PhD journey is daunting. Make no exceptions from that. The overall journey will transform you as an individual, be rest assured. Right from the gruelling admission procedure to getting used to the university rules and regulations, guidelines, coursework registration (more so in this online study mode), carrying out the coursework in the first year.
As of July 2021, I am in my first year of the PhD journey, just finished my first-semester coursework. I am taking the coursework slow as I am also a working professional and trying to balance both the world’s, which are pretty different from each other. Will be gearing up for the rest of the coursework in the upcoming semester.
My area of research is Aerospace Engineering > Fluid Mechanics > Applied Aerodynamics.
As I am converging on my problem statement, the journey seems to be more difficult, every day is different. Well, this is certainly keeping me on my toes, no doubts about that. There are so many tools, issues and points which needs to be addressed and streamlined in the first year, which can make you quite overwhelming. It’s like taking a hike through the jungle, navigating your way through the obstacles and making a path of your own.
Being in the aerospace industry for the last ten years, working on application-based problems and now getting into academic research, a delicate balance between these two needs to be drawn.
During the last six months, I got introduced to the various research methods and exhaustive coursework on computational methods in fluid dynamics.
Also, attended numerous webinars on relevant areas in the lookout for ideas and methods.
During this time, I explored various tools necessary while one would carry out the research work.
There are two utmost requirements a research scholar needs to keep in mind: (i) Reading( it’s never enough) and (ii) Writing (which is not enough too).
Ideas are meant to take shape, will crystallize once you start writing our thoughts on paper.
Update 1: 23 Jul 2021/1600hrs
Wed 28 July 2o21 0800 am
In research, writing is an integral part of the research. Prof X, the author of almost 20 books, guided more than 400 researchers, explains beautifully, saying that ‘Stop Thinking, Start Writing’. He explains how we have to think like a painter, making rough sketches of our thoughts without concentrating much on the final product, and that’s how you get into writing consistently.
He brings an analogy of burning fire. If we just stack up the wood and fire the wood, it won’t burn easily. But, when we take a small piece of paper and light a fire, it starts burning and then we pile up the woods one by one, on top of each other and the wood starts burning effectively. It is this small paper which is lit first is the secret. He goes on to say, writing is also like that, we have to get started somewhere, with a small, vague idea and build on that.