Taiwan Tales: Manas Ranjan Pattnayak
Internships are a vital addition to one’s experience and enhance technical knowledge and awareness. Manas Ranjan Pattnayak, a final year student of the Department of Mechanical Engineering recently bagged an internship at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Team MM caught up with this ingenious mind on a lazy Saturday afternoon to gain insight into his internship experience in Taiwan and to learn more about his future endeavours.
MM: Tell us something about your life before NITR happened to you:
MRP: I was born and brought up at Berhampur, a small town in Southern Odisha. I studied in Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir, Ramhari Nagar till my tenth grade and then went on to study in Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir, Neelakantha Nagar till my twelfth grade. After the completion of 12th standard, I was particularly interested to pursue Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering and wanted to get admitted into one of the IITs. Unfortunately, my rank wasn’t good, so I chose Mechanical Engineering at NITR.
MM: How was your life in your first year at NITR? What clubs did you join in your first year?
MRP: I had joined Axiom Club in my first semester. Later I got inducted into SAE and went on to become a part of the Efficycle team. So it was only during my second semester that I began to concentrate on core work, related to Mechanical Engineering. Due to heavy course load in the freshman year, it was a bit tough for me to manage my time between academics and club activities. And later I left Axiom because of my interests being totally inclined towards Mechanical Engineering.
MM: At the end of your second year, you interned at ABB Bangalore. How did you get to know about the internship and what was the criteria for getting selected?
MRP: During my fourth semester, I had contacted my uncle, who is an employee at Geometry Company (a CAD designing company). He referred me to the HR of ABB Bangalore. Then I came to know of the selection procedure and appeared for an online test at Bhubaneswar, in which I secured 84 out of 100. The test mainly comprised of questions related to designing concepts which are taught during the four years of Mechanical Engineering. This was followed by two rounds of interview, one online and the other at Bangalore.
MM: How was the experience of interning at ABB, Bangalore?
MRP: I had a great time at Bangalore. I was allotted to work for a simulation project of a steel plant and had to design a number of machines like sheer cutting, rolling, laying head machines, etc. Finally I had to produce the animation using SolidWorks Software. It was a great learning experience for me.
MM: You are an active member of ASME and also served as a post holder. How do you think it has helped you to evolve as an engineer in the field of Mechanical Engineering?
MRP: After my first year at NITR, I had decided to join ASME. Thankfully, I got inducted into it and then went on to work for SLDC, which was held during Innovision, 2015. I also worked as a member of Team Zon. During my stint at Team Zon, I helped my seniors with the designing of the vehicle and we also participated in an event called ESVC. I became the technical head of the club and also the manufacturing head of Team Zon in my 3rd year and now in my final year, I am serving the team as its Captain.
MM: At the end of your third year, you bagged a prestigious internship at National Tsing Hua University (NTH UNIVERSITY), Taiwan. How did you get to know about this internship and what was the procedure to apply for this internship?
MRP: Like every other pre-final year student, I also had a dream of interning in a reputed university. During the month of September, I started sending e-mails to several professors round the globe for research internships. I received 5-6 positive replies from several universities. But my interest lied in Machine Design and I was very lucky when I got a reply from Prof. Ling Psi Cher, a professor of NTHU, Taiwan.
I had to fill up a form given by them. I also submitted my CV and obtained 2-3 letters of recommendation, which I had got from my guide of NITR and Prof. Ling Psi Cher. In fact, it was Prof. Ling Psi Cher’s letter that helped me to secure the scholarship which funded my travel expenses and accommodation. The internship lasted for two and a half months. But I can say that I am still interning, as I am currently working on a project under the same professor. (Grins!)
MM: How was your experience of interning at Taiwan? What do you feel on comparing the research facilities at NTHU with that of NITR?
MRP: Taiwan is a very friendly country. My guide was very helpful and it’s because of his cooperation that I could complete three projects in Taiwan. I enjoyed my stay thoroughly at Taiwan; it is a beautiful country and more importantly a much more technically advanced country. The NTH University of Taiwan has much better facilities for research as compared to NITR. They receive funds from various private companies for these projects and utilize them to the fullest. The University didn’t have any stringent rules and regulations. The professor used to assign me a project every week. The meetings used to be scheduled on every weekend, where we discussed about the proceedings and further assignments. We were given the liberty to work during anytime we wanted.
MM: You mentioned that it was a paid internship. What was the amount of stipend that you received?
MRP: I got accommodation in the University and also got my airfare reimbursed. Apart from that, the professor also rewarded me with a stipend of 10000 NTD (500USD).
MM: Did the previous work experience at ABB Bangalore help you while working for this internship?
MRP: Yes, of course! Though the work done by me at Bangalore was simpler, it did help me a lot while working on the advanced areas in this university.
MM: How are the prospectus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at NITR? Any significant help that you received from the institute which helped you in securing this internship?
MRP: In my third year, I had started my research work under Prof. S. K. Behera. He helped me a lot by assigning me a project under Liquid Nitrogen Plant. After my third year, I had completed three projects in summer on Hydrostatic Bearing. Presently, I am working on 2 projects – Aerostatic Bearing (under S.K Behera) and Hydrostatic Bearing (under Prof. Ling Psi Cher). I secured this internship because of prior experience in the field of research.
MM: What are your plans after graduation?
The professor at National Tsing Hua University had offered me an integrated Master’s and Ph.D. program. I am thinking of joining this program. NTHU is ranked at the 32nd position globally, I am trying to get into a better ranked University of Canada or Australia. But if I fail to get selected for any other university, I will join NTHU.
MM: On a concluding note, any message that you would like to leave for our readers?
Be specific to your work. There is no need to change your field of interest from one to another. Don’t kill your time by watching movies or TV series, try to figure out what you want from your life. Once you sort out your interests, you can easily achieve your goals.