Tharun Kumar Vuka

Tharun Kumar Vuka

Tharun Kumar Vuka

Master's student in the College of Engineering

Tharun Kumar Vuka
Industrial Engineering
Chennai, India

What influenced your decision to attend WSU?
I looked at the WSU website and saw great ongoing research, including a center for automotive research which sparked my interest as a mechanical engineer. I also thought Detroit being an industrial location would help me gain industrial knowledge, not to mention Wayne State ranked highly in industrial engineering. Thereafter, I contacted some seniors who were students at Wayne State at the time and they encouraged me to apply.

How did you navigate the application process with WSU?
The application process was relatively simple compared to other institutions. I could easily upload needed documents and application materials. Whenever I had questions, I would email the Office of Graduate Admissions and get a response within two days, at most. The entire application process took me a short time.

What resources did you find helpful during your transition once you got to the US from your home country?
The seniors I knew from India helped me a lot including feeding me and taking me grocery shopping when I first arrived. Graduate Indian Students Association (GISA) picked me up from the airport when I first arrived and made me feel comfortable by providing the things I required. It felt nice having people help and care for me and I look forward to paying it forward by helping those who come after me. I also applied for housing beforehand and got a place to live before I came.

How has your experience been living in Detroit?
Detroit was very exciting when I first came, and I have since explored new places such as the riverfront and downtown. I also go with my friends to Livonia to watch movies. The best part was the realization that there are many Indian restaurants in Detroit. There are also many helpful people around, which is a good thing.

What has your experience been as a graduate student in your area of study?
It has been great. I consult with faculty in my department and pick the courses that I am interested in. Additionally, the mechanical engineering department has Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition which is open to all majors. Students get together to build a car and take it to the SAE race event. I was involved in the last one and learned things such as design, suspension and marketing. The project is multidisciplinary, bringing together people from different departments which helped me better network.

How do you unwind/spend your free time?
I am part of the WSU cricket team. Our team won the American College Cricket Midwest championship this year (2017) which was a remarkable experience. I also visit downtown Detroit once in a while and play games with my friends.

Do you have any advice for prospective graduate students considering WSU?
WSU is a great university to learn, explore new things and get tactical experience from the surrounding industrial area. Additionally, WSU has been receiving many grants recently thus numerous opportunities for research are available for students who are interested. WSU offers a balance of studies, research and experience that prospective students should definitely look to explore.