RAJAGOPALAN, likes Chemistry and skinny boys
She chose to take Chemistry because she’d always been a huge fan of Organic Chemistry <insert carbon is a whore joke>. Being quick and accurate at writing down mechanisms helped. Chemistry faces the same problem as Bio in being written off by people as the “rote-learning subject”. She begs to differ. “You can’t do without learning the syntax of a language, and neither can you survive without knowing that F=ma”. She does admit it gets a little complicated, what with the 118 elements. She enjoys predicting mechanisms for reactions and somehow gets excited every time a benzene ring is shown. And she loves the Grignard reagent. After skinny boys, that is.
- KOMAL *do I mention it or not* AGRAWAL, weeps for Mathematics (literally.)
Komal *seriously, do I or not* Agrawal believes that Mathematics is the Queen of all subjects – it adds meaning to all other subjects. She claims to understand equations better than words. Numbers are what she finds the most fascinating in Math (duh). “They are simple and elegantly complicated at the same time”. Another part of Math that really caught her interest is Symmetry groups and their omnipresence. “I fall in love with Math ever so more every day”, she quipped. Her Grandfather has always been her inspiration. “I hope I can be like him someday and inspire people”.
- ECO GAWD. She Who Need Not Be Introduced.
“I love how economics simulates models that try to quantify and understand phenomena that are governed by abstract variables: like demand or public sentiment”, says Meghana Yerabati when asked about why she chose to become Eco God (correction: GAWD). She also says that it involves knowledge of available resources, resource-controlling players, and the resource-utilising consumers. An understanding of the factors that go into an economic model, the assumptions that we make, the relationships we study, was something that she has taken a keen interest in. She concludes, “The fact that Economics is interwoven with Mathematics, Social Sciences, Humanities and Modern Political Policies is very intriguing”.
And, finally: thinking Engineering and Sciences is all we’ve got? Expect the unexpected!
ASMITHA VANAPARTHI, pursuing the unique degree of B. Pharmacy
What inspired Asmitha is the scope of the subject and the applications of the field. And she says that the best part about it is that the department, professors and labs are amazing. A lot of people find it fascinating that they make cold creams and body lotions in the lab! It is interesting to note that she can think of the practical applications of whatever she learns immediately. She also says that designing a new drug is not the only issue, delivering is equally challenging.
If you’re in the first year, you’ve got a load of inspiration by now, work on it and make your time here count. If you’re a senior, you wish TDB existed last year. :3
Keep the tech geek unfurling folks, and continue to love your branch (Yes, dem Civil people too)!