Getting both a Master’s degree from the University of Twente and a diploma from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica ITA in Brazil at the same time is quite an achievement, especially when you have never even been to Brazil…
On 25 August, UT-ITA student Ashik Vincent Palathingal completed his double Master’s degree by presenting his graduation assignment “Assessment of the effects from the fuselage aft-body region in a Boundary Layer Ingestion airframe concept”. Ashik had been interested in obtaining a double degree in cooperation with ITA (Aeronautical Engineering) since beginning his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at UT in September 2019. At that time nobody could have imagined how different the world would look by the start of 2020. In consultation with supervisors from both universities, it was decided that Ashik would initially complete all of his ITA courses online and would fly to Brazil for his graduation assignment. When it became clear that travelling to Brazil was impossible, the student completed his assignment for the other university at the UT labs but with supervision from ITA professors.
Ashik Vincent about his experiences: “Doing a double degree with its share of ups and downs was a wonderful experience and an interesting adventure from start to finish. There was some confusion at the start of my second year at ITA. This was partly due to a lack of initiative on my part in the communication with my professors. But the courses I completed at ITA were very good. Although it was unfortunate that I could not go to Brazil and interact with my professors in person, I believe my online education went very well and I was able to study in the comfort of my own home. The professors there were truly sincere and dedicated. Even though I was the only student who did not speak Portuguese, the professors always taught their lectures in English with some translations into Portuguese in between for those students more comfortable learning in their own language. I greatly enjoyed learning from and with them. I can honestly say I never felt alone.”
Ashik Vincent talks about the support he experienced: “My thesis experience under the supervision of Professors Takachi and Venner was also memorable. I also had a co-supervisor called Professor Cleverson and a personal mentor by the name of Fabiola P. Costa at ITA. So I had plenty of support as well. ITA is one of the best academic institutions in Latin America and has a wide variety of relevant and interesting topics available to choose from for a Master’s thesis. Also, non-teaching staff at UT and the professors in the Engineering Fluid Dynamics (EFD) group all supported me in my journey. Considering my overall experience with the programme I would definitely recommend it to any student interested in making their Master's programme more exciting and in networking with new people and cultures. I am currently looking for jobs in the same field. I plan to stay in Twente if I am able to find a job here. Otherwise I will probably move elsewhere.”
Double Degree programme extended by five years
UT and ITA have a long history of working together in the field of Aeronautical Engineering. In 2016 the Mechanical Engineering programme in Twente joined forces with Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering in Brazil to give students the opportunity to benefit from the complementary expertise of both universities. Students will spend one year of their two-year Master’s at their home university and one year on location at the partner university and will receive a Master’s degree from both universities. The decision was recently made to extend the joint degree programme for a period of five years.
For more information about the double Msc programme in Mechanical Engineering at UT and Aeronautical Engineering at ITA, please contact prof. C.H. Venner of the Engineering Fluid Dynamics group or Marijke Stehouwer, MA, coordinator of International Affairs ET.