Compelling reasons suggest that logistics will adopt autonomous driving vehicles faster than other industries. With this in mind, Srushti Bobade, one of the brilliant interns who develop their projects at the 5G Hub, tackles her research. As the first member of her family to ever step abroad her home country, she kicks off our The Future of Talent series. The Indian born master’s student talks about her background, her project at the 5G Hub, and her love for The Netherlands. Meet Srushti.
Srushti’s interest in technology comes from birth: “my father is also into technical stuff; he has a diploma in mechanical engineering.” She grew up in a small town in the state of Maharashtra in India. After concluding the twelfth grade, she moved to Pune, where she got her bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunications. It had not been her first choice, though: “when I was growing up, I was more into aeronautical engineering, but the courses available were far from home and, to be honest, when the time came, I wasn’t sure. When I got the results from my college entrance exams, I wanted to retake them and do better on the test. But my family encouraged me to start my education right away. And I have to say it was the right decision.”
Srushti explains that she was not very fond of electronics initially, but she soon realized there could be something interesting for her in it. “It was not like I knew I had to do it from the beginning but, later on, I started to like it. It was an arranged marriage that worked out,” she jokes, in reference to the common practice of setting up relationships, still current in India.
Moving to The Netherlands
A similar movement happened when choosing a course for her master’s. As a careful thinker, Srushti took a year break to figure out what she wanted to do after her bachelor’s, or where she wanted her career to go. As she explains, “though I wanted to move to the business side, it was also important to me to have a strong technical background. So I decided to look for courses which I thought were interesting in this aspect. The project I did in my final year inspired me to choose embedded systems.” However, management courses were not as popular in India as they were in other countries. Besides, she really wanted to have some foreign experience to see how people work and create in other places. Srushti then looked for universities in The US, Sweden, Germany, and The Netherlands. Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) was her choice, not only for the university’s excellency, but the country sounded like the best option for an English speaker.
“I am proud to say that I am the first person in my family ever to go abroad,” she remarks. “The year that I took after my bachelor’s, I used to think thoroughly about my decision: if studying abroad was the right thing to do. Because, although my parents were ready to spare the money, we had to make sure the investment was going to the right place,” she explains. Srushti says she talked to several people, via Facebook or LinkedIn, and did a lot of research on her own before coming to Eindhoven.
At the 5G Hub
The idea for Srushti’s research came from TU/e. According to her, the University approached Ericsson through Lennart Koorevaar and Allert van der Veen. “With Srusthi’s assignment at the 5G Hub, we kick off a new engagement with TU/e. In the coming years, we will work together on exploring how 5G can enhance some of the use-cases that the University is researching, for instance, in their Trucklab projects,” explains Allert, head of Optimize at Ericsson and one of Srushti’s mentors.
Srushti’s study takes inspiration from the Trucklab Project by TU Eindhoven students at the Automotive Engineering Science (AES) Lab and the digital twin research created during the 4T100 automotive project, also at TU/e. TruckLab is a scaled model of the Jumbo distribution center at Veghel. It was made as a digital twin and then into a physical model at the university’s AES lab.
Her project consists of analyzing 5G for autonomous maneuvers: “my interest in this topic came from a course I took last year at TU/e, which was about network embedded system,” she says. Autonomous vehicles have become a significant part of the logistics work process. Today, there are numerous independent driving technology applications in the logistics industry, which prove that self-driving vehicles are safe and successful in a closed environment.
This Cooperative Automated Maneuvering (CAM) study’s central research question is how 5G capabilities can be integrated into the CAM solution for a distribution center. This leads to investigating what is lacking in current networking standards used for autonomous driving that could be supplemented using 5G New Radio technologies. “This helps us understand and show the true potential of 5G and employ it in real applications and solutions. Jointly exploring how 5G’s low latency and ultra-reliability capabilities can unleash entirely new applications is stimulating. For a high-tech company like Ericsson, we feel the need to constantly stay connected and work together with bright young talents, such as Srushti, on innovative and creative projects. By doing so, we engage as early as possible with our potential future employees. Welcome, Srusthi, it’s exciting to work with you,” Allert concludes.
Feels like home
Srushti started her internship in August, after a long social distancing period, with many people – including herself – working from home. “After such a long time, when I found out that I could come to work here, I was really excited,” she says. According to Srushti, working at the 5G Hub is an unusual, very positive experience: “it’s not your regular office. I don’t have a cubicle, for example, so that’s nice. Everybody is talking around; you can hear what they’re discussing, it’s a very dynamic place.” She says she felt welcome at the 5G Hub from the start. According to her, the language has not been a barrier, since everyone switches to English naturally whenever she is around. Having a sense of belonging was easy.
When asked about her feelings regarding living in The Netherlands, Srushti’s eyes shine. “Oh, I love it here!” Though TU/e could be very hectic, she declares she chose The Netherlands because of its stability and the living standard. “I feel safe here. I travel to Belgium, to Germany, but when I come back to the Eindhoven station, I think ‘ok, I’m home.'” She perceives the country as a place that respects individual freedom: “people here care about your work and not what your societal status is, or where you come from. The Dutch are very accepting of other cultures and open-minded.”
Srushti suggests that the community gets more in touch with TU/e: “they have a lot of projects, and a lot of innovative things, so they can come up with more use-cases for 5G.”
To reach out to her, connect with Srushti on LinkedIn.