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Those who want to do MS or PhD should start working on hardware or software projects

Created on: 2012-12-14

Rajib Mikail

PhD Student, Department of Electrical Engineering
North Carolina State University:NCSU

Who should take EEE...

Those who are good in Math and Physics can have a successful career in EEE. There are lots of branches available for future research where people have plenty of options suitable for themselves. In my high school, I loved to study physics. I think, I finally ended up with a correct choice for my career.

Sharing experience on studying EEE...

I could work on projects even in my undergraduate. I could make publications also in my undergraduate. It is cool to work on hardware projects, international competitions while continuing undergraduate studies.

Activities you were engaged with in your undergraduate life...

After Level-2, Term-1, I started working on projects. CGPA and project work both had equal priority in my undergraduate life. I believe those experiences are very important for higher studies.

I will suggest earning money (like tuition, lecturing at coaching centers etc.) should be in less priority unless you have family needs.

Participation in local/international competitions...

I have participated in International Future Energy Challenge (IFEC-2005) competition. We didn't get Visa to attend the competition. Yet, we secured Honorable Mention Award. I also worked on local projects. For example, Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), SCADA systems, Prepaid Energy Meter for DESCO, etc.

Preparations for higher studies...

Undergraduate is not enough if you have plans to be an entrepreneur or scientist in your desired field. Those who want to do MS or PhD should start working on projects involving hardware or software experiments as early as possible. By the end of final year, if you see you haven't yet worked on any projects it will be very difficult to survive. I found some people started MS or PhD without any prior knowledge and work experience in his field. They could survive because they are smart. Still they also had gone through hard times. If you just need a job in Bangladesh, then higher studies are not required.

Scholarship, your approach and your current school...

I had a good CGPA, which helped me a lot in getting Research Assistantship (RA). I had one conference publication, but I did not have good GRE score. I will say (a) CGPA (b) Publication (c) Good GRE score. If you have any one of these three, you can definitely think about higher studies.

I wanted to work with Dr. Iqbal Husain. He is a renowned researcher in his field.

I have some suggestions. PhD takes about 4-5 years. It will take the same time like your B.Sc degree. For B.Sc you had a long preparation. For PhD also you should have similar preparation. You should not throw yourself to an uncertain future for the next 4-5 years. Before you commit to start working with a professor or research group or University, you should have good knowledge about where you are going.

Your subject field for PhD...

My research field is Power Electronics and Motor Drives. My PhD research topic is Torque Ripple Minimization of Switched Reluctance Machine (SRM).

Prospects and current trends of research areas...

Industries are working on this new technology (SRM) to replace the existing machine technology mainly due to the cost and rare earth magnet unavailability. Any complete research on any machine technology is a good topic in Motor Drives field.

The current trends also include renewable, sustainable energy technology and energy processing through power electronics.

The research lab I work on is FREEDM Systems Center, ECE, NC State University. In our lab there are lots of research on Power Systems and distributions. In BUET we thought these fields are saturated, less funding, less job. But after I came here, I realized there are huge research and job prospects from these fields. Especially nowadays, renewable energy penetration to the power systems has made this field back to a demanding field in all respects.