Being a research student at RGU – Hareesh’s story

Hareesh has been fascinated by engineering since he was child and is now fulfilling his career ambitions as a research student at RGU studying towards a PhD. He shares more about his background and his RGU experience.

My background

My fondest and earliest childhood memory would be the times when my dad took me to his workplace. He was an Electronics Engineer, working for a newspaper company. Since then, I have always been curious to understand the concept behind any well-engineered structure.

As such, my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering was an obvious choice for me. Through the course of my study, I started to develop a passion towards fluid dynamics. Adding to this, learning about offshore engineering structures and their design in challenging environments such as the ocean fascinated me.

Luckily, I had knowledgeable teachers who guided me towards my interests and career goals. Their guidance led me to pursue a master’s in Subsea and Pipeline Engineering, and further a PhD in the same topic at RGU.

When I finished my master’s degree, I wanted to get into research so that I could contribute to existing knowledge in the field of ocean engineering. The very idea of pushing the boundaries of human knowledge through creating innovative models to solve complex fluid-structure interaction problems really excited me.

For this purpose, RGU appeared to be the best fit for my PhD as the university is known for providing cutting edge research in the topic of my interest, and its location in Aberdeen, known as the energy capital of Europe, was the best place for me to gain valuable industry experience. Thankfully, I was granted a full scholarship to pursue a PhD degree at RGU.

My PhD research

My research focuses on developing a novel three-dimensional mathematical model for flexible pipes subjected to vibrations due to ocean currents and internal multiphase flows. This study overcomes the practical challenge of considering structural non-linearities and axial vibrations for realistic predictions and analysis through the use of MATLAB.

In addition, my research includes designing a new experimental setup to study the fluid-structure interaction problem of flexible straight pipes conveying multiphase slug flows phenomenon at varying inclinations.

My experience studying at RGU

Studying at RGU for the last two and a half years has been a very enriching experience. My supervisors and lecturers are friendly, easily approachable and have been very helpful with any doubts I have had about my project.

In addition, RGU provides excellent infrastructure for research with high speed computers, individual workspaces, access to number of journal papers and articles, and state-of the art laboratories. The campus opens early in the morning and does not close until late at night, which allows for flexible working.

I have also been given the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant on multiple industry projects, which has helped me gain additional knowledge and skills to solve real-world practical problems.

For my research, I have to run a number of simulations and work on designing an experimental setup to test pipe vibrations. Fortunately, I have been able to make considerable progress in both the areas, thanks to the sophisticated lab infrastructure and support from my supervisors.

My plans for the future

After my PhD, I would like to build on the knowledge I have acquired through the course of my research and work on developing robust fluid-structure interaction design tools through a post-doctoral degree or industry research projects.

Hareesh Narain Ravindran Meenakumari

Some words from Andrew Lamb, Dean of Graduate School at RGU

As the Dean of Graduate School at RGU, it’s my responsibility and pleasure to work with all our postgraduate research students.

We pride ourselves in providing an outstanding modern campus with state of the art facilities and a fulfilling learning experience for those who choose to come and study with us. We can evidence this from the most recent Advance HE Postgraduate Research Experience Survey that ranked RGU 5th overall nationally, where the excellent supervision provided by our staff that Peter referred to was ranked 2nd overall. 

Having as recently as 2015 being rated lowest in Scotland for research culture by our PGR students at that time, the last few years have been spent with the focus to fundamentally improve. We were therefore delighted that the PRES survey in 2022 not only placed us top in Scotland but top in the whole of the United Kingdom for both our research culture and our research skills. 

This has been the result of the huge efforts and considerable teamwork by all those involved in postgraduate research. This includes the PGR students themselves where their very helpful and constructive feedback has allowed us to work in partnership to achieve such success. 

Not only do we offer an excellent learning environment for our PGR students, we also offer research projects that address some of the fundamental challenges that we face on the world of today and in the future. The findings from these projects have a major impact in providing solutions to pressing needs of modern society, from sustainable energy, housing, and transportation, to cybersecurity, and to improvements in health and wellbeing. 

Research undertaken at RGU has real world impact. This why graduates from RGU, being very highly sought by employers, possess the skills that will shape the world to come for future generations. 

I am also delighted to announce that there is an opportunity to come join us at RGU to undertake world leading research! We will be shortly announcing details of a major strategic investment that will be supporting a substantial number of fully funded PhD studentships annually that will commence in 2023. 

We would encourage applications from everyone regardless of background, and particularly from those who might not realise how much they have to contribute. If you want enquire to learn a little more about these opportunities please feel free to get in touch with us.

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