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Indian SFU interns sold on B.C.

September 23, 2010

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Deepak Krishnamurthy came from India to work at the Surrey campus on a project to produce a fuel cell that will fit in the palm of your hand.

His countryman Aurosish Mishra was at the Burnaby campus working on a complex computer-science problem whose solutions must satisfy numerous limitations and conditions, like solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Both were among 105 of India’s top undergraduate students here this summer on three-month computer science, engineering and mathematics internships at 14 Canadian universities—including 13 interns at SFU.

They were here as part of Globalink, a provincially and federally supported internship program that aims to attract international undergrads to Canada for their graduate studies in hopes they’ll remain to work in the country’s knowledge economy.

The interns work with local researchers on projects relating to their studies back home. Krishnamurthy’s supervisor was Erik Kjeang, an assistant professor in SFU’s mechatronics program. HIs focus is new technology for sustainable energy conversion and storage.

"I’m impressed with the breadth of (the Global interns’) knowhow at such an early stage in their careers," says Kjeang, "and I find it really rewarding to work with them."

It wasn’t all work, however. Krishnamurthy, in his last year at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, west of New Delhi, says B.C.’s top attraction is its outstanding researchers and laboratories.

But a close second is its "many great outdoor experiences", which for the SFU interns included bungee jumping in Whistler, exploring Stanley Park, climbing the Chief and camping on Mayne Island.

"Before Globalink, I was not thinking about Canada for graduate studies," says Krishnamurthy. "Now I would like to come to B.C."

Mishra concurs. The final-year student at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, west of Kolkata (Calcutta), says his internship was "a dream come true."

He adds, "Canada is great place to lead a balanced life."

For more on Globalink, visit: http://at.sfu.ca/uuryXV; for a government Globalink video on YouTube featuring Krishnamurthy and Mishra, visit: http://at.sfu.ca/XXbvnt.

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