Statement of Purpose

 

It is amusing that at times in life, the most fortuitous moment can outline the advancement of your future. It was in high school that I had first come across this television series ‘Ultimate Factories’ on the National Geographic channel and little did I imagine that it was going to change my career objectives. Watching the process in which various automobiles are manufactured and assembled instilled a desire in me to be part of it someday.

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While turning through the countless pages of various automotive subscriptions such as Overdrive and Autocar, my love for automobiles grew significantly. The in-depth information about the latest technology and automobiles drove me to absorb concepts as much as possible. I still remember how the Autocar, March 2013 edition, which featured the Volvo V40 hatchback triggered me to come up with a major thesis project topic based on a safety system implemented in the vehicle.

I attained my undergraduate degree in Automobile Engineering at SRM University, India with the grade ‘First Class’. I substantiated my knowledge by choosing electives in Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing, Automotive engine systems, and Alternate fuels & pollution control which gave me a distinct view of what I wanted to do in future. The excellent curriculum not only provided me with a strong foundation of fundamentals but also exposed me to various core areas of industry.

I have strived to maintain an approach of expanding the independent effort in my endeavors. Working with the exceptional faculty and lab facilities of the department, I got exposed to the entire spectrum of Automotive engineering. In an environment that is highly competitive, and where research goes hand-in-hand with development, I was able to blend my academic and research interests successfully. With this in mind, I was able to develop a firm interest in the software field by learning programming languages and the use of hardware such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi on various DIY projects based on touchscreen computers for vehicles as well as home automation and security.

To get a good sense of what it’s like to apply my classroom knowledge and gain first-hand practical experience in the automotive industry, I undertook two industrial internships. The first of my internships was at Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd, Pune, India. I was assigned to the Assembly Production division of the factory and was actively involved in improving the efficiency at the shop floor. The exposure to the manufacturing and assembly line sector, helped me understand the systematic process and procedures involved in the manufacturing of the body till the vehicle was assembled with various parts and declared fit to be driven.

My second internship was at the official service center of Maruti Suzuki India Pvt. Ltd. I got acquainted with the service and maintenance sector of the industry. It was such a pleasure to get my hands dirty and work on changing the engine oil, replacing the different filters, replacing the worn brake calipers and others tasks given on the maintenance checklist. I learned techniques and procedures on wheel balancing, wheel alignment as well as fault diagnosis using the OBD Scan tool to resolve problems efficiently.

 

Problems involving automotive safety systems has always been my area of interests. As a part of my major thesis, I worked on developing a safety mechanism – ‘Active Hood Lift System’. The main objective of developing such as a system was to detect the pedestrian and mitigate the injury caused in case of a head-on collision with the vehicle. This mechanism can be implemented in different types of vehicles and changes in the design parameters are minimal.

On the technical front, I was responsible for designing the prototype as well as testing it and minimize any scope of errors. The output results show that the injury caused to the pedestrian’s head reduced drastically when this system was implemented. Further research showed that when airbags were implemented under the hood that burst open in case of a collision, provided more cushioning effect and further reduced the injury rate. This type of safety system proved not only effective but is also economical to implement in real-world applications using more effective tools and efficient parts.

The idea of working together in a group has also taught me the virtue of teamwork as well as contribute and meaningfully work towards the same goal with coordination. I also had the privilege to publish a paper on “Design and Fabrication of Active Hood Lift System” April 2017 issue of International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology.

After graduation, I joined Tractors and Farm Equipment as a Field Officer in July ’17.  My main role was to promote the brand and monitor sales and services of TAFE tractors at various dealerships in Telangana, India. The experience of working with other departments in order to troubleshoot technical problems and resolve concerns at the dealership was exceptional. The opportunity to undergo team building practices and customer support services acquainted me with the industry and helped me gain exposure to the marketing and corporate environment.

The Vehicle Engineering track looms large in my mind, largely because of its futuristic curriculum, outstanding faculty, and multiethnic diversity among students. In my own quest for a suitable graduate program, I was thrilled to learn about the inter-disciplinary research projects undertaken with leading automobile manufacturers, researchers as well as in-house facilities. This stimulating environment would provide me with the appropriate exposure and expertise to achieve my desire of working in the industry.

The university’s outstanding research facilities which includes the Research Lab Automated Driving Delft and the presence of Formula Student Team delft and Nova Electric Racing team motivates me to be a part of something bigger and experiment with the technology of tomorrow. These aspects of the university and program appeal to me and that is why it would be an honor to pursue graduate studies from TU Delft.

Intelligent vehicles, autonomous driving, and automotive safety are the most competitive areas of the industry which would change the course of future transportation. Hence for my final semester thesis, I would want to work on improving the current safety system in vehicles mainly focusing on making them intelligent. I would want to work on making vehicles, of all make and segment, communicate with each other and share information such as location, speed, brake status and pedestrian detection. These data would warn the driver and help them avoid hazardous situations. On further research, the vehicles would also be able to share information regarding weather conditions such as icy roads to water logged streets, enabling the driver to slow down to a safer speed and proceed further with caution.

I have been closely following the research work carried out by Professor Dariu Gavrila on the ‘Intelligent Vehicles’ right from my master thesis research.   My undergrad thesis which was based on pedestrian detection and safety, made me realize that I would like to continue working in this domain, as my outcomes and participation were very positive. Taking into consideration the in-depth understanding I gained, about the various components and process involved that go into building an intelligent system for vehicle, can be utilized productively.

I believe that I possess the enthusiasm and preparation to set out on this journey, to do justice to a competitive program and make original contributions to the on-going research. Hence, after a careful study of the programs, I have realized that TU Delft would be the ideal place to shape my career and satisfy my research ambitions.

I thank you for taking the time to read this enormous statement and look forward to being a part of Mechanical Engineering department at Delft University of Technology and included in the scholarship program