Researchers, Mentors, Teachers: The Multiple Faces of UTEP Postdocs
DANNY PEREZ | July 03, 2017 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
Sundeep Inti was a successful project engineer in his native India working on multimillion-dollar highway and airport projects, but he saw glitches in the project management process. His engineering mentors strongly suggested one place to find the answers: The University of Texas at El Paso.
The native of Hyderabad, India earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering at UTEP with a focus on sustainable pavements in 2016. The Texas Department of Transportation awarded UTEP a grant during his doctoral studies to research the durability of materials for low-volume "farm" roads. When it came time to graduate, Inti accepted the offer to stay as a postdoctoral fellow to build his skills and finish the project with his team of five undergraduates.
He talked about his postdoctoral experience during a tour of his cavernous lab in the engineering complex, where he uses state-of-the-art equipment to do large-scale testing of natural pavement materials used with geosynthetic reinforcement.
Inti said he was fortunate to side-step into his postdoctoral assignment. The additional time at UTEP allowed him to enhance his research, mentorship and academic understanding, as well as his abilities to write proposals and handle projects.
The married father of a young daughter lauded UTEP faculty members within and outside his college for their patience and willingness to help when he faced academic and professional challenges.
"I've loved my time at UTEP," he said as he walked around a maze of black 55-gallon drums and stacks of orange five-gallon buckets filled with test materials from the Texas cities of Dallas, Paris, El Paso and San Antonio. "It gave me the freedom to explore and the opportunity to learn with a mature mind."
Inti, who volunteers with community groups that feed the homeless, said he looks forward to becoming a faculty researcher of sustainable highway materials at a four-year university.
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