Knowledge empowers one to breathe life into one’s dreams; and I would like to devote myself to educational pursuits that will help me make the most of my inherent talents. Innovation lies at the heart of product design and I aspire to be engaged in ideating new products and enhancing existing product designs on the lines of utility, value, sustainability, ethics, eco-friendliness and customer needs. Hence, my immediate goal is to undertake graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering with special focus on mechanical systems and design, which I believe is the necessary prelude for a career in product design. In future, I want to pursue research in this constantly changing field of product design, which would allow me to blend knowledge and creativity to explore the myriad possibilities that can make life better. I intend to focus on problem solving and creating solutions that bring tangible benefits to mankind. My ambitions are reinforced by an undergraduate degree in Manufacturing Processes and Automation Engineering from the prestigious Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi, where I was one of the 1000 successful candidates from over 2,40,000 applicants. In my sophomore year, I was nominated by one of my professors for a critical project on feeders.
I designed and fabricated a rotary disc feeder, a material handling system which enables discrete feeding of small parts at a workstation in an assembly line. The project also involved a study of factors that influence the feed rate to optimize the performance of the system using the 2K factorial experimental approach. The resultant research paper on these findings was published in the proceedings of a national conference on Industrial Problems on Machines and Mechanisms (IPROMM 2010), Jaipur. This project stimulated my interest in product design and I made a conscious effort to seek out practical assignments that would give me the opportunity to improve, innovate and create new designs. A formal curricular introduction to product design coincided with the opportunity to work on the design and fabrication of an automated part inspection system. This project gave me a better understanding of the factors involved in designing a product and acquainted me with the importance of physical and functional feasibility. I worked on developing a low cost inspection system which uses a potentiometer to determine if a certain part conforms to the assigned tolerance level.
It is pneumatically controlled and is programmed using microcontrollers. A research paper detailing my work was published in the proceedings of an international conference, Advances in Materials and Manufacturing Technologies (AMMT 2011), Chitkara University, Punjab The desire to further explore this domain and create something that would make a positive difference in people’s lives motivated me to establish a team of 4 like-minded enthusiasts and determine an area in which we could work. Under the guidance of Dr. P. V. M. Rao, professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi we decided to take up a project to assist the visually challenged.
After conducting a detailed survey to ascertain their needs and requirements, we conceptualized, designed and manufactured the Braille Labeler, an assistive labeling device that, by printing labels could help distinguish similar shaped objects or identify personal items and thus could help the visually challenged lead more independent lives. While we were able to achieve a satisfactory prototype after several iterations, we are still working on optimizing it. Right from conceiving the idea to giving it the final shape , the entire journey not only gave me the satisfaction of contributing towards the betterment of lives of the visually challenged but also lead to an obsession for product design .This further motivated me to consider a specialization in mechanical systems and design.
With a desire to hone my designing skills in an industrial environment, I undertook various internships. At Maruti Suzuki India Limited, India’s largest car manufacturing company, I worked on designing an automated engine block cleaning system, in which a vacuum system replaced the existing air blowers that were manually operated to remove chips, left after machining of the engine blocks. Through this experience I learned how to optimize a process under certain constraints. In addition to this, I also pursued a summer internship at the Solid State Physics Lab, Defense Research and Development Organization, Government of India, where I worked on designing of deep drawing dies for some in-house components. Sustained academic excellence and relevant industrial exposure played a key role in materializing my job at Stryker, a leading medical equipment company in the world.
As a Graduate Engineer Trainee in the Advanced Operations Department, I am currently working on an attribute chart creation process which involves risk analysis of instruments used for medical surgeries. At work, I have acquired proficiency with the Pro/ENGINEER design software, gained familiarity with the basics of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), learned to manage data and information efficiently and realized the importance of quality control. Despite the fact that I have worked there for a short duration, my contribution has been recognized with a nomination for the monthly STAR award. Besides academics, I was actively involved in many extracurricular activities, which helped me grow multi dimensionally. As Co-Convener, Documentation; Assistant Secretary, Public Relations for our college festivals and as Maintenance Secretary for the Girls’ Hostel, I have had considerable experience in cultural exchange and student governance. In the Corporate Social Responsibility arena at Stryker I have proactively supported educational initiatives for the underprivileged and as a Lion’s Club member I have assisted in organizing free eye check up camps for those who cannot afford treatment.
Therefore, I strongly believe that with a strong compassion towards society and a predilection for cultural activities, I will be an asset to the student community at your esteemed university. Based on the important criteria of an industry-relevant core curriculum, wide range of electives, renowned faculty, world-class resources and cutting-edge research opportunities, the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University offers the perfect platform to follow my passion and garner the knowledge, insight and skills that I seek.
I have closely followed the research and development efforts of Dr. Mary Frecker in mechanical design and design optimization, and the innovative initiatives in product design undertaken at the Open Design Lab. The prospects of participating in similar creative exercises, working under the guidance of eminent experts and interacting with some of the best students from around the globe has driven me to make this application for admission. On your campus I intend to participate in a holistic educational journey, which will provide me with opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. I look forward to join Pennsylvania State University in the fall of 2013.