Global Ambassador: Meghavin Bhatasana
Meghavin Bhatasana is from India. At Purdue, he is pursuing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
Ambassador Q & A (Questions and Answers)
Why did you choose Purdue?
I wanted to pursue a PhD in heat transfer and work in industry after graduation, and Purdue fit the bill really well. The school conducts highly cited and impactful work in applied heat transfer and often has projects funded directly by semiconductor industries. It is also home to the Birck Nanotechnology Center which housed the largest academic cleanroom at the time of its completion. This, along with having a great potential advisor made me confident that Purdue was the right choice for me. In fact, it was the only school I applied to!
Please briefly describe your research.
My research is focused on the thermal management of electronic systems. With rapid advances, heat fluxes in complex systems can get even higher than those in the sun. My project explores the concept of integrating phase change materials (PCM) within the silicon die. Doing so enables effective hotspot mitigation without an increase in package dimensions. Essentially, this can keep your phones from getting hot while keeping it thin. We use machine learning to optimize the geometry and will experimentally demonstrate the concept with a fabricated PCM-integrated chip.
How did you decide what to study?
Through a combination of an industry co-op and an undergraduate research fellowship, I was able to identify a research area that I would enjoy and is highly relevant. I enjoy studying heat transfer and electronics thermal management is an important area of research.
What was your process for selecting a graduate school?
I think potential PhD students need to first recognize what they enjoy studying, which schools perform influential research and what they would like to do post-graduation with a doctorate. Looking at where influential papers in your intended research discipline originate from can help decide which schools can provide good educational quality. It is also important to recognize what doors a doctorate opens within your research discipline. Fundamental research often helps with an academic career path and applied research provides better opportunities into industry. Exploring how projects are funded within the schools you are interested in can give you a better idea of what type of research is performed and talking to alumni will help you understand where job opportunities lie after graduation. Other factors include funding opportunities, cost of living and campus safety. I was lucky in that I was already an undergraduate student at Purdue, and Purdue’s graduate school was the right fit for me!
What is your favorite fact about Purdue?
If you don’t count military academies, then Purdue has the largest all-male residential hall – Cary Quadrangle.
Where do you spend most of your time on campus?
Before the pandemic, I spent most of my time in the computer labs in the Mechanical Engineering building. Post-COVID, I work remotely and often spend time at the Birck Nanotechnology Center.
How did you decide where to live?
I wanted to live alone so I picked out a studio near campus. For next year, a friend and I decided to live in a townhome right outside of the campus. It lets us have a lot of space and still stay within walking distance to our classes and labs – all at an affordable cost.
How do you de-stress in your free time?
I like to exercise, and Purdue has a great recreational facility to do so. I used to participate actively in intramurals but now have started to explore rock climbing at the CoRec.
How do you keep yourself organized?
I typically assign days of the week for different tasks, predominantly being academic coursework and research, and stick to strictly. I treat being a graduate student as a full-time employee and often do most of my work in the morning and afternoon and leave the evening for cooking and hobbies. With regards to research, my advisor helps me understand the project needs and ensures that I stay on track.
What are you hoping to do after you graduate from Purdue?
I am hoping to pursue a career as a research engineer at a semiconductor/automotive firm after graduating.