Manipal: August 9, 2015: While getting even one research paper published in an academic journal is a struggle considering the intense competition, this 19-year-old has 23 research papers to his credit, and all published in highly cited and peer-reviewed national and international journals.
And Aadarsh Mishra’s incredible feat has now earned him a place in the India Book of Records for being the undergraduate with the most number of research papers published. Mishra is currently pursuing a research fellowship from the University of Oxford, and is working on a research project titled, Thermoelectricity in Molecular Junctions.
Mishra is an alumnus of the Manipal Institute of Technology, a private engineering college in Manipal near Udupi.
His papers on microstructural analysis of wear debris and photovoltaic properties of tin sulphide (SnS)-based solar cells have been published in coveted journals such as the International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research and Journal of Metallurgy and Materials Science. He published his first paper at the age of 17.
Mishra hails from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh is also pursuing B.Eng (hons) in mechanical engineering from Cardiff University in the UK and has recently secured an industrial placement as an R&D engineer. His project at Oxford University involves analysis of temperature profile across the Graphene electrodes with a nanogap, mounted on silicon and silicon oxide substrates. He hopes this research has significant application in electronic materials and be a major breakthrough in the field of electronics.
Mishra’s tryst with scientific research began in 2013 when he was working on Condensed Matter Physics.
"I started working on thin films of tin sulphide while I was in the second year of mechanical engineering. The topic was fascinating and has enormous applications in the field of solar energy. After coating the samples with tin sulphide (using thermal evaporation method) followed by the characterisation of samples and the calculation of quantum efficiencies, my results were quite good and a far more encouraging," Mishra told Bangalore Mirror.
"I presented my paper at an international conference held in Pune. Later I sent my research paper to the National Metallurgical Laboratory where it was accepted for publication in the Journal of Metallurgy and Material Sciences."
Mishra, who is elated to be a national record holder, regards this research paper as his best. Later on, he went on to publish three more research papers on the same topic.
Based on his experience, he secured a summer internship at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. There he worked on research topics in relation to tribology, which is the study and application of friction, wear and lubrication.
He started working on titanium alloys which find a lot of application in the aerospace sector. While at IISc, he published a number of research and review papers on wearing mechanisms in titanium alloys, cast steels and the application of titanium dioxide in the industry.
After completing his internship at IISc, Mishra took a transfer to Cardiff University, which he chose for its innovative research and independent way of studying. "While at Cardiff, I wrote a book, Introduction To Wear, and published a research paper on finite element analysis," Mishra said.
After completing his second year at Cardiff, Mishra won a fellowship at Oxford. But his stint at Oxford was not without challenges. Financial constraints forced him to take up part-time jobs.
Despite being a science scholar, Mishra draws inspiration from people from various fields. While it’s not surprising that eminent scientist CNR Rao and late president APJ Abdul Kalam, who was a career scientist, are his inspirations, Mishra has also been influenced by prime minister Narendra Modi and Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan.
Mishra fondly remembers his stint at Manipal. "The institute allowed me to manage research work and studies simultaneously.
I used to work in research labs during the two-hour break between classes. I also used to spend time in the lab after classes. Sunday was mostly reserved for writing research papers and doing literature reviews."
After completing his degree, Mishra wants to open a research centre to bridge the gap between academic and industrial research.