My research interests include Fluid mechanics, Wind energy and Heat Transfer. Areas I’ve worked on are: Energy Harvesting form wind turbines, performance enhancement of hydro-kinetic turbine hydrofoils, and condensation on super hydrophobic heat exchangers.
Where did you get your internship and why did you apply there?
What interested you or attracted you to this particular internship and why?
I did my internship at the Energy Transport Research Lab, Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A few seniors of mine had worked in the same lab. They have some cutting edge research going on in condensation and frosting heat transfer on superhydrophobic surfaces.
How did you get your internship?
Was it through the college or off-campus or through a senior/prof or through an internship website?
A senior from IEEE had done his internship under the same professor back in Summer 2016. After sharing his experience at the lab, I sent out an email to the professor. He agreed to let me work in his lab for Summer 2017.
Your email should be brief and to the point. Professors generally do not have much time and patience to go through your whole email. In many cases they might even not read it. Include your past research work and experience in any particular field. If you have conference papers mention that. Don’t talk about how the internship will help your career and future, they know it will help you. If you don’t have previous works to mention, talk about your interest in a particular field and mention you are interested in a particular work of the professor you want to work with.
What was your internship about?
I worked on two projects. One was about studying the effects of fin spacing on jumping droplet dynamics and the other was on jumping droplet enhanced condensation on super-hydrophobic heat exchangers.
How was the work culture?
Work culture was very flexible. The lab I worked in had flexible timings. As long as the objective was achieved you could pretty much do anything you want. You could sleep in the morning and work in the night as well!
What did you learn during the internship?
Was it challenging for you to do it? What new skills did you develop?
My work was mostly experimental, so I was involved in designing the whole setup for future work. Experimental work can get stressful if you cannot find out solutions to problems. It is mostly observing the problems carefully and bringing all your core engineering knowledge to solve major problems. It was challenging, yes. This kind of work is something you wont do in India. The exposure is brilliant.
I am one of the Co-authors of the experimental work presented in the ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference 2017.
Tell us about the fun/ interesting incidents during the course of your internship.
Most of the time I used to hang out with my lab mates and guide. We used to go for drives, trekking, movies etc.
What advice would you give to juniors regarding your internship?
Would you recommend a junior undergoing a similar internship at the same place you went?
If anyone is interested in material science, nano/micro fabrication of silicon, heat transfer, then this a good lab to apply to. But you would not receive any stipend and the processing fee is quite high. If you are okay with shelling out some money then this is a good opportunity. It’s a pretty good investment.