Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Calcutta, India.
Please provide your lab and description of research.
I am a PhD student in Randall Martin’s Atmospheric Composition Analysis Group. My research is based on interpreting trace gas dynamics and their formation in the atmosphere using chemical transport models, satellite-based observations and ground monitors. My work also involves identifying dominating sources of air pollution from global to local scales, which are pertinent to devising strategic policymaking.
What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
Research infrastructure, academic liberty and opportunities to handle critical problems are the main reasons that motivated me to pursue graduate studies. I always wanted to wake up on Monday mornings and reach my workplace with a smile, which I get to do here.
Why did you pick WashU?
As an international student, I did not have information other than the school website. This is where I found that WashU has a plethora of resources in terms of research infrastructure, motivated faculty members and loads of exciting projects to work on.
What was your favorite course and why?
EECE 514: Atmospheric Science and Climate is a grad-level course offered in the EECE department. Brent Williams is a fantastic instructor who usually teaches the course. It was an exciting and well-designed course that motivated students to learn.
Who is your favorite instructor and why?
It would not be justified to name a single instructor as my favorite. Most of the instructors in the department and other departments (I have some experience with courses from other departments) are really good.
What advice would you give to a new student?
Keep an open mind and question everything. Try to learn and build your methods from scratch. Be happy when you don't have the expected results from your research. That's exactly what you are here to find.
What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
St. Louis is neither too big a city nor too remote. It is really convenient in terms of low-cost living, easily affordable food, very little traffic even during office hours, plenty of hiking places and lakes for outdoor activities.
What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
There are loads of campus activities. The recreation center is a splendid place to do multiple activities. It has a well-equipped gym, swimming pools, indoor courts for racquet games, basketball, volleyball etc. There are also multiple student groups which are either led by the Graduate Student Senate and Graduate Professional Council or the Liberman Graduate Center.
Are there any not-for-profit agencies that you have volunteered or worked with?
Back in India, I worked with Beyond the Block and Calcutta Rescue.
What are your plans for the future?
Learn more about my field. Explore new possibilities of modeling development in terms of air quality management around the globe.