To be the author of a technical book by an international publisher as young as 21 is a very rare and unheard achievement. Yet, Neethu N., a final-year aerospace engineering at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram did achieve it, while juggling her full-time studies, research, and other hobbies and passions. It was in her sophomore year in college that she started researching on Materials Science, Manufacturing and Metallurgy after discovering an innate interest in the subjects. She was guided by Dr. Chakravarthy P., an associate professor at IIST and a reputed academician himself, while collaborating with other scientists from IIST, ISRO, CSIR-NIIST, etc.
Her sophomore year research focused on ‘flux bounded tungsten inert gas welding’, a new type of welding that produces high-quality joints and structures and holds the potential to be adopted in the coming years for manufacturing in defense and space industries which require quality products. Her research included both hands-on experiments as well as software-based simulations. This innovative work was published in an international journal by Springer (article here: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12666-019-01654-8).
“Even though welding is still a very male-dominated technical industry it has never deterred me to explore and learn the science behind this complex yet very interesting thermomechanical process”, says Neethu.
Considering their experience and expertise in the subject, they were approached by CRC Press, a leading American Publisher under the Taylor & Francis Group to write a technical book on flux bounded tungsten inert gas welding. Neethu co-authored the book along with Dr. Chakravarthy and Mr. Agilan M (Scientist, VSSC, ISRO). The book provides a detailed description of the development and applications of the process and was published internationally in December 2019 (https://www.routledge.com/Flux-Bounded-Tungsten-Inert-Gas-Welding-Process-An-Introduction-1st-Edition/Chakravarthy-Agilan-Neethu/p/book/9780367422875). Since then, she has expanded her research to developing new materials required for changing industrial requirements.
With more yet-to-be-published works, some of the international collaborations, she hopes that her work will help advance the industries. Very recently, her work on a new magnesium alloy developed by her team was awarded the best paper award at an international conference at NIT, Trichy where she was among the youngest participants, competing with experienced professors, industry experts, and Ph.D. scholars from India and abroad. Apart from these major works, she also has completed several minor projects throughout her engineering life. Her popular works are available in her ResearchGate profile, an international platform for researchers (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Neethu_N2).
While actively pursuing her research, this multi-talented youngster keeps all her other passions alive as well. A professionally-trained classical dancer, she regularly performs for college events. Also an avid reader, writer, and cook, she always believes in standing up for what is right. An ardent feminist, and LGBTQ+ supporter, she is inspired by brave minds who achieved extraordinary feats: Marie Curie, Sudha Murthy, Alan Turing, Dr. Kalam, Prof. Hawking, and so forth. She speaks of great reverence about her school and college teachers, whom she credits for all her achievements, who taught her about bigger things in life than marks, and whom she is deeply indebted to. She is driven not by a fixed ambition, but by her only dream of making the world a better place to live.
This brave, talented, and exceptional young woman is one to look out for. A role model for all, she is sure to achieve greater heights and to inspire many more minds and hearts. At VamaIndia we wish her all the Best for her future endeavors.
Edited By – Anagha Nair