April 30, 2009
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
Many undergraduate students of engineering do a summer internship after the completion of their third year of studies, working on projects in academia or industry. A few especially motivated ones may begin after the second year itself. Swati B., 3rd year student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Amritapuri, spent her last summer in IIT Delhi. This summer she will proceed to Switzerland on a fellowship for her summer internship.
“Swathi may well be the very first student in all of the Amrita campuses to get selected for a prestigious fellowship from abroad,” stated Br. Bijukumar, in-charge of the Center for Corporate Relations (CCR) in Amritapuri, which helps facilitate not only student placements but also student internships and projects. “Swati is a fine example of what self-motivated and determined individuals can achieve. We are all proud of her.”
In the second year of her studies, together with three of her class-mates, Swati had participated in and won the first prize in an inter-collegiate competition at NIT Calicut. “I was their teacher for Engineering Thermodynamics that semester,” recalled Dr. Ganesh Sundaram. “Swati and her friends researched over the internet, sought guidance from many of their faculty members including myself, and successfully made an electromagnetic coil gun. This won them the first prize in the inter-college tech fest.”
Next year, in January 2008, the team tried something a little more ambitious. This time, they took on the task of building an ornithopter for a tech-fest at IIT Bombay. An ornithopter is a machine like a helicopter that can fly, but by flapping its wings. Though the team did not finally succeed in making the ornithopter fly, it was awarded a certificate of participation from IIT Bombay for completing a significant portion of the project. Theirs was the only non-IIT team to receive such a certificate.
Besides participating in top tech-fests around the country, Swati also made time to apply for a summer internship after the end of her second year. She spent three weeks at IIT Delhi working on an image-processing research project. Now, in about two weeks, after her third-year final exams end, Swati will head to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, one of the foremost research institutions in Europe. “I am especially excited to be going to the institution where Albert Einstein was a student and a professor,” shared Swati.
Swati will continue her work in image processing in Zurich. Her internship will be under the guidance of Dr. Ivo F. Sbalzarini, who heads an interdisciplinary research group at ETH that focuses on the analysis, modeling and simulation of complex real-world systems, particularly from cell biology. In close collaboration with groups in biology, methods and software for image processing, machine learning, numerical simulations and large-scale parallel computing are developed, which are used to advance our understanding of the working mechanisms in live cells. We wish Swati the very best!