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Previous RIYA Scholars

Read success stories from our previous RIYA scholars: 2018, 2017, 2016.

2018 RIYA Scholars

Mohd Babar – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi

photo of Babar“The RIYA program has played an integral role in defining my views on academia and entrepreneurship.”

As a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at IIT Dehli, Mohd Babar is working on filing a provisional patent for the design of a liquid cooling vest. He enjoys the topics of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, aeroacoustics and applied mathematics.

This RIYA Scholar was mentored by Professor Raj Singh, as well as industry member Rajendra Gunda, PhD, of ANSOL. His project, in the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory, focused on natural frequencies and pressure oscillation modes of 3D annular-like acoustic cavities, allowed him to examine new geometries for noise and vibration control, including an application to engine knock. In his future career, Babar aims to continue to do research in heat transfer and aeroacoustics.

He appreciated the skills he learned during this summer opportunity. “The RIYA program has played an integral role in defining my views on academia and entrepreneurship. It has improved my decision making and critical thinking skills, as well as helped me become a well-rounded individual.”


Karthik Boddapati – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad

photo of Karthik Boddapati"The RIYA program acted as the perfect bridge between my undergraduate and graduate studies."

Karthik Boddapati is entering the fourth year of his undergraduate studies as a mechanical engineering major at IIT Hyderabad. He is most interested in the field of solid mechanics and elasticity, especially in the subjects dealing with design and analysis of composites.

During his time in the RIYA program, he performed work in the Automated Computational Mechanics Laboratory. Professor Soheil Sohgrati mentored him on his project, which focused on image-based reconstruction of heterogeneous material microstructures. Among his achievements, Boddapati reconstructed microstructures for 2D particulate composite, 3D particulate composite and also a metal matrix composite using packing algorithms.

His career goals are to pursue research in aerospace engineering, primarily pertaining to aerospace structures and the use of composites. Boddapati is also extremely interested in working toward the collaboration of the aerospace industry and educational institutions in India to encourage startups in this field.

He valued the RIYA experience. "The RIYA program acted as the perfect bridge between my undergraduate and graduate studies. It helped me get a broader perspective on how research is conducted in the U.S. and I am now confident about getting into mainstream research after my bachelor’s."


Vivek Boddapati – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras

photo of Vivek Boddapati"The best part about the RIYA program was the freedom and flexibility offered to us in choosing our projects."

Fourth-year student Vivek Boddapati studies at IIT Madras, where he majors in mechanical engineering. There, he is cultivating his interests in thermodynamics and fluid Mechanics, especially in the subjects dealing with combustion, spray droplet formation and characteristics, and design of heat exchangers.

The Flow, Engine and Acoustics Laboratory at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research hosted him during the RIYA program. There, he was mentored by Professor Ahmet Selamet. His project was particle image velocimetry turbocharger flow analysis, in which he studied the tangential and radial velocity components at various operating conditions.

"The best part about the RIYA program was the freedom and flexibility offered to us in choosing our projects,” he said. “In addition to the main problem statement, I got to work on a lot of other stuff which helped me gain exposure to research and discover my interests for graduate school."


Savyaraj Deshmukh – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay

photo of Deshmukh"The interactions with other RIYA Scholars introduced me to many interesting fields in mechanical engineering.”

Savyaraj Deshmukh is a fourth-year student at IIT Bombay with nonlinear dynamics as his primary area of interest. He is currently working on a research project there as part of his bachelor’s degree about nonlinear resonances and chaotic mapping. In addition to his major in mechanical engineering, he is pursuing a minor in physics.

As a RIYA Scholar Deshmukh was mentored by Professor Raj Singh and Luke Fredette, PhD, post-doctoral researcher, in the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory. His project, focused on nonlinear isolator dynamics, allowed him to study the effect of clearance and friction nonlinearities on isolator dynamics and quantify them. For the future, he is highly considering further studies in mechanical engineering.

“These two months helped me form a mature perspective on research, graduate study and on a lot of other aspects in general,” said Deshmukh. “The interactions with other RIYA Scholars introduced me to many interesting fields in mechanical engineering. I would like to thank Prof. Singh and Dr. Fredette for this great learning experience.”


Ayush Garg – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi

photo of Garg“What makes this program different is that the research is done from first principles without unjustified assumptions.”

RIYA Scholar Ayush Garg likes modelling flow phenomena, especially turbulent flows. He is beginning his fourth year at IIT Dehli, majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in automotive design.

His work with Professor Raj Singh and Luke Fredette, PhD, post-doctoral researcher, allowed him to explore his interests further. Working in the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory, he explored motion decoupling strategies. Because of Garg’s work, a parametric study is now available, which can be used to determine how accurately a rigid body solution is suited to a particular flexible powertrain in electric vehicles. Garg’s long-term career interests include completing research in the field of hybrid propulsion systems.

“The RIYA program is an intelligently devised venture that has cultivated an aptitude for research in me,” he said. “What makes this program different is that the research is done from first principles without unjustified assumptions. One can rarely find programs in which young scholars play the principal role in the process. Dr. Singh has a terrific research acumen and he has been an inspiration throughout the  project. Working with Dr. Fredette and Dr. Singh, I find it remarkable to have developed a research aptitude and a change in perspective in such short time.”


Saksham Jindal – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay

photo of Jindal“It was an enriching experience in all aspects—be it research, soft skills, American culture, excursions, cooking!”

Saksham Jindal, of IIT Bombay, is entering his fourth year of undergraduate studies. He enjoys investigating the field of fluid dynamics and heat transfer, and is fascinated by the aerodynamics used in Formula 1 race vehicles. His major is mechanical engineering and he will complete a minor in aerospace engineering.

During the RIYA program, Jindal studied nonlinear coned disks with Post-doctoral Researcher Nicholas Mastricola, PhD, and Professor Raj Singh. The project, in the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory, allowed him to design and carry out modal analysis about several operating points, sinusoidal sweep envelope analyses and assess the role of piecewise nonlinear devices. For the future he hopes to apply his interest in research to the field of thermal and fluid engineering.

Jindal was grateful for the many and varied opportunities the RIYA program offered overall, including activities in which he partook during his free time. “It was an enriching experience in all aspects—be it research, soft skills, American culture, excursions, cooking!”


Saeel Pai – 2018 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras

photo of Pai"The RIYA program exposed me to areas of research way beyond traditional mechanical engineering, and thus expanded my horizons."

Saeel Pai is now in his fourth year at IIT Madras. His mechanical engineering major allows him to investigate fluid mechanics and heat transfer, and he has completed projects in the area of electronic cooling and is currently working on a project to predict flows.

While he was at Ohio State, Pai worked in the Microsystems for Mechanobiology and Medicine Laboratory with Professor Jonathan Song; and in the Microsystems and Nanosystems Laboratory with Professor Shaurya Prakash. His work encompassed researching angiogenesis at bifurcation points, and he learned to fabricate microchannel devices using the technique of soft lithography, in order to prepare for experiments. His long-term career interest is to do research in the area of fluid mechanics—especially trying to develop better models for studying turbulent flows—as well as possibly biomimicry.

Pai appreciated the research opportunities he experienced as a RIYA Scholar. "The RIYA program exposed me to areas of research way beyond traditional mechanical engineering, and thus expanded my horizons."


2017 RIYA Scholars

Raunaq Bhirangi – 2017 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay

“The RIYA program has crystallized my ideas on graduate school. I will definitely look back at this, 10 years down the line, as one of the defining points in my career.”

Raunaq BhirangiRaunaq BhirangiRaunaq Bhirangi is now a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at IIT Bombay, India. His research interests include robotics, nonlinear dynamics, fluid mechanics and analytical mechanics. At IIT Bombay, Bhirangi is pursuing minors in both systems and controls, and computer science.

During his time at Ohio State, Bhirangi developed a system-level, multi-axis experimental identification scheme for elastomeric isolators. Professor Rajendra Singh and Dr. Luke Fredette, an MAE post-doctoral researcher, assisted Bhirangi with his research project, “High Frequency Vibration Isolator Design.”

“The RIYA program has crystallized my ideas on graduate school,” said Bhirangi. “I will definitely look back at this, 10 years down the line, as one of the defining points in my career.” Bhirangi went on to share that the program’s “exposure to research, as well as American culture, was invaluable and comes at the perfect time of my undergraduate study.”


Shashwat Ranjan Chaurasia – 2017 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur

“The RIYA program is different from similar programs because it focuses on looking into the problem and exploring the physics of it instead of just getting the results.”

Shashwat Ranjan Chaurasia Shashwat Ranjan Chaurasia Shaswat Ranjan Chaurasia is a mechanical engineering student at IIT Kanpur, India. Chaurasia, who is now a fourth-year undergraduate student, is interested in research that explores automotive engineering, flight vehicle aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, and internal combustion engines.

This summer, Chaurasia’s research project, “Modeling and Simulation of Dynamic Vehicle Response on Low-Friction Surfaces,” was supervised by Professor Rajendra Singh and Post-Doctoral Researcher Luke Fredette.

Click here to read more about Chaurasia's RIYA research.

His research examined the role of dynamic friction in an effort to determine the transient response of a vehicle. During his time at Ohio State, Chaurasia also developed preliminary simulation models which take vehicle dynamics into account in order to predict the response of a vehicle trying to stop on a variety of surfaces, including icy, snowy and bumpy roads.

“The RIYA program is different from similar programs because it focuses on looking into the problem and exploring the physics of it instead of just getting the results,” said Chaurasia. “I also had the freedom to try things on my own and to steer the project in a particular direction.”


Yashraj Gurumukhi – 2017 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay

“The RIYA program really enabled me to work on something this important.”

Yashraj GurumukhiYashraj GurumukhiNow as a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at IIT-Bombay, Yashraj Gurumukhi has worked on several technical projects in the electrical engineering field. He is the design engineer on the IIT Bombay Racing team. In this role, Gurumukhi is responsible for the suspension and steering of the team’s electric car, which will participate in the next Formula Student UK competition.

He is interested in thermal and fluid engineering and is especially intrigued by the internal combustion engine. While working on his RIYA research project, “Microfluidic Approach for Studying the Mechanical Determinants of Angiogenesis,” Gurumukhi designed a device to deliver medicine more effectively to blood vessels. He was mentored by Assistant Professor Jonathan Song, Professor Shaurya Prakash, doctoral students Ehsan Akbar and Kaushik Rangharajan, and Griffin Spychalski, a biomedical engineering undergraduate student.

“My favorite aspect of the program is that I got to work on a novel problem statement,” said Gurumukhi. “It was very intriguing research that I was working on and it will have a deep impact in the coming years.”

“The RIYA program really enabled me to work on something this important.”


Priy Ranjan – 2017 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras

“This experience has helped me grow as a researcher and an individual.”

Priy RanjanPriy RanjanPriy Ranjan is now a fifth-year student at IIT Madras, India. In addition to his mechanical engineering degree, Ranjan is minoring in mathematics for computer science. He is currently working under the mentorship of Prof. Chandramouli to improve the ride comfort for three-wheeled vehicles, which are commonly used in India. As an engineer on his college’s racing team, he also designed and manufactured a racecar to compete in the Formula Students India competition.

At Ohio State, Ranjan’s research project, “Non-Linear Dynamics of Wire Rope Isolators,” explored the behavior of systems with wire rope isolators, which are commonly used in aerospace applications. “This experience has helped me grow as a researcher and an individual,” he shared. “I have learned a lot during my internship at Ohio State, and I would like to bring it back to my country.”
He worked with Professor Singh and Dr. Nick Mastricola, an MAE post-doctoral researcher. “I worked very closely with Dr. Nick and Dr. Singh throughout the project,” said Ranjan. “They gave me the freedom to pitch in with my own ideas on how we can go about solving the problem and analyzing the situation. That was very helpful.”


Vishnu Vishal – 2017 RIYA Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology – Guwahati

“I would like to thank Professor Singh for taking the initiative to develop the RIYA program. I learned a lot academically through this process, and I now know how research works."

Vishnu VishalVishnu VishalVishnu Vishal is now a fourth-year mechanical engineering undergraduate student at IIT Guwahati, India. Under the guidance of Professor S.K. Dwivedy, Vishal is designing a bed to improve the quality of life for paralyzed patients in his home country. In 2016, he was awarded the Institute Merit Scholarship (for high ranking in the Departmental) by the Government of India.

His research project, “Conversion of NAD+ to NADH for Bio-Catalysis,” worked to develop a viable method for the regeneration of NAD+, which is imperative for cellular respiration, and NADH, which plays an essential role in energy production. Vishal was advised by Professor Vish Subramaniam, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Travis Jones, graduate research associate; and Chris Esparza, undergraduate research associate. Vishal’s research will greatly impact the medical field, specifically cancer cell migration and proliferation, the prevention of Type I diabetes and the eradication of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“I would like to thank Professor Singh for taking the initiative to develop the RIYA program. I learned a lot academically through this process, and I now know how research works,” he said. “I also know the processes that go into participating in a graduate program.”

“I also want to thank Professor Vish,” he added. “He is one of the most motivating professors that I have ever met. You have made me confident in myself and my ability to find results through my research.”


2016 RIYA Scholars

Siddharth Rath - 2016 RIYA Scholar

“As a young researcher, this internship opportunity gave me a broader view and gave me more conviction to pursue a graduate degree.”

Siddharth Rath (seated) collaborates with doctoral student Luke Fredette in Ohio State’s Scott LabSiddharth Rath (seated) collaborates with doctoral student Luke Fredette in Ohio State’s Scott LabSiddharth Rath is a mechanical engineering student at IIT Madras, India.  His research interest is in the area of systems engineering.  Rath is among the top one percent of high school students in India via the Central Board of Secondary Education 12th Board Examination in 2013.   His RIYA Award research project, “Modelling and Characterization of Passive and Adaptive Bushings and Mounts,” under the mentorship of Professor Singh and doctoral student Luke Fredette, involves performing several simulations and employing signal processing techniques to provide more accurate predictions -- and better explain physics of the bushings device.

Rath most enjoyed his interaction with Ohio State’s faculty and scholars in the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory where he collaborated with many fellow-researchers from whom he learned a great deal.  “I learned more about subject content but also how research is carried out,” he said.  “As a young researcher, this internship opportunity gave me a broader view and gave me more conviction to pursue a graduate degree,” Rath noted.  “The experience taught me how to do research in a systematic and organized way.”


Aakash Abhishek - 2016 RIYA Scholar

“I have truly enjoyed the overall academic atmosphere at Ohio State and the beautiful campus.” 

From left to right Siddharth Rath, Chahal Neema and Aakash Abhishek From left to right Siddharth Rath, Chahal Neema and Aakash Abhishek Aakash Abhishek is attending IIT Bombay, India as a mechanical design student while working for the student formula car team as a mechanical design engineer in transmission systems.  He is a gold medalist in Indian National Physics Olympiad and in Regional Mathematics Olympiad.   His research interests are in system dynamics and robotics.  At Ohio State, he is conducting research in system identification and modeling, specifically on the analytical modeling of magnetic interactions.

His research project, “Experimental and Dynamic Analysis of Eddy Current Breaking Systems,” under the mentorship of The Ohio State University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Professor and Chair Vish Subramaniam, Professor Emeritus Raj Singh and Assistant Clinical Professor Jason Dreyer, attempts to model the underlying system that governs magnetic coupling.  “The thing I have enjoyed the most is the approachability and enthusiasm of the professors…I have truly enjoyed the overall academic atmosphere at Ohio State and the beautiful campus.”  Abhishek says the RIYA Award internship helped organize and document his research and set goals.  “The internship has benefitted me in becoming a better researcher.”


Chahal Neema - 2016 RIYA Scholar

“This internship has been a true learning experience and has strengthened my research interest in mechanical engineering.”

Chahal Neema is a mechanical engineering student at  IIT Bombay, India and a recipient of the 2014 Undergraduate Research Award at IIT.  His research interests include dynamics and mechanical control, vehicle systems, fluids and thermodynamics and manufacturing processes.  His internship project, “Active and Adaptive Control of Pulsating Pressures in Supercharger Inlet/Outlet Ducts,” under the mentorship of Professor Singh and former doctoral student Joe Plattenburg, is to carry out bench experiments which help validate the computer model and serve as a proof of concept for active resonance control.  He considers Ohio State’s research labs among the best in the world, including the Gear and Transmission Research Laboratory, the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory and the Center for Automotive Research

“My internship experience has been a complete package,” Neema commented.  He says the experience has taught him that understanding and formulating a problem the right way is more important than solving it.  He is returning to IIT Bombay with better critical thinking skills and increased confidence.  “This internship has been a true learning experience and has strengthened my research interest in mechanical engineering.”