June 9, 1997

Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras

Though I had a fascination for aircraft right from childhood and worked very hard to obtain a chance to study Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras, I finished at the bottom of my class. The courses with equations having terms like vorticity, curl and divergence were producing a literal effect in my head. Fifth Semester was my low point with a GPA of 5.8, making me a Five-Pointer in that semester.

Sixth Semester was much better thanks to Dr. P. Sriram who took the course 'Experimental Stress Analysis'. His lectures were at a pace which I could manage. I could understand all the questions in his tests and could answer most of them. IIT Madras had a relative grading system and after a few tests in Dr. Sriram's course, it was evident that they will not result in a wide spread in the scores of the students which was the case in other courses. On one day Dr. Sriram said to the class, "I want to find what you know, not what you don't know". It meant a lot to me.

Before the exams of some other subjects I preferred to work on making a model of a fighter jet by carving it out of stone. For some reason I was always more interested in manufacturing of any sort. With such preparation it was a surprise that I managed to pass all the subjects. I was at the verge of failing in many subjects and it was because of the notes which I borrowed from my friend and batchmate Nikhil Raj and the explanations from Anand Madhavan, Nilesh Kulkarni and Dheeraj Shreedhar that I could clear those subjects.

In the final year, for my B-Tech project I approached Dr. Job Kurian for being my guide. He offered a project which involved manufacturing a nozzle and testing it. He was so kind to offer me the opportunity inspite of my grades. I finally got a manufacturing experience and liked it a lot. My project itself had its ups and downs and in the end I was surprised to be selected as one of the 5 best B-Tech projects of my batch. This was my final grade card -


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