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KTH has helped me to learn, research and continually improve myself

Arivazhagan comes from India. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University and has three years’ experience in Engine Flow and Thermal Analysis, focused on meeting emission goals. He is adventurous and loves trekking. 


Why did you choose this master’s programme at KTH?

I wanted to learn more and gain expertise in my field of interest. For me, studying abroad was a chance to widen my perspective and improve my contacts. KTH has a good reputation and provides high quality education. The university also engages in active ongoing research in almost all aspects of fluid dynamics and provides opportunities to collaborate and create. The professors are well known and the research activity is very detailed. As I wanted to explore further and was fond of fluid mechanics, I chose this master’s programme at KTH.

You received the KTH-India Scholarsip, what has it meant for you and your studies?

Receiving this scholarship has greatly relieved me of the financial burden to pursue my education. It meant freedom for me, and I am honoured to have received this scholarship. The scholarship has also motivated me to excel in my studies here at KTH and helped me to align my responsibilities accordingly. It further shows the value of my work and has instilled in me to give back back to society.

What was your academic or professional background before applying for the scholarship?

I completed my bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering at Anna University, India. During that time, I was involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities and participated in technical symposiums related to aero-modelling. I was also exposed to the research field in fluid mechanics at IIT Madras and IIT Bombay, as a part of Research Internship programs. After my bachelor's, I worked in an automotive company for three years as an Analysis engineer with assignments in IC engine flow and thermal solutions. I was further interested in exploring advanced topics in fluid mechanics and decided to pursue my master's in Engineering Mechanics at KTH.

Do you have any recommendations for future students applying for the KTH-India Scholarship?

KTH established India Scholarship to support students based on their academic excellence. So, I would suggest the students to build a strong, well-rounded profile. Since the scholarship focus on supporting merited students, I would recommend the applicants to maintain a high GPA in their undergraduate studies. Additionally, good research exposure in a reputed institution and work experience will help you to stand out amongst the applicants. Further, it's essential to portray why one deserves the scholarship in the application. Therefore, I suggest the potential students reflect on how the scholarship would enable them to act effectively towards their goals, and the benefits they could provide to society with their studies by receiving the scholarship.

What are the best aspects of your programme?

The programme is well-structured for someone passionate about mechanics. The programme also offers specialisation with a wonderful mix of theory and project work. The theoretical coursework focuses on understanding the different topics and builds on the fundamental theories in detail. The programme design also accommodates inter-disciplinary learning and allows you to master the courses related to fluid mechanics in the first year and focus on other disciplines such as data science in the second year.

Have you chosen a specialisation track within the programme? If Yes, which track and why?

I have chosen the Fluid Mechanics track based on my interest. However, the programme offers specific tracks to help specialise in a particular field. Students are free to tailor the coursework based on their interests. The programme is flexible and also offers interdisciplinary coursework between the specialisations.

What are your favourite courses thus far?

I have enjoyed almost all the coursework at KTH thus far. KTH has helped me to learn, research and continually improve myself. I have also learnt a lot from discussing with my colleagues, as the curriculum also emphasises on learning by doing. If I had to choose specific courses, I would say Computational Fluid Dynamics and Vehicle Aerodynamics were by far the most challenging and thrilling courses because of the assignments and their applied nature.

How do studies at KTH differ from your previous studies?

The main difference is the structure of the academic year. KTH follows a quarterly system in which each semester is divided into two study periods. There are relatively few courses for a study period at KTH compared to my previous studies. This means that a particular topic can be studied in depth. The laboratories are fully equipped and there is a good mix of theoretical and practical sessions, which really benefits the learning process. Also, a lot of importance is attached to the assignments. Group work and originality are strongly emphasised. This involves the skills of brainstorming and looking at a problem from different perspectives. The professors are more approachable and the infrastructure is really good.

How is student life in Stockholm?

The student life in Stockholm is very calm and balanced and is not just about studying but provides countless opportunities for many activities. Students can focus on their interests or hobbies without affecting their academic life. The THS activities are usually well-planned and there is no possibility of missing out on your interests. I love building rockets and am working with ÆSIR, a THS association that provides a hands-on opportunity to build and launch rockets.

Stockholm has a clean environment and a close proximity to nature. There are many places to visit and the city offers a wide variety of adventures such as hiking, kayaking, etc. Thus, student life will create many memories to cherish.

How would you describe your time at KTH so far?

My time at KTH could be described as a combination of enjoyable activities and learning. The KTH campus is the best place to expand your potential and is incredibly supportive. The resources are generally available throughout the day or anytime, if necessary. I have been on some of the craziest adventures and accomplished things I thought I never could. I have also made some great friends here, learnt to manage my time effectively and bonded well with the multi-cultural student community. Studying at KTH has taught me various lessons, not only academically but also about culture and life.

What do you want to do after graduating?

My education at KTH has given me a direction that will be supported in fields related to water and climate. Since my coursework is related to specialisation in fluid mechanics and I have previously worked on reducing emissions, I feel a greater interest in contributing to society in terms of climate-related solutions. However, I would mention that the level of awareness Sweden provides to people in terms of sustainability has definitely been a major driver.

What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for their master’s studies?

KTH is one of the best universities in the world and is definitely a springboard to achieving your dreams. KTH will provide you with a brilliant opportunity to learn and meet people from around the globe. KTH is closely associated with many industries and there are lots of opportunities around. I would highly recommend studying at KTH because I know that everyone will be able to take away meaningful life lessons. Welcome to your future!