Trip to South India

The past three and a half weeks have been eventful, to say the least. I don't want to bore you with a week by week or a day by day account of what happened, so I'll summarize the trip to the best of my abilities. Here it goes:

We arrived in Chennai on the midnight of Wednesday, August 5th, and because IIT Madras opened classes on the 9th, we stayed off-campus at the Trident Hotel during our first four days here. Being a nice hotel that catered towards foreigners and the upper class, it was sort of like a gated community. I loved our excursions out of it and into true India.

PIRE-ISHM Undergraduate Research-Abroad Fellowship Applications (Deadline is April 15, 2009)

The Center for Quality Engineering and Failure Prevention is currently seeking undergraduate students at Northwestern University working in the fields of engineering and the physical sciences that have an interest in ISHM and working on research projects abroad. Students enrolled in the eight-week program may be eligible for independent study credits. Program details and application can be found at

“Model-assisted Probability of Detection (POD) Evaluation for Reliability Assessment of Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques”

Dr. John Aldrin from Computational Tools ( will be at the Center for Quality Engineering and Failure Prevention (Catalysis Building Rm. 322) on March 25, 2009 at 1:00pm presenting his work titled “Model-assisted Probability of Detection (POD) Evaluation for Reliability Assessment of Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques”.
All are invited to attend.

TRB Call for Abstracts

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) has a call for abstracts for their “Developing a Research Agenda for Transportation Infrastructure Preservation and Renewal” fall conference. The abstracts are due March 27, 2009 and the conference will be held on November 12-13 in Washington, DC. Details can be found at:

ASCE's 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure

ASCE has released Americas Infrastructure Report Card for 2009 at:
this year's GPA is 1.0 (which is a D on a 4 point system)
Here is the breakdown:
Aviation= D
Bridges= C
Dams= D
Drinking Water= D-
Energy= D+
Hazardous Waste= D
Inland Waterways= D-
Levees= D-
Public Parks & Recreation= C-
Rail= C-
Roads= D-
School= D
Solid Waste= C+
Transit= D
Wastewater= D-

36th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) Conference

36th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) will be held July 26 through July 31, 2009 at the University of Rhode Island– Kingston.

*Call For Papers*

More Information can be found at:

post 3: Comparing the India Institute of Technology and Northwestern University

Quite often during my trip I would get asked a question: “what’s the difference between here [IITM or Chennai] and Northwestern?” At first I wanted to respond “everything”, from the climate, the culture, the surroundings, and the food. But when you step back and consider below the surface, we are more alike than dissimilar. When I compare myself to IITM students I can’t help but notice that even though we come from completely different places, we still have the same aspirations, challenges, obligations and motivations.

post 2: What’s up PIRE!!!

My classmates remind me daily that the opportunity to travel to India and work cross-continentally is thoroughly unusual and want to know how I got so lucky. Here is a little personal history that might help you understand how I became so interested in interdisciplinary research and global partnerships. It all started when I was 13 when two things happened that started me off on the road to where I am now.
1. Summer Science Camp
2. A solo trip to France (staying with a host family)
Those experiences gave me the chance to explore math, science, and travel: I got hooked.

Special Symposium on SHM at the ICCES 2009 meeting

There will be a Symposium on Structural Health Management at the ICCES 2009 meeting to be held in Phuket, Thailand, April 8-13th, 2009.
Information about ICCES 2009 can be found at
Deadline for abstract submission is January 01, 2009!

World Institute of Technology (Gurgaon, India) Guest Lecture

I was reviewing some travel notes and would like to mention that on September 05, 2008 I was invited as a guest lecturer to present at The World Institute of Technology (WIT) in Gurgaon by Dr. J.M. Mahajan and the director (Dr. Puri) of the Institute. It was a fascinating experience as it was teacher’s day in India so there were many celebrations on campus. The institute itself is only three years old so it was also exciting to see an institute in its inaugural years. This was an opportunity to assist the WIT facility in initiating a research program at the institute.

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