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At a glance
College – Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Place of work – IIT Kanpur
Process of application – a research proposal along with two references
Duration of the internship – 2 months
Stipend – depends on the criteria one is selected under
Research topic – thermo-acoustic instability in Gas turbine Engine
InterFeel (IF): Please tell us something about yourself. Where are you studying currently? What are your hobbies and interests?
Avijit Saha (AS): Hello, my name is Avijit Saha and I am dual degree (B.Tech+M.Tech) student of Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. I have just completed my 3rd year. I am from West Bengal. I like to spend my spare time by watching movies and listening music.
AS: I got selected for Summer Undergraduate and Graduate Excellence Program (SURGE). It is an initiative taken by IIT Kanpur where not only the students of IITs, other institutes students can also participate. It is a two months internship program. Application process generally starts somewhere in the second week of January. Application fee was INR 100. For application, one has to write a research proposal in which one needs to specify their field of interest and a particular problem one wants to work on during the two months at IITK. Depending on the availability of the project, one may end up with different problem also. Apart from that one has to submit their latest transcript and two names of referees. They will collect the reference letter via mail from your professors. The whole structure of SURGE program has been changed from this year onwards. There were three categories in this program: Institute funded (stipend-12500/-), Project funded (stipend may vary between 6250/- to 12500/-) and Self-funded (no stipend). Students selected under any of these category will have to pay 2500/- as a SURGE administrative charge. But the amount will be refunded only to Institute funded students after successful completion of the program.
IF: Let’s talk about how competitive the selection process was. Which qualities helped you to have edge in the selection process? According to you, what were the key things that selectors were looking for?
AS: I think the key things that selectors were looking for are your CGPA (more than 8 is good) and of course your research proposal. So try to write a good research proposal. More than 4000 students applied this year. Among them only 100 got selected. So I must say that selection process was competitive. I think my academic record and research proposal helped me to get the internship. Though I got selected under Self-funded category, my project advisor (Prof. Sathesh Mariappan) gave me stipend which is same as the stipend provided to the Institute funded category.
IF: Could you please highlight the work/research you carried out during your internship period?
AS: I worked on thermo-acoustic instability in Gas turbine Engine. It was computational work. My project was to develop a numerical eigenvalue solver for stability analysis of the unsteady motion in the combustion chamber. Thermo-acoustic instability primarily arises from an interaction between unsteady heat release rate and acoustic wave. Unsteady heat release rate is also a source of entropy fluctuations (hot spots) which eventually lead to generate entropy noise. Combustion noise is becoming increasingly an important component of aero-engine exhaust noise, particularly during take-off. In the past several cases have been investigated to compute combustion instabilities which occur due to acoustic fluctuations. However the influence of entropy wave in the occurrence of combustion-acoustic oscillations still remains an unexplored area. So for gas turbine engine we numerically investigated the role of entropy waves in combustion instability.
AS: The aspect of the internship experience that I liked the most was having the opportunity to work on the project which is carrying out for the first time in India.
What I really enjoyed during my internship was to interact with my mentor and my project advisor (both of them were very friendly). Also, the work environment was very professional and I could ask for help or counsel at any time, in fact, this was welcomed by them.
IF: How do you think this internship has helped you grow? In other words, what are your key takeaways from the internship?
AS: It has helped me a lot. I have learnt many new things. In one word, this internship taught me what actually research work is and how it is carried out.
We’d like to thank Avijit for sharing his amazing experience in such great detail! We would also like to wish him all the very best for his future internship and life ahead!