By Claire Winesett
Prajwal Mohanmurthy, a 2012 graduate of Mississippi State University, now lives half way around the world working as a research scientist at Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Mohanmurthy obtained his Bachelor’s of Science degree (with Honors) in physics from MSU before going on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to receive his M.S. in physics in 2015.
Mohanmurthy said that MSU played a major role in leading him to his career as a research scientist.
“MSU was my first serious guided research experience which made me consider research for a career,” said Mohanmurthy.
Not only did MSU introduce Mohanmurthy to the idea of pursuing research as a career, but the university and the College of Arts and Sciences provided opportunities for him to expand his experience with research as an undergraduate student.
“Personally, I've not been associated with another university or workplace with a better personal touch. There were quite a lot of activities that I was involved in, and some of them were truly difficult to push through or fund,” said Mohanmurthy. “But at MSU, if the VP for research or the dean of Arts and Sciences had to get involved, then they did with relative ease and made it happen,” he continued.
Mohanmurthy enjoyed his time at MSU beyond his experience with research opportunities. He said that MSU provided a “very strong undergraduate foundation at an affordable rate,” and that his undergraduate experience at MSU “was a good exposure to a fairly diverse student community.”
His favorite class at MSU was Intermediate Electromagnetism 2, taught by Dr. Matt Berg, while his greatest mentor was Dr. Dipangkar Dutta, a professor of physics.
Some of Mohanmurthy’s favorite memories during his time at MSU included “playing in intramurals, or just reading next to the water pool at the chapel.” He also enjoyed MSU football, as well as his favorite MSU tradition, Cowbell Yell.
Mohanmurthy explained that at a large university like MSU, it’s possible to feel overwhelmed and lost in the crowd. His advice is to get involved in one of the many organizations on campus.
“Join the student club of your liking and be involved. Consider doing research in a professor's lab or in one of the labs across the street at the research park, or intramurals could be a great way to play friendly. Be involved in extracurricular activities, socialize, work hard at coursework, cheer for the MSU teams, everything in moderation,” said Mohanmurthy.
Mohanmurthy enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking and kart racing.
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