Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Dr Surya Raghu, 1978 Mech.
Team Sampada: Can you please give us an brief overview about your career and journey as an Engineer?
Dr. Surya Sir: I started my career teaching mechanical engineering at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Then moved to Industry – conducting industrial research to meet needs of automotive and consumer products industry. I worked on automotive aerodynamic problems related to windshield washer sprays and sprays for consumer products. Then I started Advanced Fluidics in 2001 and work in the area of aerodynamic flow control which has applications for airplanes, helicopters and perhaps naval carriers, cars and trucks – (with no pun!) down the road. Also delved into medical instrumentation working on simple methods to detect irregular heartbeat and a bit in the area of microfluidics. Since 2006 have also been teaching entrepreneurship for scientists and engineers in about 25 developing countries.
Team Sampada: Thoughts about your days at UVCE?
Dr. Surya Sir: I have fond memories of those days – T-squares and instrument box, lab courses and workshops, inspiring and “get-away” lectures, and most importantly my friends and educational tours – without which I could not have afforded to see so many places. We also saw a few technological transitions in our days – slide rules to calculators and T-squares to mini-drafters. Being mechanical engineering students – the first eight semesters had workshops or Labs – and we had very interesting experiences there. After my first welding session – I could not open my eyes at all the next day! Our drawing instructor Mr. Hutchappa was very strict and would put a big “cross-mark” on our drawings if he found us talking in the class. Had some great mathematics teachers – Bakkesha Swamy (amazing memory – could remember the order in which the students were sitting), Krishna Reddy (Vector Analysis), Sonnappa (who used to write in both hands). Memorable engineering lecturers were Bhaskar Naidu, Dakshina Murthy, Satyanarayana Makam, Venkatarathnam, Govinda Gowda and Abdulla Sherif. Since the ME block was separate (across the road) – I would say, but for our library use, we were not so aware of the “goings-on” in the main building. If I recall, there were only 4 engineering colleges at that time and UVCE was at the top (at least in my opinion!). Jobs were also tough to come by after graduation at that time – being a “trainee” engineer was more common.
Team Sampada: As students and alumni, what are the small things we can trigger to bring about a change in UVCE?
Dr. Surya Sir: The smallest thing we can all do to UVCE is to take pride to have a clean campus and therefore help clean up the premises – student and alumni squads to clean up the campus One of the most talked about topic among alumni is how dirty and dilapidated the buildings and toilets were – we should change that situation and take pride in the home we made there for 4-5 years – how else can we create a positive and pleasant experience for the next generation of students?
Team Sampada: Your thoughts on UVCE’s Centenary Journey and its next centenary voyage?
Dr. Surya Sir: UVCE’s centenary journey has seen many great individuals (mostly men, very few women) pass through UVCE on their way to great careers. In the next centenary voyage I would like to see a better gender balance (both in students and faculty) and a great brand name built for UVCE – becoming known for its high quality research, innovation and entrepreneurship – and a physical campus which is commensurate with that reputation. By the way, we also need an identity brand for ourselves.
– Dr Surya Raghu, Sampada-118