PhD candidate Aradea Hakim is the research assistant for SMAST professor Dr. Geoffrey Cowles' National Science Foundation tidal energy turbine project.
Using computer models to simulate the operation of a turbine and the surrounding ocean's interaction with the turbine, the project aims to improve tidal turbine design. Hakim sees the potential of tidal energy for his future career path and for his home country, Indonesia.
How did you get involved in Dr. Cowles' project?
I saw Dr. Cowles's advertisement for a PhD position in an ocean-related mailing list in 2009. Since I was in Indonesia at the time, we arranged an interview by phone. He encouraged me to formally apply for the position. I was accepted to UMass in fall 2010.
How does the project relate to your own research interests?
My main research interests are numerical ocean modeling, tides, and sediment transport. I've been lucky that this project somehow intersects all of them, and I have the chance to learn a lot of things in-depth. Furthermore, Dr. Cowles has exposed me to new things that have become my interests as well.
Tidal energy is a hot topic of investigation nowadays, which gives me the invaluable experience of standing in and pushing at the boundary of cutting edge science and technology.
What does the project mean for your future career path?
I think the degree/program itself will open up doors of opportunity anywhere in the world. Tidal energy is a hot topic of investigation nowadays, which gives me the invaluable experience of standing in and pushing at the boundary of cutting edge science and technology. I hope I can take as much as possible from this program/degree to use in my future career, whether it be in industry or academia, somewhere abroad or back at home in Indonesia.
What will be your next step, once you earn your degree?
I hope I can use my knowledge in a more practical sense to further push the boundaries of tidal energy knowledge, science, and technology. I hope to gain some industrial experience after I graduate and then go back home to make a difference.
How have you enjoyed your experience at SMAST?
Socially, I’m part of a good international and multicultural community here. Academically, I feel lucky to be exposed to and interact with staff and faculty with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, which enriches my scientific and personal experience.