International grad student travels from India to Kettering University to make dreams a reality

Shobit Sharma ‘18 knew Kettering University would set him up for success not only for his graduate studies, but in his career. He believed it so much that he traveled from India to Flint, Michigan, to make his dreams a reality.

“Kettering focused on practical lab work instead of just theoretical knowledge. That made it easier for me to decide to come here,” said Sharma, who is studying Automotive Systems for his graduate studies. “I believe if you know all the concepts and you don’t know how to apply them it’s really of no use.” International grad student travels from India to Kettering University to make dreams a reality

Sharma studied Instrumentation and Control Engineering at Mumbai University in India for his undergraduate degree. Looking at what he wanted to do after that, he knew he wanted to incorporate autonomous vehicle technology and vehicle electronics.

At Kettering, many opportunities opened up for Sharma. He became a research assistant for Dr. Girma Tewolde working on a small, low-cost autonomous vehicle. He then also joined the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) AutoDrive Challenge, an international autonomous vehicle competition. The challenge tasks faculty and students to develop and demonstrate a fully operational autonomous driving passenger vehicle.

On Kettering’s team, Sharma’s main focus is the overall concept design, competition strategy and working with the vehicle’s software. He’s on the sensors sub team, looking at perception and detection.

“I knew the AutoDrive Challenge was a great match for me. When you decide you want to do a master’s and you know what you want to study and you get a project AutoDrive, it’s a dream come true,” Sharma said. “AutoDrive has been fun but very challenging at the same time. There’s so much to do in so little time. But I’m happy for the challenge.”

As a kid, Sharma was always curious electronics worked. It was around the time the computer evolution was coming around. This sparked his interest in engineering.

“I was so interested about how the computer worked. I just wanted to learn more about it,” he said.

Sharma’s time at Kettering helped him grow in his personal and professional life, he said.

“This is my first time I’ve traveled outside of India. The best part about my experience is being able to work with people from different parts of the world,” he said. “Once I got here, I just started going with the flow and taking advantage of every opportunity.”