Whilst undertaking a three month research project at ANU during his undergraduate degree, Ankur got a taste for research, and life in Canberra. After completing his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in India, Ankur commenced his PhD in Micro and Nano-Systems at ANU in September 2015.
"During my undergraduate degree in engineering, I was always more inclined towards research and undertook several projects.
"I had already seen the research facilities at ANU and interacted with several supervisors who were very supportive. ANU has some of the world's leading facilities in nano-fabrication and characterisation, and I knew a PhD in this area at ANU would allow me to express myself in the subject I most related to."
Upon commencing his PhD, the support Ankur received at inductions and trainings provided him with the freedom to innovate and explore in his research.
"Right from the moment I started my degree at ANU, I was exposed to many induction programs which helped me understand my role as a PhD student at ANU, as well as programs which have helped me enhance my creative skills, scientific writing and research ethics.
"Over the past year, I have grown as an independent thinker; I know now how to approach a problem rather than panic about it. I think ANU has instilled within me a sense of self-dependence both personally and academically. I now approach subjects in an analytical way, with more confidence. This was totally unexpected; I was never expecting such a paradigm shift in my thinking capabilities.
"ANU allows you to innovate and explore yourself and find solutions to complex and challenging problems."
From scholarships to conferences, competitions and showcases, Ankur believes the opportunities available to PhD students at ANU are vast.
"I have been given the opportunity to undertake research with freedom - the facilities are enormous.
"To showcase my research I have had the opportunity to attend conferences, showcase platforms and from time to time enter in national and international level competitions.
"Scholarship opportunities are also there for students who are willing to go the extra mile, and they are very generous making life at the university quite easy!"
Located in Canberra, the nation's capital, ANU is set on 145 hectares of beautifully maintained bushland. Hosting international students from across the world, Ankur found the transition from life in New Delhi to ANU and Canberra smooth.
"People at ANU are really welcoming, and accepting of people from the international community. I have never experienced such hospitality from other universities around the world.
"Coming from India, I am used to seeing a lot more people on the streets compared to Canberra! Canberra is so beautiful; there are many multi-cultural festivals. Facebook can keep you updated with events happening in the city. There is no shortage when it comes to partying as well, Canberra lives up to all expectations!"
Already having been involved in developing ground-breaking research, Ankur is excited about his prospects post-PhD.
"I was a part of a team which, in March 2016, made the world's thinnest lens. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, and I was so proud to be a part of it!
"I want to see my research having an impact in the world, and being the best at what I do. ANU has instilled within me a sense of perfectionism, and I will keep that pursuit of perfection going in whatever I do in my life."
Ankur's advice for students considering postgraduate study at ANU?
"Do not think twice! ANU is a place that allows, and encourages you to achieve your dreams. You will grow not only as a professional but also as a human being, as you interact with students and people from all over the globe."
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