The first graduate to confer under The University of Queensland and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (UQ-IITD) Academy of Research joint PhD program is set for a career in renewable energy.

Motivated by his concern for the environment, Dr Alok Kumar Ray explored ways of contributing to more sustainable practices and focused his PhD on high temperature latent heat storage.

This process can mitigate the inherent limitation of intermittency of renewable energy sources like solar energy to produce uninterrupted power as and when required.

“The cost of power generation can also be reduced by integrating high-temperature latent heat storage in third generation concentrated solar plants,” Dr Kumar Ray said.

Dr Alok Kumar Ray holding PhD degree on stage with red robes and colourful orange flowers
Dr Alok Kumar Ray at the graduation ceremony held at IITD

Dr Alok Kumar Ray completed his studies through the UQ-IITD Academy of Research, which aims to enable new mobility opportunities for both researchers and their supervisors – and the free flow of knowledge, expertise, ideas, and innovation between our two nations.

Established in 2018, the UQ-IITD partnership gives students access to world-class facilities and resources, and dual supervision by UQ and IITD academics. Students benefit from global expertise as well as living and studying in a different culture, and access to diverse employment opportunities.

“UQ and IITD are both renowned institutions with strong research backgrounds,” Dr Kumar Ray said.

“I had the privilege to be supervised by experts from both universities. Engaging with fellow PhD students, scholars, and researchers led to valuable discussions, collaborations, and new perspectives on research.”

Now boasting 100+ PhD candidates and involving 125 researchers across UQ and 97 from IITD, the program is celebrating its first 4 graduates, with many more to follow in the coming months.

Alongside Dr Kumar Ray, Dr Imon Chakraborthy, Dr Vallari Chourasia and Dr Abdullah Mohammed Bareen graduated at the ceremony hosted in India at IITD on 12 August.

L to R: Dr Kumar Ray, Dr Vallari Chourasia, Associate Professor Neetu Singh (Professor-In-Change of the Academy at IITD), Dr Abdullah Mohammed Bareen and Dr Imon Chakraborthy 

Dr Kumar Ray reflected on how graduating from two globally renowned Universities has impacted his future.

“Graduating from a prestigious joint program enhanced my career prospects, opening doors to a wider range of job opportunities in academia, industry, and research organisations.”

“I have three job offers already! Tsinghua University in China, Loughborough University in the UK, and one R&D offer from industry – the steel making company, Tata Steel.”

“I’m thinking of joining Tata Steel in Research and Technology.”

UQ-IITD PhD graduates throwing graduation capes into the air after graduating
UQ-IITD graduates L to R: Dr Imon Chakraborthy,  Dr Vallari Chourasia, Dr Abdullah Mohammed Bareen and Dr Kumar Ray

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry AO said the partnership from the outset, has been focused on conducting inter-disciplinary research into the shared challenges faced by communities across Australia, India, and internationally.

“This is a special occasion for our two institutions, as the UQ-IITD Academy confers PhD degrees for the very first time.

“For the graduands, this is the culmination of their doctoral research, but it’s really just the start of their contributions to global society.

“The research conducted by our students seeks to solve our shared global challenges, in areas related to healthy ageing; feeding the world; environmental resilience; technology for tomorrow; and transforming societies.

“I hope that our joint-PhD graduands always seek to create positive change in the world around them.

“I congratulate them, wholeheartedly, on their achievement.”

Congratulations to the first graduates of UQ-IITD Academy of Research joint PhD program:

  • Dr Imon Chakraborthy
  • Dr Vallari Chourasia
  • Dr Alok Kumar Ray
  • Dr Abdullah Mohammed Bareen