The understanding of practical implications of food engineering principles and the need for research, motivated me to further pursue a PhD in Food processing. During the second year of my master’s, I visited Purdue University to understand more about their program where I met my future PhD advisor.
I was born and brought up in Mumbai and am the only daughter. My father obtained a Master’s in organic chemistry and started his career as a chemist in a pharmaceutical company. He then navigated through several positions in R&D, supply chain, sales and marketing before retiring as a Regional Manager in 2019. It is through my father that I developed a keen interest in the food and pharmaceutical industry. I would often visit UDCT during my school years with my father and I always heard him talk highly of the institute and aspired to be a part of the institution someday. I was always encouraged by my family, especially my father to pursue higher education even if that involved staying away from home.
My mother studied economics and works in the Bombay Municipal Corporation. She worked very hard to balance her job and ensure my all-around development. She always motivated me, supported me in every aspect and invested time in training me for activities such as dance, music and art besides academics. She has always been an inspiration to me and I try to put in efforts to make her proud.
Besides academics, I have a keen interest in dance and music and have been trained in Kathak for 7 years. I enjoy choreographing performances for various occasions and learning new dance styles. I belong to family of artists and the passion for music was inculcated in me right from my childhood.
My husband, Mr. Sameer Kulkarni works as a Systems Engineer in Entergy Riverbend Nuclear Power Plant. I met my husband during my undergraduate years and our friendship developed further as we moved for studies to the US. He supported me through all the stressful years of my research and we eventually became best friends and family to each other in a foreign country. Since the beginning of our journey, the common denominator of distance has persisted between us. While living far away from each other is not favorable, it has made us realize the importance of being with your loved ones and spending quality time with them. Our bond strengthened over the years and we tied the knot in 2018. He is my strength as I navigate my way through my career and has helped help me grow personally and professionally.
My motto is to always stay positive, give your 100% always and help others as much as possible. I have learnt the value of every experience and recognize the importance of past experiences and how they shape me to be who and where I am today. When I moved to the US, I was scared and very dependent on my parents for helping me make a lot of decisions. I did not know anyone in US and did not have an idea about the culture or the working environment. I have a long way to go and cannot wait to see what the future has to offer!
I am passionate about science and engineering& would like to continue working in innovative and challenging roles which give me tremendous learning opportunities. I aspire to be an entrepreneur someday and start a research lab of my own where I work on innovative and sustainable food product development.