Sadhana Bhusal, a doctoral student in FIU’s Mechanical and Materials Engineering program, was recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship from The International Thermal Spray Association (ITSA). The scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a postgraduate degree in the field of thermal spray.
Originally from Nepal, Sadhana completed an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Institute of Engineering at Tribhuwan University in Nepal. FIU’s Mechanical Engineering program is what initally drew Sadhana to Miami.
“The high quality education, research activities, well-equipped lab facilities, and excellent professors in the program are the reasons I chose to pursue my studies here,” Sadhana said. “Moreover, the unique location of the school and other facilities available for the students like (the) library, computer labs, and others are good.”
After graduating from Tribhuwan, Sadhana came to FIU to pursue doctoral work in the thermal-fluid systems field. From there, her research interests expanded to include thermal spray.
Thermal spraying can be carried out using several techniques, however all of them are coating processes that involve heating or melting materials and spraying them onto a surface. Thermal spray techniques can provide thicker coatings over a large area more quickly than other coating processes
“(The) thermal spray field has a challenging multi-variable physics problem which utilizes the thermal-fluid interactions with materials to develop coatings for a wide range of applications,” said Sadhana. These applications include aerospace, electrical, biomedical, mechanical, and other industries. The challenges present in the field as well as its wide range of applications led to Sadhana’s interest in the field.
Sadhana works under the supervision of Professor Arvind Agarwal and Dr. Benjamin Boesl, with Professor Agarwal serving as her major advisor. Sadhana’s work involves using various commercially available computational software tools to predict suitable parameters that will lead to the development of plasma sprayed coatings with better mechanical and physical properties. “Experiments will also be conducted in the Plasma Forming Laboratory Facility at FIU. So, we can validate the results from the computational analysis with the actual experiments,” Sadhana said.
After completing her doctoral degree, Sadhana, a Presidential Fellow, plans to pursue a career in academia. “I want to work as a researcher for the development of novel computational techniques for designing more robust and multifunctional materials.”