Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2019

Shikhar Patel | Mechanical Engineering

University Of NewYork, New York

Research Area: Cyber Security Of Microfluidic Biochips

Duration: 3 Months

Name of the University and what the work you did there?
I went to NewYork University and I worked on Cyber Security of Microfluidic Biochips. Basically microfluidic chips are used for diagnostic devices that are useful for medical purposes. So we wanted to make sure that those biochips design are not being used by someone else who can misuse them and also we have to check that those designs are not copied by any other organization, so they can be used for what they are made for.

When did you start applying for your FT and what was the procedure?
I started mainly in August. I was well informed of a scholarship program like Mitacs and DAAD. My first focus was DAAD, I started mailing to the professors in Germany but I was not selected for that. Meanwhile, I was also trying to approach professors from other universities. My main motive was to get an internship in some good lab which was working in the field of microfluidics. Keeping that in mind, I made a list of professors and mail them. Later my professor had funding for the project so they offer me the fellowship.

How you manage your expenses?
I didn’t get any scholarship. My professor had the funding for the projects so they offer me a fellowship of 500 USD per week.

Why do you think that Foreign Experience is important?
Basically, there are two main reasons for that. First is you will get to know a very different culture. You have to work in their conditions. You will get to know how people work there. When I went there it was really different experience while working with different people. The second thing is that you will get to know about the other research student and their field of interest. If you are not sure whether you want to go into research or you want to do an internship then after going there you will get a larger view of what you want to do in the future.

What value does FT add to your CV?
I was doing different work on campus. I was working on the development of microfluidic devices when I was in KGP. There I learn how to protect their design and protect their IP. So FT adds the whole new dimension to work that I did in KGP.

What are your other involvements in the campus?
I have no major involvement on the campus. I am not a part of any society but I am working under the research group of Prof Suman Chakraborty.

Role of CG in getting an FT.
That is quite important. If you have a 9 plus CG than its very good. To get a scholarship like Mitacs, SN Bose, DAAD you have to be among the department toppers or you have a very good research experience. In case if you don’t have a good CG then you should have some research paper.Although 9 plus CG is enough to convince the professor.

Suggestions to fellow KGPians for getting an FT.
First of all, they must be sure of which area they want to work. If they are not sure than first they need to explore different things and have to choose where they want to make their career and in which field they want to work. Even if not in research they should first have their interest. After they are sure, they should try to get in touch with professors who are working in their field.