Siddharth Ramakrishnan, a graduate of the department of Mechanical EngineeringAmrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore campus, won first place at the 2016 KTH Masters Challenge India competition in the field of Engineering Design. Siddharth competed against applicants from the IITs, NITs, and other highly ranked universities throughout India. As the first place winner, Siddharth secured a fully funded scholarship for a two year masters degree at the internationally reputed KTH-Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) worth Rs. 23 lakhs, a living allowance worth Rs. 12 lakhs, and an opportunity to do a summer internship at FormulateIP, an intellectual property and innovation management firm based in Bangalore founded by KTH alumni.

The top three finalists from each competing field (Information and Network Engineering, Engineering Design, and Electric Power Engineering) were called for the prize ceremony hosted at a hotel in Bangalore. Competition organisers, KTH professors, staff, alumni, sponsors and students attended the event which took place in January 2017. 

The competition, which started in the last week of October in 2016, consisted of quizzes, case studies, essays and an interview. Students were asked to propose solutions to a problem statement related to their domain which was followed a personal statement essay. The top 20 students from each domain were then asked to appear for a Skype interview with the respective program director of the university. The winner was then selected at the end of the interview.

“I heard about the KTH Masters Challenge through my friend who had attempted the competition last year. I was looking for scholarship opportunities to do my masters in my domain, so I decided to attempt the competition. Overall I enjoyed participating in it with my favourite part being the case study round; it tested the abilities of participants to propose solutions to real-world engineering challenges,” said Siddharth.

When asked about the secret to his success, Siddarth said, “self-discipline” was the main quality that helped him on his journey. “It is the greatest lesson I learned studying in school and college, both run by Mata Amritanandamayi Math. I was glad to know that my hard work had paid off.”

Siddharth further explained that while working in the industry, he realised the benefits of studying in a rigorous curriculum. “Conceptual clarity in fundamentals helped me in cracking the competition and it is only because of the curriculum, teachers, and peer group I had while studying at Amrita that I was able to get this far.”

As advice to future Amrita students who wish to participate in the competition, Siddharth suggested that “one should be strong in aptitude, in the fundamentals of their respective domain, and have a broad-view approach to problem solving which comes from engaging in research projects, receiving practical training in industries, and working on multi-domain engineering projects. It is also important to have completed a meaningful research project in the final year as universities prefer students who already have some exposure to research.”

With close to four years of work experience, which included working on several engineering projects and actively engaging in CSR activities at his company, Siddharth now looks forward to doing his Masters in Engineering Design, specializing in Machine Design, which will commence in the last week of August 2017.

“I am happy to know that I will be studying in a renowned technical university for my Master’s degree. I have heard a lot about KTH being a hub of innovation in Sweden and I am eager to work on research projects related to my field of interest and expand my perspective on different domains of mechanical engineering. I also look forward to meeting people from different countries and widen my social circle. I sincerely hope to make the best use of the opportunities that KTH is going to give me.”

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