Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2020

Abhinav Gupta | Mechanical Engineering

University of Alberta, Canada

Research Area: Medical Robotics

Question1: In which University did you do your FT and what was the topic you worked on?
Answer1: I did an online internship at the University of Alberta and basically I worked in the field of medical robotics.

Question2: How did you apply for the FT?
Answer2: Initially my internship was a part of a research program, but afterwards they were all scraped including my internship offer. So, I had no option but to directly mail the professor. So, I mailed the same professor and he accepted my request.

Question3: Why do you think that FT is important?
Answer3: Except the knowledge and technical skills you gain, FTs are important for overall development. I think once you get to know the research culture of institutes in countries like the USA and Canada, you grow as an individual.

Question4: Where did you get all this motivation and how did you manage your preparations along with the academics?
Answer4: I always wanted to go for research. In second year, while I was a part of KRSSG, I made up my mind that I would go for research in the future. Academically, my department was not very much loaded in 5th semester, so it wasn't much of an issue. So, if you are regular at classes, then academics are not that loaded in IITs.

Question5: What do you think was the role of CGPA in the entire process?
Answer5: CGPA is certainly one of the most important parameters apart from your research experience but there are some programs which do not focus much on CGPA.

Question6: Can you share the details of the project you worked on and the professor you worked under? What was your mode of communication with the university?
Answer6: I worked under the supervision of professor Hossein Rouhani. He is a professor of Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Robotics. I worked on developing a fully automated exoskeleton arm.

Question7: Did you do any similar projects here at KGP?
Answer7: Yes, I took a project under professor Dilip Kumar Pratihar last year. It was not exactly similar. He was developing a knee prosthetic and my work was not focussed on designing but it was mainly focussed on dynamics and control part.

Question8: How did your University manage everything in this confusion of COVID 19? What was your mode of communication with the university?
Answer8: First of all I was very disappointed when the program got cancelled. Basically there wasn’t anything to manage by the university as I did my research internship directly under the professor and not through the university. We always had meetings on google meet and ms teams, so communication was not much of a problem either. One problem I faced during my internship was the 12 hour time gap between India and Canada. I used to work at nights and sleep through the day.

Question9: What were the difficulties that you faced during the entire process?
Answer9: I faced difficulties mainly during the application process. I got my letter of recommendation at the last moment. I would suggest juniors to get the letter of recommendation at least 15 days before the deadline.

Question10: How would you describe your overall experience?
Answer10: It was good but it would have been much better if I would have gone to Canada. Nevertheless, it was really good and I got to learn many skills during this internship.

Question11: What advice would you like to give to your fellow juniors who aspire for an FT?
Answer11: First advice I would like to give is to always keep an eye out for the opportunities. Secondly prepare your CV and SOPs beforehand. Get your Letter of Recommendation on time and don't worry much about CGPA.