The amazing developments made in the field of Dynamics and Acoustics has been one of the major factors that have made me inclined towards structural dynamics. The developments like the improvisation of acoustic behavior in structural analysis and the research being done in various areas like dynamic analysis of various structures (marine structures & vehicles, aerodynamic structures at several frequencies) and fatigue analysis due to vibration represent a fascinating confluence of various mathematical tools and engineering. A profound desire to understand the advanced techniques involved in Vibration and Acoustics, to study its wide range of applications and to use this knowledge to further this field has motivated me to pursue graduate studies at Penn State University.
From an early age, science and particularly mathematics has fascinated me. Over the years, this interest compounded and I decided to go for engineering. My success in the IIT-JEE, India’s most prestigious engineering entrance exam is an apt testimonial to this. I was in the top 2% of 1,00,000 candidates (who appear every year in this world-reputed exam) in the year 1998. I subsequently joined IIT-Madras in the ‘Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering’ stream due to its multidisciplinary features like structural analysis, fluid dynamics and FEM. It was primarily due to this flexibility incorporated in the program structure that I got a chance to explore the various options and eventually discovered my field of interest. The undergraduate study at IITM not only enhanced my interest in this engineering field, but also equipped me with a sound theoretical knowledge.
Courses in Structural Design and Dynamics covering both theoretical and laboratory components have been a part of my coursework. From the third semester onwards, I have been studying the basic as well as the applied aspects of this subject. The courses ‘Strength of Materials’, ‘Computer Aided Design’, ‘Physical Modeling & Instrumentation’, ‘Vibration Concepts & Applications’, ‘Acoustics & Noise Control’, ‘Dynamics of Floating Systems & Marine Vehicles’, ‘Finite Element Analysis Applied to Ocean Engineering’ and ‘Signal Processing in Mechanical Systems’ helped me to build upon my analytical and computational abilities and to get a firm grasp over the basics of Dynamics. It was a course in ‘Vibration Concepts & Applications’ followed by the electives ‘Finite Element Analysis Applied to Ocean Engineering’ & ‘Computer Aided Design’ which helped me in shaping my interest in this field. In this course I wrote codes to solve differential equations representing various structural models like trusses, frames. It also involved the conversion of some real life problems into mathematical models using suitable numerical approximations that can be solved with the help of computer. The fact that the conversion of real life problems into mathematical models also required understanding of its physical significance fascinated me most.
During courses in ‘Vibration Concepts & Applications’ and ‘Signal Processing in Mechanical Systems’, I got an exposure to the application of mathematical tools like FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), IFT (Inverse Fourier Transform), Convolution and Integral, Probability & Statistics (Variance, Correlation) in solving the problems of dynamics. In the sixth semester I took up ‘Finite Element Method Applied to Ocean Engineering’, which gave me a deeper perspective of FEM (Finite Element Method) and helped me in using it for solving problems (small car modeling) with ease.
The hallmark of my undergraduate studies has been vocational trainings and practical learning. I have undergone two stints of trainings as per curriculum, the first one at Cochin Shipyard and the latter one at Anderson Shipyard in Goa. The training in Cochin gave me a general overview of the ship structure and the steps involved in the design and fabrication of marine vehicles whereas the second one in Goa was more specific where I got a chance to study the construction of fast moving vehicles like small water crafts, navigating crafts. Seeing first hand the various operations and processes involved in this large-scale industry was an eye opener. It made me realize the importance of practical training in getting a deeper perspective of the subject.
I have been working on a project titled ‘Finite Element Analysis of Cavity Acoustics’ under the guidance of Professor P.Chandramouli. This is similar to the real life problem as in car modeling. It involves an extensive usage of the Finite Element Method and MATLAB in calculating the displacements of nodes and the natural frequencies of the cavity. Presently I am working to get the response of the system in the presence of a source having various frequencies with which the system will be excited. I am also taking the damping factor (like windows, seats in a car) into consideration, which is a boundary condition applied at the nodes. This has helped me to understand the industrial application of Finite Element Analysis. I am doing this project in the Applied Mechanics Department because of my interest in Dynamics of Systems. My B.Tech. Project is concerned with ‘Flow-Induced Vibration of Cylindrical Bodies’. This also involves a use of the Finite Element Method and Numerical Analysis. These projects have helped me in orienting myself towards research and strengthened the theoretical and practical grounding I received during my course of studies.
I strongly feel that for a person with flair in applied sciences and mathematics, Dynamics offers a vast domain for study and research. In the course of earning my Master’s degree, I hope to acquire the wherewithal of the subject. My choice of undergraduate major, the electives and the projects have equipped me with the required knowledge to continue further study in ‘Dynamics, Vibrations & Noise Control’. For Graduate Studies, I would like to face challenging problems, which offer a wide scope for research involving Design, Computational and Experimental Analysis.
The graduate program in Mechanical Engineering at the Penn State University with its facilities and the eminent faculty working in the areas that parallel my interests is an ideal place for realizing my aims and aspirations. I have gone through the departmental website and have read about the current research work going on in the areas of active control, adaptive structures, flow-induced noise, machinery prognostics and condition monitoring, propagation and radiation, rotorcraft acoustics and dynamics and structural vibration and acoustics. I was highly fascinated by the excellent infrastructure of Center for Acoustics and Vibration (CAV) and the technologies employed there. I believe that the curriculum at your university with its flexibility will give me an opportunity to grow both as an individual and as a student. I sincerely hope that my application with full financial aid will be considered favorably. I look forward to joining the highly motivated team of researchers at your university.