Fascinated by automobiles since he was a boy, mechanical engineering was a natural direction for Praveen. After gaining a bachelor degree in India and two years working for Chrysler, he renewed his studies, and chose HKUST for its world-class research facilities. He was accepted as part of the Ford program that offers grants to postgraduate students from the School of Engineering for research in the fields of environmental and conservation science.
His project focused on creating an alternative air-conditioning system powered by waste exhaust heat. “[The experience] helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses,” says Praveen. “It also gave me wider exposure to the industry as I got to meet Ford’s CEO and other senior executives.” He has since joined Ford India as a stamping feasibility engineer. “The Ford-HKUST research grant opening has had a major impact on my life and I hope it can continue to nurture more young engineers at HKUST and help them spread their wings,” he says.
Di Wu is a rarity – a female in the male-dominated world of engineering. She believes that women have much to contribute to engineering. Her project as part of the Ford program involved applying nanofluids originally intended for industrial usage into automobile engine cooling system. “Thanks to Ford, I learned more about real-world scenarios, and made my research project more practical and measurable,” she says Wu. “I deepened my understanding of experimental research skills and furthered my problem-solving skills.” She is now a mechanical engineer at Kovan Systems in Shenzhen, which has ambitions to export China’s technologies across the globe.