Tridib Saha

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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (2011)
PhD in Engineering 2012 

Where are you studying presently, and describe your course / research. 

I joined Monash as a full-time Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student right after I finished my bachelor’s degree. My current research is multidisciplinary; it involves various streams of engineering such as electrical, chemical, mechanical, and materials. As with anything new, I find this line of research both intriguing and challenging at the same time. Research on a daily basis can be very one-dimensional. This change of field adds a bit of flavour to the routine research life.

My research, simply put, is looking into possibilities of harvesting electrical energy from vibrations using piezoelectric nanostructures. The novelty in this research comes from the coupling of these nanostructures grown on acoustic devices to harvest maximum electrical energy.

Why did you choose to study at Monash University Malaysia?

I’ve always been inclined towards academia as my dad comes from the same line of work. With the current competitive job market, a PhD from a reputed university can add that extra edge employers are looking for. Considering Monash University’s ranking, international reputation and research infrastructure, I decided to return back to my alma mater without a second thought.

Describe your study experience at Monash University Malaysia.

The best thing about university life would be the avenue to meet new people. As you grow older, it gets harder to make new friends and meet like-minded people. In a university, you get a steady stream of new faces every semester, be it undergraduate or postgraduate students. Student retreats, free meals, and student discounts are also worth a mention. 

How did you find your degree (PhD) program? What did you like best about it?

PhD in Monash Malaysia was a very well-rounded experience. I had the opportunity to work on a research topic that I was passionate about, with a great supervision and support team. I was part of an emerging engineering lab, which allowed me to learn a lot of new skills outside the scope of my research. The best part of my PhD journey was representing Monash Malaysia to campus-wide 3 minute thesis (3MT) competition and winning the finals. That was a great confidence booster for my work, and I met some amazing people along the way. I must also mention that Monash University Malaysia has one of the most active postgraduate student bodies, and it played a big role in making my PhD program a very memorable one.

What were the challenging aspects of your degree program? 

PhD journey is like a sinusoidal curve - at one moment you have everything going in your way, and the very next moment you're at the lowest point of your life. The biggest challenge is to find the motivation to push forward at those tough times and not give up. So cherish the good moments and be prepared for whatever is coming next.

How does it feel to be teaching at your own alma mater? How do you feel about working alongside lecturers who were once your lecturers? 

It is an amazing feeling to be in an academic role in my own alma mater. I am still getting used to the whole experience, and trying my best to deliver what I once expected of my lecturers. My colleagues, some of whom were once my lecturers, have been very welcoming and supportive of my transition. I also have newfound respect for all my lecturers, now that I know first hand how much effort they have to put into every subject they teach. Overall, I am happy to be back as a part of this ever-growing campus, which already feels like my second home.

What advice would you offer to the current students on how to succeed in university?

For those who want to pursue a research degree, I would advise you to think carefully before you come to a decision. Research is not for everyone; it can be very frustrating and monotonous most of the time. But if you’re the type who wants to discover new things and has an insatiable thirst for knowledge, then this is the right path for you. Another advice for any student: enjoy it while it lasts. University is the best place to meet a diverse range of students and make new friends. Use this opportunity to push your social boundaries. Do not forget to have fun!