SrutiSruti. S is a PhD student in the Department, and has been awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF). She is advised by Prof. Giridhar. We caught up with Sruti to chat about her journey. Here are some excerpts from the interaction:

Tell us a bit about yourself — academic background, family background etc.

I did my B.E. Electronics and Communication Engineering in PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. My father is Dr. K. Sivakumar, a retired Professor, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and  Animal Sciences University, Chennai. My mother is Sridevi. S, an Engineer and a housewife. I have a sister, Smrithi. S doing her B.Tech in Fashion Technology in PSG College of Technology and she is a jewellery designer and a student entrepreneur.

What are your thoughts on winning the prestigious PMRF? What do you think you did right to receive this award?

I am very happy on winning the PMRF fellowship. I feel more responsible in doing high-quality research helpful for the society.

The interest, sincerity, and dedication I have towards my work as a research scholar with the thought of doing something, that will address the needs of the nation, is the reason I think I deserve this award.

Tell us a bit about your academic experience so far as a research scholar at IITM. Can you elaborate on the research environment, peer group and other relevant aspects?

My doctoral research is guided by Prof. K. Giridhar, EE Dept, IIT Madras, in the field of RADAR exploring the prospective of Distributed Radar and the different signal processing motives possible in the same. I am working on localization problems like user localization with communication signals and target localization in various scenarios. My research interests include Signal Processing in Wireless Communication and RADAR. My work mainly is in the development of a system-level simulator for the distributed RADAR system, localization, and data association algorithms in case of multiple targets and the analysis of waveforms for the system.

I should mention the strong and continuous support of my guide Professor K. Giridhar. I am really blessed to have the best team under my guide. They have always been there for me helping me in each step. With this team, I am sure to have the best outcome of my research. I also thank Professor Srikrishna Bhashyam for his support in my journey.

What aspects of the PhD student life do you particularly like?

A PhD student life can be explained with two words: perseverance and patience. It is a journey that not only takes us to a next step in academic career but also molds the personality of a person. I always saw research as a focus on finding solutions to help vast community.

What would you tell your friends and juniors who are considering doing a PhD?

PhD should not be taken up for a degree sake. It should be an applied research envisaged to find a solution for a national issue. Doing PhD will not be a cakewalk. People who like to explore new things, develop new skills and have the interest to keep learning everyday can consider doing a PhD. PhD is not about the result, but it is more about the process.

Any other comments, anecdotes?

I would like to share my favourite quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”