Ask Varun questions about KTH and read more about his decision to study at KTH, thoughts about Sweden, advice to prospective students and his plans for the future.
Hi! I am Varun from Chandigarh, India. I am currently pursuing a Master’s in Naval Architecture.
I did my Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering in 2011 at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India and then joined the merchant navy. I served as a marine engineer on ocean-going vessels for almost six years. Working onboard with so many different nationalities and visiting virtually every continent on the planet was a wonderful experience. I like travelling and exploring different cultures, people and food. Most of my holidays I spend in mountains on amazing treks at crazy heights. I love to make new friends and am generally quite talkative.
Why did you choose this master’s programme at KTH?
I wanted to study Ship Design at a higher level after spending a considerable number of years at sea as a marine engineer. There are very few universities in the world that offer master’s studies for a niche such as mine and as KTH is one of the top technical universities in the world, it is the perfect place to pursue this highly specialised subject.
What are the best aspects of your programme?
One of the best features of this programme is the freedom to choose a specific track and elective courses within the programme to suit your interest and further development in a particular topic such as hydrodynamics and CFD, management (sustainability) and lightweight structures.
Have you chosen a specialisation track within the programme? If Yes, which track and why?
I opted for the Management track to fulfil my objective of gaining knowledge of environmental management and strategic decision-making with the sole aim of making shipping more sustainable.
What are your favourite courses thus far?
I believe that all the courses have played an important role in adding to my knowledge and skills with regard to ship design and hydrodynamics, marine structures and fibre composites, project management, naval design and sustainability. However, I feel that I have a strong inclination towards marine hydromechanics because I find this subject very challenging and interesting.
How do studies at KTH differ from your previous studies?
There is a huge difference because my bachelor’s studies were mainly focused on learning theoretical aspects with conventional written examinations, whereas at KTH, the education is delivered via group discussions in combination with home assignments and written exams. Regular assignments keep students on track and help them gain a good grasp of the subject throughout the study period.
Subjects such as Naval Design provide the best platform on which to test theoretical knowledge and implement the same to create practical applications. Innovation and creativity are pivotal to KTH’s educational set-up.
How is student life in Stockholm?
Put simply, it is amazing! It is very important to have a healthy and cheerful outlook if you want to excel not only in your studies but in life in general life. The vibrant and city of Stockholm with its captivating landscape offers a plethora of tourist sites to keep you busy at the weekends. Most people (around 90%) speak English as their second language so there are no barriers when it comes to communication. The public transport system is excellent and makes travelling to different places really easy and fast, even late at night. The city is generally very safe and people are willing to help whenever asked.
How would you describe your time at KTH so far?
Right from my arrival, I have had an effortless time at KTH. Everything was well directed and KTH Entré is a one-stop solution for most queries. A series of events were hosted by THS (student’s union at KTH) in the orientation week to make new students familiar with not only the campus but also the city as a whole. One of the highlights of the Naval Architecture programme is to be a part of the ship society ‘Kongliga Skeppssallskapet’, which organises several activities and provides the perfect space and time to socialise and get to know other students. The Coronavirus resulted in many things been cancelled and/or rescheduled. However, KTH has proven its excellence in delivering the education and holding other relevant events whenever possible during these difficult times. So far, I have had a wonderful time at KTH.
What do you want to do after graduating?
Given the opportunity, I would want to pursue a PhD and conduct research and teaching in marine hydromechanics.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for their master’s studies?
KTH is one of Europe’s leading technical universities and is the largest university in Sweden in terms of research and innovation. It offers unique opportunities to contribute to a fast-changing world. For example, in the Naval Architecture programme, we are building a model of the world’s largest sailing car carrier in collaboration with Wallenius (leading international shipping company) in order to make the transition to more sustainable shipping.