Jasmeet Behlay

Imperial College - London

Summer 2007


Coming to Purdue

Coming from a city university in London (Imperial College), to Purdue University was like a complete shock. Physically, there was no comparison. So much space, so much space, I kept repeating to myself. And that was before I was taken for a trip around campus! It is a minimum requirement to have at least a bicycle to get around campus as it will take you forever by foot. “Amazing” is what came to my mind in the beginning and that is the word I will use for my stay here. There is no other way to describe West Lafayette.

From everything to the academic to the social and sporting credentials of Purdue University, it is something that has to be seen to be believed, well especially if you’re from the city.

Everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming that it made time fly so fast, and your left with the feeling of wanting more, but then the departure ticket brings you back home to reality. The facilities here are very good, everything is close (relatively by American standards), from the shops to housing. I was fortunate enough to stay with a family which really opened my eyes to the way that Americans live their life.

Excluding a few different words, it was like being in the UK, the main difference being here that you enjoy a proper summer. The weather was just perfect, no need to bring anything but shorts and t-shirts here in the summer as you won’t need anything else.

Then there is the College American Football, one definitely not to be missed. The atmosphere at games is fantastic, and you get so involved, especially with 50,000 plus other fans joining in with you. With an indoor track and all the facilities you need (not to mention a free bus service) there is never a time to get bored. Just remember to make your student ID card first though to enjoy the benefits.

The Research

The work that I was involved with was to do with Biosensors, a part of Materials Science that I had never experienced before. I looked at making a ZnO matrix which was porous enough to allow enzymes to be encapsulated within them. This was challenging as no-one had ever done this before, which is what makes research exciting and interesting as you don’t know what to expect. I was looking into the behaviour of the enzyme and it rate of reaction. This involved using equipment that I have never used before, but which I later found easy to use. I also did some SEM of the ZnO matrices, an example is shown below. I got to play with new machines as well such as for the FTIR.

All in all, one should come prepared for the study trip as best as possible. But then expect for the unexpected as there is so much to do here that you will end up making many a spontaneous decisions. Oh and where I lived, they had two dogs as pets, which meant that there was never a dull moment at home either. Amazing