It is a day of joy in a new environment with a few elated faces and confused faces, Aug 24th 2011 is the day when my journey started with SVECW. During my first year (mech), I was a studious girl getting good grades, indulged into textbooks, getting my doubts clarified, interacting with my classmates for a good cause, as I was the CR of my class. At the end of the semester, we had a long interaction with our Vice Principal and Principal they asked us to do some lively projects, applyingthe theory to design and fabricate a car. After the interaction suddenly my mind started pounding with many questions “Fabricating a car? Can I do that? Why can’t I? Then I decided I will do that! The next questions were How to start? When to start? I discussed it with my friends and they were surprised and said that I had gone crazy as hell. When I expressed it to my dad and mom they encouraged me to go ahead suggested me to do a few tender projects to get experience and then go for a big project like designing and fabricating a car.
During my second year I started doing projects. My journey of exploration began with SAT robot developing it into a grid navigator and participated in a competition at IIT, Delhi. I thought these are common; I wanted to do something innovative. One fine evening I met Vice chairman, Ravichandran Garu. During the meeting, he told me to try manufacturing a bamboo bicycle, the next day I approached Vice principal Srinivasa Raju Garu and expressed my idea. Without giving it a second thought he gave me permission and sanctioned some budget for it. At the end of my second year I finished manufacturing a bamboo bicycle with my friendsand brought it on to the road, it was a successful project but it took 5 months to complete. In my 3rd year I joined in ATL and started doing projects with people from different branches. Being a mechanical engineering student, I did not know much about dealing with electrical and electronic circuits but I wanted to be multidisciplinary and learned basic things, started constructing breadboard level circuits, many times I failed to get output. Then our ATL Dean Dr.Padmavasavi encouraged me to do it again and supported me a lot. She is the glucose for ATL and backbone for me. Mean while I learned soldering the breadboardcircuit on PCB, programming the microcontrollers and my partner and friend N.Deepika helped me learn a few concepts of electronics by clarifying my doubts. She became the best support for me. “Succour” our ATL project was successful and we participated in many competitions and won prizes. I have learned many crucial things from every project I did that helped me to lay seeds for my dream project. Meanwhile I got a membership in SAE and I worked as student Vice chairperson in our college.
My confidence level increased and I decided to start a project called ‘solar racing car’. During the ideation process , Prof.Alan Rux supported me a lot and gave ideas to construct a strong group as this was a tough and time taking project. It needed a group of at least 20 rigorously working people and gave some tips to me to become a good team player. From the next day I started searching for those people who can fit into this project, interacted with many students and finally selected a few people. After the classes we used to meet at temple square (our college cafeteria) for meetings, discussions, ideas and we used to take our laptops there for surfing, gathering information. We divided the work among ourselves as per our interest and formed into groups like design, steering, braking, motor and control, panels, MPPT, batteries, innovation and bodyworks. We all worked together in good and tough situations. The college supported a lot but many of my friends tried to pull my legs giving suggestions like, ” Making a car? Are you mad? It won’t happen! It is tough, don’t waste your time” some people laughed at me, being a girl, how come she dreams about fabricating car LOLZ! These comments made my actions and dreams more powerful to accomplish them as an answer for all the people who had laughed at me. During my tough times I used to go to Dr.Padmavasavi ma’am for counseling. She was there for me, guiding me out of all odds. Vice principal sir used to encourage me with all his support.
“Race car dynamics by Miliken” became my bible mean while we started designing the chassis of the car on paper, many sketches have been made. Mean while using my facebook I used to visit the pages of race car teams, finding people to take some suggestions, making contacts for help when needed as we did not have any seniors who have designed and manufactured the car. A few of them(through facebook) came to our college and conducted theory workshops where we learned the basics. Facebook is not only for chatting we can also make the best use of it for gaining knowledge. We finally completed the designing of solar car with best ergonomics in solid works. Then we took permission for a workshop(lab) where we started fabricating the solar car as per the rule book of Indo-Asian solar challenge. After the classes I used to go to workshop labs for the fabrication process bunking dinner at mess and stay there till 1:00am every day. All the other team members supported me a lot. Our team consists of 9 seniors, 8 of them are my parallels and 15 juniors, totally 24 from different branches like EEE,ECE and mechanical. Even if there were a little work because of delay in raw material, the senior members of the team(WE) used to taking classes for our juniors, clarifying their doubts to the best of our knowledge, using a small board in our engineering workshop. If there were more work to be done at peak times, we used set deadlines for ourselves to finish the work fast, then we used to stay till the morning. Sometimes playing games, ordering and sharing biryani, taking small naps, allocating works, cracking jokes and completing the task. I used to be very strict as the captain of the team and friendly at times, because this was not only a small but a challenging project of my career.
During this period a special team had also fabricated a go-kart which runs with petrol from which we got some experience. We had used all the tools and machines like lathe machines, drilling mc, blanking mc, bending mc of machine tools lab,hand tools of engineering work shop. Not only the chassisbut also almost all the parts like king pin, stub axle, brake mountings, steering rod and assembly were machined and strengthened using the furnace in metallurgy lab. We had also incorporated many jugaad. We tested our vehicle at nights in the broad roads of our combined campuses (VIT & SVECW) for defects. After that we completed the body works and finally we kept it on the road for test drive in the morning with the innovation installed in it. Some of our faculty had also test driven and were surprised at our work and praised us with many compliments. On the same day while we were driving in the campus, our Chairman sir watched it with a big smile on his face and congratulated us. I was completely elated on the day of our showcase, finally my dream came true and before there was me not a single car now but two, a go-kart and a solar car. Those two answered all the questions of my parallels that scared me and asked me to quit. We had participated in solar challenge 2015 and won Rs10000/- as cash prize.
During the course we gained knowledge apart from our regular classes and shared it among ourselves which helped us to get through our placements. It has been 100% placement for our solar team of our batch and now it’s our juniors turn to prove it again. I have included comparatively more juniors in this project so that they will learn how to work with their ideas. I hope that this practice will be further continued and a benchmark will be set in the college . In fact my idea continued as this year my juniors team has qualified the virtual round of baja race of SAE. I would like to thank my Principal who stood behind this and indirectly supported us.
Begin with the end in mind, work with passion and never quit for a silly reason. I have followed this all through so I made my dream come true.