From India to Indiana - My journey in Chemical Engineering
From the corridors of my high school to the bustling chemical engineering landscape, my passion for the field has been unwavering. It was a realization that struck me during my high school days—chemical engineering was my calling. Following my undergraduate studies in India, where I spent three enriching years in the industry, I made the decision to further my education at Purdue University in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering’s Professional Master’s Program (PMP).
During my tenure in India, I collaborated with a professor at IIT Madras, where I contributed to the development of gas absorbers and the design of distillation techniques for extracting metals from printed circuit boards. Shifting gears, I entered the realm of petroleum with GAIL India Limited, working in the quality check laboratory, conducting elementary and particle analysis for natural gas samples. A pivotal moment before joining Purdue involved my work with a nanotechnology startup, igniting my passion for biochemical engineering. My involvement in formulating a coating for N-95 coronavirus masks stands out as a gratifying milestone in my professional journey.
Enrolling at Purdue was a strategic move to delve deeper into the field, gain hands-on experience, and nurture aspirations of giving back to society. The distinctive feature of the Purdue Chemical Engineering PMP program lies in its well-crafted curriculum, seamlessly blending management and concentration courses to sculpt a comprehensive skill set. A pivotal aspect of my experience at Purdue was the exceptional mentorship provided by Dr. Clark. His expertise was crucial in navigating the complexities of internship searches and strategic course selection.
The program’s Industrial Career Advisor, Bev Mentzer proved invaluable, with her guidance on resume building paving the way for interviews with desired companies. The expertise I gained in biochemical engineering, especially through the course ‘Engineering Applications of Biological Molecules’, proved indispensable during my interviews. The unique integration of chemical engineering and biotechnology, emphasizing advanced concepts like lipid nanoparticles and mRNA therapeutics, received high recognition. The program's structure, tailored to meet industry demands, played a significant role in not only securing interviews but also excelling in them, emphasizing the market's inclination towards specialized skills in product development.
This journey led me to an industry internship at Catalent Pharma Solutions in Bloomington, Indiana, where I seamlessly applied my knowledge in Biotechnology, mass transfer, transport phenomena, and fluid mechanics to design and execute experiments in the formulation and drug product development team.
In reflection, this program is a testament to its inclusivity—welcoming anyone eager to layer knowledge onto their existing foundation. It empowers individuals to choose subjects that not only build upon their undergraduate education but also delve deeper into their chosen concentration. The journey from my roots in India to the dynamic landscape of Purdue's Chemical Engineering PMP program has been transformative, equipping me with the tools to make a meaningful impact in the realm of chemical engineering.