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International Student Success Stories, featuring Sughosh Rao

Today's blog features a OSU international engineering alum who was successful in his job search.  Sughosh Rao graduated in 2013 with his PhD in Mechanical Engineering.  He is currently a Research Scientist with the Transportation Research Center, Inc.  

Tell us about your role at your most recent position:
I work as a Research Scientist for Transportation Research Center, Inc., and I am contracted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which is a part of the US Department of Transportation. I work exclusively for NHTSA at my current job, and as a research lab, we conduct vehicle research for NHTSA to help in rule making. Currently I am involved in three projects which are Vehicle Cyber Security, Hardare in the Loop Simulations and Heavy Truck Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Testing. As a Research Scientist, I have the responsibility of setting up and conducting tests and simulations, and everything that goes with it, like ordering components, scheduling test track time etc. Once the tests are completed, it is my responsibility to analyze the data and write up reports.

Tell us more about one of your projects:
Cyber Security is a project that is just starting off, where we are exploring ways of tapping into the vehicle onboard computers to check for security vulnerabilities. Hardware in the Loop Simulation is where we integrate actual hardware systems into computer simulations. We have integrated an actual brake system and ESC from a truck and have connected the hardware to outputs from a computer simulation of a tractor trailer system. This system is used to test the ESC system performance in various simulated scenarios in the lab, instead of actually driving a truck on the test track. Finally, the Heavy Truck ESC research is actual test track testing of ESC performance on Heavy Trucks, Tankers and Busses.

What resources did you use during your internship/job search?
I used the ECS job search website and other online job search tools. I also attended the career fairs on campus.

What core skills or qualities do you think employers find most useful?
For international students, the first job is very important and almost always the most difficult to get as well. Employers tend to go with known quantities, and it helped that I had done part of my PhD research at the same lab and proved myself. Doing internships helps getting a foot in the door. As for the qualities employers look for, taking initiative and taking on responsibilities is noticed and appreciated by employers. It proves that you are willing to go the extra mile.

“Never prove people right. Never prove them wrong. Prove instead that you make your own path in life.”
-Katina Ferguson