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Global leader

Engineering student represents Memorial at Rideau Hall gala

Student Life

By Jackey Locke

Karan Bhatia is the first engineering student to come to Memorial under the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program.

Recently, Mr. Bhatia, a graduate student who comes to Memorial from India, was invited to represent the university at a gala dinner at Rideau Hall with former Governor General David Johnston.

He said it was a “privilege” to attend.

“I had an opportunity to meet many great people, from former Governor General David Johnston to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien,” he said.

“I also met several industrialists, community leaders and politicians. Of course, the best part of this trip is that now I am connected with 18 other Queen Elizabeth scholars from all around the world, who are among the best at their respective universities. I went there alone, but came back with 18 new friends and lots of experiences.”

Discovery and inquiry

The Queen Elizabeth scholarship program fosters a dynamic community of young global leaders that create lasting impacts at home and abroad. Through professional experiences, the program provides international education opportunities for discovery and inquiry.

Queen Elizabeth scholars engage with communities, learn about cultures and create projects and actions that impact the world. They are part of a global network of young scholars who share knowledge, exchange ideas and collaborate on meaningful initiatives.

David Johnston and Sharon Johnston hosted the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships dinner in September at Rideau Hall. Karan Bhatia is fourth from left, back row.
Photo: M.Cpl. Vincent Carbonneau

The program is managed through a unique partnership of the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada, Universities Canada and Canadian universities.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Scholarship Program

Mr. Bhatia is one of 11 Queen Elizabeth scholars recruited by Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies through the university’s Internationalization Office.

“Because Memorial was awarded more than $500,000 in funding from the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Scholarship Program, we were able to access the financial resources to recruit these young scholars,” said Dr. Aimée Surprenant, dean, School of Graduate Studies.

“This group is well on their way to becoming leaders who are already making an impact both at home and abroad. They are wonderful ambassadors for our university, our province and our country.”

Memorandum of understanding

In order for an international student to attend Memorial University as a Queen Elizabeth scholar, the student must be enrolled at a university that has a memorandum of understanding with Memorial and have excellent academic standing and industry experience.

Mr. Bhatia, who was concluding his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering at Pandit DeenDayal Petroleum University in Gandhinagar, India, met all the criteria for the program and began his graduate studies in safety and risk engineering at Memorial in September 2016.

“We are very fortunate to have such a high-performing student, such as Karan,” said Dr. Faisal Khan, acting associate dean, graduate studies, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“He is sincere, hardworking and dedicated. He has excelled with his classroom studies and in his research. He is also very actively engaged in the community. He played an important role in helping to organize a recent workshop and engaging with our industry partners.”

Spray icing in the offshore

For his graduate work, Mr. Bhatia is working on two problems simultaneously.

He is currently studying spray icing on offshore structures and vessels, which includes experimental work and modelling. He says he will use his experimental design in the faculty’s cold room lab to test and validate his model.

“I feel highly respected at the university, which is more important than any awards.” — Karan Bhatia

In the longer term, Mr. Bhatia’s research focuses on developing risk-based assessment techniques that takes into consideration the dynamic conditions of the facility.

He is also working on a knowledge gap between how solutions to risk-based problems that have been identified will be implemented.

He says he is pleased with his decision to attend Memorial.

“I feel highly respected at the university, which is more important than any awards,” said Mr. Bhatia. “I am very grateful to Memorial University and my previous university, PDPU in India. The Queen Elizabeth scholars program is very different from any other scholarship programs – it not only encourages strong academics and research, but also focuses on overall development of the community.

“I would like to thank Memorial’s Internationalization Office, the School of Graduate Studies, the co-ordinators of the Queen Elizabeth scholars program and all other Queen Elizabeth scholars at Memorial University for making the program successful,” he added.

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