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I am currently a 3rd year undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering. I have done projects on different topics. I have done a project on the performance evaluation of jet engines with different outlet shapes, making a pick-and-place robot, and some work on the application of microfluidics (the fabrication part) and also fluid structure interaction . The first and third of these have resulted in publications. I am currently working on adaptive and moving meshes and am very interested in learning more about turbulence and related topics. I have been reading about the topics, and I want to do my masters degree and PhD in this field, but I don't have any publications on this part. Will my previous work experience in microfluidics, bot making, fluid structure interaction etc. be a negative if I apply to a particular lab doing work in turbulence, turbomachinery, aerodynamics, etc.?

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  • What country do you plan to study in?
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 16:26
  • @Buffy Mostly probably in UK or Germany
    – Avii
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 16:35

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Getting into a graduate school is a multi-factor process.

  • Class marks are important.
  • Recommendations from profs are important.
  • Extra-curricular activities are important.
  • Various activities that would be labeled "leadership" are important.

You already have what appear to be quite applicable extra-curriculars. Leadership is about doing things that contribute some way to campus culture. Your projects also count in that direction.

The subjects you mention are going to be heavily maths oriented. 3-D calculus, matrix algebra, and computational methods of solving equations, just to name three, but there are more. You should swat those topics if you are not already proficient.

Your previous experience is probably not going to hurt you, especially since you got results that were sufficiently interesting to publish. Indeed, having publications is "gravy" in the sense that most undergrads don't manage to publish anything. Most profs will look at that and be pleased even if it is in another subject area.

If you can find time to do some classes in your areas of interest that will help also.

Hopefully the profs you worked with will remember you and be happy to give you a LOR.

Also, many governments (and most grad schools) have scholarships, and usually you have to apply to them to be considered. So scope out the schools you are interested in and find those scholarships. If you get one of those it is a HUGE push to getting accepted. If you bring your own funding, even part of it, most grad schools will be eager to have you join.

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