Prakriti made Aerospace her dream and she is pursuing it now.

The Climber’s MyCaptain program had an Astronomy Mentorship Workshop which we ran till the October of 2016. We also conducted an Astro-Camp in Bangalore back in June 2016. All the attendees were taken to various different institutes and they got to interact with Industry experts and Scientists for 2 days.

The Astro-Campers.

We interacted with Prakriti Sardana, one of our Astronomy Mentees to understand what their progress had been since, and what we found out was quite interesting.

Q) Hi Prakriti! Tell us about yourself. What do you do?

Praktiti : I am a 3rd year student in SRM , studying Mechanical Engineering. Nobody in my family is an engineer. So there was no immediate incentive of getting into engineering. But I was always interested in Science and Technology, and how it can answer a lot of questions about the Universe.

Q) Wow, that’s a start! Where did you learn about the MyCaptain Astronomy Workshop?

Prakriti : In February 2015, I remember one of my friends telling me that there was an Astronomy Workshop and it is only. I immediately got Zeeshan’s number. Back then I didn’t know who he was and what his association with The Climber was (smiles).

I called him, and we met near a building in the College and he explained the Workshop and who the mentors were going to be. I was very interested.


Q) Who were your mentors? Tell us about them.

Praktiti : Both the mentors, Ankit and Denver were very close to us. Because that batch was very enthusiastic, they took the effort to make a Google Drive full of videos, and books for us to read. We would take efforts to video call the mentors and they were always so well informed. It was a very good platform to discuss things that we read in the News but never dissected scientifically and analytically.

After the workshop, Denver put up an opportunity about this radio astronomy winter school, IUCA, under the Tata institute for Fundamental Research. Every year it conducts a radio astronomy camp, and Denver recommended it to us. I applied, and to my utmost surprise I got selected. They only take 30 people out of hundreds of applicants. Before this I had also interned at Nehru Planetarium at Delhi.

After the Radio Astronomy Winter school, I also got a paid internship at National Center for Radio Astrophysics in Pune.

Q) You seem to be a Research person. Are you pursuing any research right now?

Praktiti : I am deeply interested in Aerospace Engineering. There’s a project on propulsion systems that I am currently working on. As soon as it gets over, I am going to publish a paper on the same subject. This will happen this year, mostly.

Q) What are you future plans? And what avenues are there for students interested in or Aerospace specifically?

Praktiti : I’m looking for an MS and pHD from the US. There are several avenues. When we look at space science, it is a complicated domain and there are various domains that you can choose from depending on your level of interest. For that I would recommend exploring more about these fields. I, personally am very interested in fluid mechanics and propulsion systems.

Most of the great research universities will have strong Aerospace programs. And there are so many companies that do so much of what we see as little work, like providing basic machinery and electronics that are very important.

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